When any team loses its best offensive player, it can understandably have a pronounced effect on its performance going forward.
That's especially true for the Las Vegas Raiders, who struggled on offense for much of their 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team without star tight end Darren Waller.
In the case of Waller, who is one of the Raiders' best players period, the lack of his reliable presence was felt in how the Raiders couldn't sustain anything on offense for most of the game.
Especially during the first half, quarterback Derek Carr was forced to accept check-down after check-down, not being able to connect downfield on any big plays.
Other than wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, who had nine catches for 102 yards, the Raiders didn't have any other wideout with more than three catches.
Just having Waller's presence alone could have been enough for other guys to get more open, but without that defenses can focus their coverage in more varied ways.
Waller would have also served as a go-to target on third down, where the Raiders converted a lowly 2-for-8 on the day.
The game's results also shows that backup tight end Foster Moreau probably won't come close to replacing Waller's production for as long as he's out.
Moreau's first target didn't come until the third quarter, and he finished with only one catch for 34 yards.
It there was any doubt before about just how pivotal Waller is to the Raiders offense, there shouldn't be any now, as the season is firmly is jeopardy following this loss.
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