A lot of things have happened since we last talked to you about the Raiders. Last time it was when the Raiders were 3-1, now they are currently at a 4-3 record. Thing’s have been looking rough for the Raiders lately and it doesn’t seem to get much more promising with how strong the rest of their schedule looks. There’s a lot that needs to be discussed so lets dive right into it.
There’s a lot of good things about this team that I like, but there’s also much much more bad thing’s about this team. The Raiders might have a positive record with 4-3 but with these last two games they’ve looked like they don’t belong as a middle pack team. They had a strong game against the Chiefs three weeks ago where they were able to hold a highly rated offensive team to only 22 points while putting up 51 of their own points on offense. After that they headed into the bye week and that’s where everything just seemed to go wrong for this team. They couldn’t perform on both sides of the field against the Buccaneers, and just couldn’t keep hold of the ball. It’s like the team spent their whole weekend in strip clubs before coming into this game. The team had a total of 7 turnovers, they couldn’t keep ball in their possession. Not only that they were forced to punt over 6 times. Absolutely disgraceful showing from this team and when you think this game would knock some sense into them, they head into the next week to face the Cleveland Browns in another disgusting showing with the score being 45-27. This game was a little different, the offense showed they could get the ball downfield and the defense showed they could hold the Browns but the turnover difference was key to the Browns victory. Another game where the Raiders had a large amount of turnovers. this time had 9 turnovers, and dug themselves into another deep hole before the 1st quarter ended. There’s not many positives on this team but I’d like to discuss that and the large negatives that come with this team.
The positives are quite simple, Henry Rugg’s and Darren Waller. It seems like when these two beasts can get going theres nothing that can stop them. Combining their total stats in the last two games these superstars have a total of 597 yards and 4 total touchdowns. These two guys have a bright bright future in the NFL the problem is that when they get locked up the offense just can’t seem to move down the field. Without the threat of these two guys this team is weak and they need to focus on finding ways to get them open more. Another positive to this team is this offensive line. Out of 8 games this line has only allowed around 7 sacks which is amazing considering what they are paying them for. They may need to upgrade the line in the future because of the age but right now it is one of the best o line in the league. The offense can drive down the field there’s no doubt about that they just need to be able to stick to their scheme and not lose momentum or else it will kill this offense and force them to make plays they shouldn’t be making.
The negatives are huge on this team, especially with how the team is able to keep the ball in their hands. I know I’ve talked about it a bit already in this post but this team was doing good until the bye week hit with not turning over the ball. Now if Carr senses a little pressure or feels like they need to score quickly he will make the wrong read and dig the team into even more of a hole. The turnovers are such a huge reason to why this team is not succeeding to it’s maximum potential right now. A lot of people are calling for Carrs head right now but he’s not the only one making these turnovers. Every skilled position player on offense can’t seem to hold onto the ball whether it be kick return, after the catch, or after the hand off the team will get hit by a feather and just let go of the ball. You can’t have that happening when you are in a tough conference like the AFC. YOUR PLAYERS NEED TO LEARN HOW TO HOLD ONTO THE BALL. It’s very frustrating to watch and you can bet your ass Coach Gruden is drilling this into his players head while they prepare for the Chargers next week. The team also has problems straying away from their run game when they are down big, it’s like they don’t have any confidence in their runners. Raiders have a solid offensive line like we talked about and two very good running backs to share the ball. They need to game plan more around there star rb committee and have more trust in them to get the job done. Passing all game is just way too predictable and you won’t move down the field easily. Now on defense, sure they can force turnovers but they cannot put any pressure on the quarterback. I mean a lot of people can expect that from such a young defensive line but in this organization we expect excellence and they are not performing at that standard right now. The linebacker core is definitely in need for some more pieces added to it but it’s trending in the right direction, they just need to add more speed players to that core group and learn how to position better when it comes to the run but other than that there’s not much more to complain about this Raiders defense. I feel like they can get the job done it’s just when the offense puts them in such a bad position it’s hard to do that job.
Final thing I would like to talk about is there is a lot of mumblings going on about Raiders wanting to move on from Derek Carr. These are all just rumors but let’s take a look at the veteran quarterback. He’s currently at 2188 yards, has a 58% completion percentage with a total of 21 touchdowns 19 interceptions. In these last two games he’s thrown 12 interceptions and has a horrid completion rating. I think Carr has the tools to be good, I do think he is good. Without those 12 interceptions thrown in the last two games Carr would look like a top quarterback but it seems like he is hit with the turnover bug right now. He’s making most of his throws it’s just the receivers need to hold onto the ball after contact. I think it’s just too soon to decide whether this team goes and grab another quarterback with much more glaring needs on the roster that need to be replaced. Only time can tell whether this team replaces him or not, but I think if they do decide to replace him it shouldn’t be next year but the year after. After they bring a fresh quarterback in, have them learn the playbook under Carr and develop him properly.
Well that’s all for this update, tune in 4 weeks later for the next Raiders quarterly update!