The Las Vegas Raiders offense came out to a slow start on Sunday. Despite some nice early work by Davante Adams, the Silver and Black were largely ineffective against the Los Angeles Chargers. Hunter Renfrow mentioned that the team needs to come out faster and better next time, particularly in the first half. A stagnant offense in the early going won’t get it done against most teams. Luckily for the Raiders, their next opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, proved to be susceptible to an early onslaught. Getting Renfrow involved early and often should be a point of emphasis for Josh McDaniels.
The Las Vegas Raiders need to involve Hunter Renfrow from the outset
While speaking to the media recently, Renfrow touched on a few subjects; among them, was the Raiders’ slow start. The team came out swinging in the second half, having made the necessary adjustments. Even Josh Jacobs got going in the fourth quarter. However, the point is that the team cannot afford such slow starts. Something that Renfrow’s fully aware of.
“We only had the ball three times in the first half. We could do more before the two-minute drive; in the last play there, we got to do a better job of scoring in the first half. I don’t know if it’s necessarily a thing where we go in at halftime and we think about that [referring to having to fight back from halftime deficits], obviously we think about what we can do better. I don’t think we turn it off in the first half to play better in the second half. [Referring to the reporter’s question] You’re not implying that, but I just think we got to come out faster. We got to start better.”
The Chargers certainly deserve their share of the credit. The Raiders’ defense was simply getting outmatched early on by L.A.; they were being dialed in from the outset. It just appeared that the Chargers were a couple of steps ahead of the Raiders’ defenders. Another glaring issue was Derek Carr’s blatant reliance on Adams. If you have a talent such as Davante, yes, you need to exploit it. Nevertheless, with 17 targets on the day, it was obvious that everyone in the stadium (Chargers coaching staff included) knew Carr was going to look his way. Renfrow did have a fumble on the day, but that’s more of an anomaly. He’s often one of the most reliable targets in the Raiders’ offense.
The fact that the offense came alive in the second half does merit recognition, but as Renfrow mentions, they need to start faster, with more urgency, but just as importantly, a more balanced attack in my opinion.
Renfrow has a great opportunity against the Arizona Cardinals
Looking ahead to Week 2, the Cardinals present a good chance for Renfrow to get it going. The Kansas City Chiefs had a fun time exploiting the Cards on Sunday. Their slot receivers, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Skyy Moore, picked apart their coverage. Smith had six catches for 79 yards, averaging 13.2 yards per reception. Their speedster rookie (Moore) also hauled in a beautiful 30-yard reception as well. The opportunity for Renfrow to feast is there, especially since Vance Joseph’s defense has been shown to be prone to these big-chunk plays. The Raiders need to strike first, hard, and often on Sunday.
*Top Photo: Sporting News