Since 1970, only six out of 233 teams (2.6%) have made the playoffs after starting 0-3. This Sunday’s game is essentially an elimination game for the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders. The state of Raider Nation is unsettled, and it’s time to focus on the legitimate concerns of the team heading into Week 3.
Patience is running thin as the team enters their Week 3 matchup against the Tennessee Titans. Why, you ask? Because it’s the same losing and underachieving story as before, only with a new regime. With the offseason additions of Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, many expected this team to have at least one win by now. But instead, the fanbase’s morale is more depleted by how the team is losing rather than flat out losing.
So, let’s take a look at the most pressing and valid concerns of Raider Nation.
Concern #1: The timeless Derek Carr saga.
There isn’t much that hasn’t been said about Raiders quarterback Derek Carr in recent weeks. There are many viewpoints, from slander to those saying he needs time to learn his new head coach’s system. However, there is one constant—him. For the past nine seasons, he has been a member of this organization. This season, he has the most talented skill group placed around him. Yet, he is nothing more than an average-at-best passer in all statistical categories.
Derek Carr PFF Passing Grades by Depth
Behind Line Of Scrimmage – 66.0 (14th)
0-9 Yards – 59.5 (30th)
10-19 Yards – 81.3 (7th)
20+ Yards – 26.6 (33rd)*
*Dallas and SF have played 2 QBs this season pic.twitter.com/kcc5UHCQo2
— RaiderRamble.com™ (@TheRaiderRamble) September 19, 2022
His inconsistencies are glaring, and many want positive results from a veteran player who accounts for nearly ten percent of the team’s salary cap.
Concern #2: Where is Chandler Jones?
The Silver and Black opted to sign the 32-year-old pass rusher rather than address the offensive line after the addition of Adams this past offseason. So far, the return on investment from Jones has been nonexistent. As of now, he only has four total pressures and zero sacks. To put that in perspective, he only has one more pressure than safety Johnathan Abram. In contrast, Maxx Crosby has more than contributed his fair share this season.
#NFL Most QB pressures this season 💪#Bucs Shaquil Barrett – 10#49ers Nick Bosa – 9#Raiders Maxx Crosby – 8#Steelers Alex Highsmith – 8#Cowboys Micah Parsons – 8#Packers Preston Smith – 8#Bears Trevis Gipson – 8#Ravens Justin Houston – 8#Chiefs Chris Jones – 8
— NFL Numbers 🔢 (@nflnumber) September 22, 2022
Chandler’s role was to bat cleanup with the pressure taken off his side, but his effort has been questionable. His acquisition has been a complete swing and a miss thus far.
Concern #3: Why isn’t Josh Jacobs getting carries?
Josh Jacobs may not be putting up huge yardage numbers, but he runs tough and effectively when tasked.
Josh Jacobs oh hell yeah pic.twitter.com/9HxsORN3XF
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) September 20, 2022
It’s not just him missing out on carries; for a team that is carrying five running backs on the Raiders’ 53-man roster (and a fullback), you would expect an emphasis on running the football. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be any further from the truth, as the Silver and Black rank second to last in total rushing attempts on the season with just 34. Additionally, for an offensive line that is struggling in pass protection, you would think that running the football might alleviate some of the pressure on the entire unit.
Many of the concerns and criticisms of the Raiders are fair. There’s plenty of blame, and no one is exempt from it. Josh McDaniels has a proven track record of winning but sitting in last place in the AFC West is not an ideal position. Plenty of playmakers are on this roster in all phases; the excuses are invalid. It comes down to who wants it more. An underperforming Titans team will either confirm or silence the questions surrounding the entire Raiders organization.
*Top Photo: NBC Sports