Raiders Offense has team on the Brink
Once again, the Oakland Raiders’ offensive woes showed up to snatch a loss from the jaws of victory. The offense has now averaged just over 13 points per game since the Washington Redskins debacle. Both Derek Carr and Coach Jack Del Rio were fired up during the game. It was obvious they were seeing things that just should not be, both on offense and defense during the last drive.
Both Carr and offensive coordinator Todd Downing spoke to “Little Details”. For example, on both interceptions it appeared Carr placed the ball where he expected Michael Crabtree and then Marshawn Lynch to be, and they were not there. Going back over the tape, both situations appeared to be misunderstandings that were costly but hard to tell which player was to blame. Jalen Richard ran in front of his blockers on a screen play and made it impossible for Carr to throw it to him. Just to name a few.
These kinds of miscues have been plaguing this offense since week one, but have only been costly over the last four. On the flip side, Carr had missed a week with a back injury, and the team had to limit its practice all week due to air quality. Still, that is no excuse. The offense has been the worst in the NFL over the last 4 weeks.
Then there is the lack of play action, and the vertical game is almost non-existent. It also seems that Carr has been restricted in his ability to actually manage the game on the field. He looks shackled, just like the offense as a whole has been. It’s been the kind of sandwich that’s filled with litter box leftovers.
But there is hope.
Raiders have their backs against the wall.
At 2-4, every game is a must win game. Maybe they can drop a game or two and still make the playoffs. It’s not out of the question, but it is extremely difficult for a team to just get back on track and win out. It will also be no small feat, even at home, to hang another “L” on the visiting Kansas City Chiefs this Thursday. But the Raiders are running out of rope here. Three of the four losses have been conference, and two have been division games. These games decide playoff seeding, they matter regardless of how early or late in the season it is. Especially when there is a very real prospect of the Raiders coming out of this week’s game 2-5.
Two and five. That would mean that the best the Raiders would end up with is a 3-3 division record. At best! Although losing to the Chiefs is not the end of the world technically, it would put the Raiders hopes for the playoffs in the “Hail Mary” category.
But I did say there is hope. Last Sunday we saw signs of life in the offense. There were some good plays, and a few that were strung together for solid drives. The consistency was not there, of course, but it did look better than the past three weeks. If the Raiders are able to build on that, and most of the miscues are corrected, the Raiders do have a real shot at challenging the Chiefs on Thursday. That and the defense needs to keep the Raiders in the game. A difficult task against the speedy, high-powered Chiefs offense.
Yes, it is a lot of “ifs”. And I am not dismissing how the team has looked. At least the Raiders did just sign Navarro Bowman, he could add a needed spark in crucial situations for the defense.
However, at this stage of the game all the Raiders fans have is hope. Kinda like Star Wars. Playoff runs are built on hope, right?