Another early season defeat has put a damper on what should have been another playoff run for the Oakland Raiders. Heading into Week 9 with bleak playoff hopes, to say the least, Raider Nation has been severely disappointed thus far.
To the dismay of the Raiders, they have a rather difficult remaining schedule that features another bout with the loathed divisional rivals Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. Not to mention a Sunday Night showdown against the Dallas Cowboys and a Monday Night duel with the red-hot Philidelphia Eagles.
Amongst the above-noted games, the underwhelming Silver and Black will soon face the New England Patriots. Needless to say, it would require a miracle for the Raiders to even clinch a wildcard spot at this point, even avoiding a losing record would be a “win” right now.
So what does the team do now since there are obvious flaws in the coaching, schemes, and play calling as well as in the personnel department? Some of the players just aren’t up to standard for a team seeking a Super Bowl right now, so was perhaps, the team’s depth overvalued? It’s no secret that quality depth is needed to be successful, and much help is needed in Oakland. The secondary is what will need a facelift heading into this offseason, after being decimated by injuries and underwhelming performances thus far.
Furthermore, the run game this year was supposed to be the stuff of legends with the signing of Marshawn Lynch, however, it has been a massive disappointment for the Raiders and their fans.
The Raiders management would be wise in taking a glance at the upcoming NFL draft and the prospects that could soon dawn the Silver and Black. Securing their current assets such as All-Pro edge-rusher Khalil Mack and making the necessary improvements to the roster will be needed for a playoff push next year. All of this, however, is easier said than done.
The Raiders as a team have only rushed for 704 yards and the fact of the matter is, none of the running backs have been explosive. My argument is that in next year’s draft, one of the main objectives should be to add an explosive and elusive playmaker who can dictate games with their running and help the offense take off with big plays.
Saquon Barkley is the obvious candidate for the job but that depends on how the draft falls and he is definitely a Top 5 pick, however, there are others including Bo Scarborough of Alabama amongst others who could provide such explosiveness.
The final word is, there is some major work to be done before the end of the season and in the offseason as well, but it’s not all “doom and gloom.” The Raiders have a strong squad that just needs some refinements and with the right additions, depending on just how much Reggie McKenzie and Co. are willing and able to spend, could definitely bounce back within a year.