The regular season has begun and in Week 1 the Oakland Raiders kept it close with the L.A. Rams in the first half. The second half, however, was a different story.
Let’s see what some of the Raider Ramble crew thought on Week 1’s collapse.
There is a 17-year age Gap between former play-caller Todd Downing and current Raiders head honcho Jon Gruden. Yet, apparently, there is no gap in uncreative play-design. While the Rams D is fierce, there was no moving pocket, no screen passes, nothing to neutralize the rush. Once the Rams dialed in on Jared Cook, it was stale Gruden.
There’s no getting around it, Carr looked rattled in the second half. Jordy Nelson, Amari Cooper and, Seth Roberts combined for 5 catches while Jalen Richard and Jared Cook combine for too many check down throws. Defensively, Reggie Nelson seems useless. If he blitzes off the edge he rarely causes pressure and in the secondary, he is trailing further than the corner in coverage on deep throws. This is only getting worse. For special teams, I hope DePaola is healthy or Oakland should bring back Jon Condo.
The Raiders looked like a team that remained in the locker room for the second half. All 3 phases of the squad need work. I believe they will be competitive, but are not a serious contender in the AFC this year. Jon Gruden and staff have their hands full heading into the rest of the season.
Lost in the scrum of Derek Carr’s second half collapse, was the admirable play by the tackles. One game does not make a season but the Raiders were not regularly punished for starting a rookie and aging tackle out of position. Osemele understandably had trouble with Donald but Carr had time when he needed it. The defense played better than the score in the second half, but still this was an inauspicious beginning to the second Gruden era.