The second week in the NFL regular season has come and gone, and for the Oakland Raiders, the struggles continue as they now sit at 0-2. However, there were definitely some positives to come out of this contest despite the difficult loss, with that said take a look at what some of the writers at the Raider Ramble had to say this week.
The inability to finish would be forgivable if it were a neophyte coaching staff. Jon Gruden and his group are anything but fledgling. Gruden is the veteran offensive play-caller while Paul Guenther is a seasoned defensive selector. In the most dire of straits, boxers will resort to basics to fight their way back. Not being able to take the game by the throat and squeezing is troubling. It’s both coaching and player execution and the lack of it resulted in the Broncos galloping out with a W.
Even with Derek Carr posting the best completion rating (90.6%) of any quarterback with at least 30 pass attempts, the defense once again could not get pressure late in the game. A lot like last week, the Raiders play well at first, until their pass rush goes looking for Dippin’ Dots.
Jon Gruden called a great game, but next week he’ll have to call one even better to avoid going 0-3. It doesn’t help that they had no timeouts left on the Broncos last drive. Miami is another tough environment, so if the pass-rushers for the Raiders don’t have any timeouts again late and can’t sub-in players (facing an up-tempo offense), they could face a similar fate.
Four or five plays were the difference against the divisional rivals in a game that may come back to be the difference between .500 and 6-10. The unsung heroes were once again the offensive line who continue to be the standard bearing unit for the team. Giving up only two total sacks to some of the most talented defenses the unit will face all season, starting a rookie no less, is quite commendable. The front five has also done a solid job of clearing rushing lanes despite the shake-up and is clearly just a few reps away from confirming its status as one of the best. Derek Carr, of course, has helped by getting rid of the ball quickly, to the chagrin of the misinformed, but fans should feel secure in knowing that the line continues to be a strength.