Another week, another addition to the loss column for the Oakland Raiders.
For most of the game, it looked like I wouldn’t have to find a silver lining this weekend. It looked like the Raiders were on their way to 1-2, and I could just sit back and enjoy the win without trying to think of things to be positive about. But alas, here we are. I’ll try my best.
The Silver (And Black) Lining: Raiders Week 3
Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before…
For the third straight week, I’m writing one of these articles, and for the third straight week, I’m bringing attention to how well the Raiders played for the first three quarters of the game. For the third straight week, the Raiders held the lead for most of the game, and even though they found another way to ruin it, they are proving they can actually compete. This team is better than their record, but it isn’t going to matter until they learn how to finish games.
Zooming Towards 4,000 Yards
For the first time in his career, Derek Carr looks like he’s going to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. He’s come close a couple of times, but injuries prevented him from reaching the benchmark. He’s averaging over 300 yards a game, on pace for nearly 5,000 yards passing. Now, he’s also on pace for more interceptions than touchdowns, but this article is about accentuating the positive, right?
In Week 1, it was Jared Cook that had a great game, catching nine passes for 180 yards. Last week, Amari Cooper broke out, catching ten passes for 116 yards. This week, Jordy Nelson had his first great game with Oakland, catching six passes for 173 yards and a touchdown. Apparently Raider receivers are like Patriot running backs, someone is gonna have a great game, you just don’t know who. This is a good thing.
At some point, the Raiders are going to figure out how to make all these weapons work for them in the fourth quarter and this offense is going to be dangerous. Or, ya know, someone could tell Jon Gruden that Marshawn Lynch was put on this earth for short yardage situations.
In the history of the NFL, only two teams have gone 0-16. The 2008 Detroit Lions and the 2017 Cleveland Browns. As bad as teams like the Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, and Buffalo Bills have been, they’ve never gone 0-16. It’s hard to stay positive about the team this year, but they’re not going to go 0-16. Nobody wants to hear this right now, but they really could be 3-0 if they could just finish games.
Next week, a familiar face graces the sideline as Hue Jackson makes his first appearance at the Coliseum as a head coach since Reggie McKenzie fired him in 2012. His young quarterback, Baker Mayfield, will be making his first career start. If Paul Guenther is half the defensive coordinator that Gruden thinks he is, he’ll make life hell for the rookie, and hey, maybe the team will play for sixty minutes.