After what might have seemed like an eternal four weeks for Raider Nation, the Oakland Raiders were finally able to notch their first win of the season.
The 1-3 record is very deceiving and certainly gives pundits plenty of ammunition but the fact is the Raiders offense is rolling. And if this year is to resemble anything close to a “winning” season then this offensive train must continue rolling at all costs. It was not that long ago that MarshawnÂ Lynch told the world he believed this offense was “a check away from being the most explosive offense in the league.” It’s pretty obvious Mr. Lynch was onto something.
In Sunday’s week four contest we witnessed how close (if they’re not already depending on who you ask) this offense is to being something special. Four touchdown passes from Derek Carr, 128 receiving yards and a score from Amari Cooper, and Jared Cook also “chipped” in with two touchdowns and 110 receiving yards of his own. What about Beast Mode? Lynch was beast indeed as he ran for 130 yards on 20 carries. You’d think with this offensive production the team’s record would at least be 3-1, maybe 2-2. Well, there are still obvious issues but the foundation has been laid.
Defense Wins Championships… But So Can Offense
Championships? Okay maybe I’m getting ahead of myself (way ahead of myself) but looking at where this offense stands right now there’s no reason not to be optimistic.
As I said before, the record is deceiving but if we’re strictly talking numbers then the evidence certainly points to an upward trend as far as wins. Right now Carr is only behind three other quarterbacks (Goff, Fitzpatrick, Roethlisberger) in total passing yards per game (333), not bad.
Yes, we all know Carr has more interceptions than touchdowns right now but do you really think that’s to continue under JonÂ Gruden and with this much steam picking up? If you dig deeper you’ll see that the “TD: INT ratio” can be deceiving especially this early in the season. WantÂ a positive? Carr’s completion percentage sits at 71% which is higher than what it was in his previous years. The season is still young but let’s keep an eye on these numbers especially with the schedule getting “weaker” in this part of the season.
Just Feed The Beast, Raiders…
It’s become a regular occurrence for Raider Nation to bombard social media with Tweets and Facebook posts with “Feed The Beast” and “just give MarshawnÂ the damn ball.” I seriously doubt coach Gruden pays attention to social media but 20 carries combined with an average of 6.5 yards per carry this past Sunday might be indicativeÂ ofÂ a “turning point.”
Maybe Gruden really wasn’t kidding when he said he was taking this back to 1998, I mean how often do you hear of a 32-year-oldÂ running back being the spark on an offense? Well never really but there’s only one Marshawn (that’s for sure) and as our own Ray Aspuria pointed out as the team seemingly was near collapse again “Lynch is the only Raider not cool with losing to the Browns.” Leadership by example, folks.
Marshawn Lynch is averaging 9.4 yards per carry on shotgun runs this season. Best among all RBs. League average is 4.4 yards. #Raiders
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) October 1, 2018
Age really is just a number when it comes to “Beast Mode” and as Josh Norris ofÂ Rotoworld Football Podcast Tweeted out, Lynch is averaging 9.4 yards per carry on shotgun runs alone, rest of the league? They’re averaging 4.4 as of this week.
The record is bleak, yes I know, but moving forward if this “Carr” continues to be finely tuned the way it has been then maybe, just maybe, not all is lost for Raider Nation.