When you look at social media, it is evident some in Raider Nation have given up on the season. Some have given up on Derek Carr. Some have not given up at all. This is the norm in Raider Nation, we are a dysfunctional family of fans, but the ship isn’t sunk yet. Hear me out.
Regarding Carr, I believe in him because of what I have seen him do. Likewise, there are doubts because of what I have seen him do. It’s a catch 22. The Raiders don’t need an elite quarterback to win, they need fire and positive consistency. He will account for $21.5 million in cap space in 2020 and can be cut with a five million dead cap hit. I don’t see it happening unless he implodes and the remainder of the season goes haywire. Next year, Oakland will have around 50 million in cap space and they can bring in some talent, especially with tax free Las Vegas coming up. If guys like Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson can win a Super Bowl, so can Carr. He’s got three years left on his contract, lets see him finish it out if possible.
One thing those other guys had that Carr doesn’t? Great defenses. Great defenses that give great field positioning. They had three phases, when one dropped, the other two picked it up.
Phase 1: Defense
Personally, I think Paul Guenther is just too PG for the Raiders defense. This man was hyped as a master of blitz techniques and disguising those blitzes and I have not seen anything close to that, just a bunch of zone coverage for a team always known as man to man. Personnel wise, the line shows flashes, linebackers look lost, and secondary has holes.
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They are not doing enough to put the offense in good field position, and when they do, the offense stalls.
Phase 2: Offense
Josh Jacobs is the bright spot here. Darren Waller is having an awesome comeback year, and Foster Moreau is under-utilized. Alec Ingold is a beast. Jalen Richard is a good change of pace running back. Hunter Renfrow has a bright future. The offensive line is inconsistent but still solid overall. The offense lacks a true #1 wide receiver, technically they lack a #1 and #2. That vanilla conservative run n’ gun malarkey needs more consistency and spice too, that parts falls on head coach Jon Gruden.
Phase 3: Special teams
A.J. Cole and Daniel Carlson slip at times but they have overall done well, they aren’t the problem. The return game isn’t much anymore since the kicking rule change. Punt returns rarely happen because the defense doesn’t hold up well. Can’t block a punt and Raiders lack a true gunner. This group is complimentary at best. They only benefit from a good defense or help setup offensive drives. Since the loss of the return game, these groups are not the game changer they once were.
Raiders are 6-6 with favorable matchups. They can go 9-7, or even 10-6. They would still need help for playoffs but a winning season does well for the morale. Especially considering most people, outside of fans, wrote them off at 7-9 at best.
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It’s too early to give up on the season, it’s too early to give up on the team. It’s even too early to give up on Carr, give him these four games at least. The offseason will be interesting either way. Regardless, we have a reason and commitment to pursue more weapons and fill holes. Or we have reason and commitment to spice up the QB room while adding other weapons.
This is the last ride for Oakland. Next year its Sin City Raiders. Raiders need to go out with a bang and they need all the support they can get. In the meantime, Just Win Baby!
For more Raiders content keep it here at the Raider Ramble, to see other stuff Ben has wrote and designed check out eagleyeforum.com