The Las Vegas Raiders had the ninth most yards on offense in 2019. However, they were just 24th in points scored. If they want to get better, they need to score more often in the third quarter.
Recently, Josh Dubow of the Associated Press posted a couple Tweets regarding the Raiders’ third-quarter struggles.
#Raiders offense averaged NFL worst 0.66 points per drive in 3rd quarter last year. Defense allowed 2.6 points per drive in 3rd quarter, 2nd worst in NFL. Plenty of blame to spread around https://t.co/FGYBM1aJg0— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) May 21, 2020
The Raiders were dead last in points scored in the third quarter in 2019 and averaged 0.66 points per drive. Moreover, they scored only three third-quarter touchdowns in 2019. First, quarterback Derek Carr threw a seven-yard touchdown to tight Darren Waller against the Packers. The second one was a 46-yard throw to wide receiver Tyrell Williams. Finally, DeAndre Washington scored on a 14-yard run against the Titans.
Likewise, quarterback Carr’s 78.6 third quarter QB rating was his lowest. In all other quarters, he registered at least a 100.9 figure.
Derek Carr passer rating by quarter last season:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) May 27, 2020
1st: 111.7, 8th best
2nd: 106.6, 6th best
3rd: 78.6, 26th best
4th: 100.9, 10th best https://t.co/gQVGEW5aWD
Poor 3rd Quarter Performance
There are many reasons why this happened, some may have to do with the personnel and others with the coaching staff itself. Despite the fact Carr posted one of his best statistical seasons in 2019, the Raiders didn’t have any playmakers at wide receiver. Williams wasn’t fully healthy and rookie Hunter Renfrow broke out towards the end of the season. The offense as a whole was devoid of talent and opposing defenses could focus on stopping running back Josh Jacobs.
On the other hand, head coach Jon Gruden ran a conservative game plan in the third quarter. Gruden’s offense preaches ball control and short, high-efficiency passes. He can run the offense as he pleases and use the strategy he sees fit as long as the team scores. However, that wasn’t the case in 2019. That could’ve had to do with the players he had at hand. Nevertheless, those are the players he spent time preparing for the matchup and the blame should fall on the coaching staff.
Talent-wise, the Raiders were aggressive in both the 2020 NFL Draft and free agency. Carr will likely have the best weapons he’s had in his entire career. In that regard, there should be no more excuses, so Gruden needs to take a step back and look for ways to improve the Raiders’ third-quarter efficiency.
The AFC West title will run through the Kansas City Chiefs. If the Raiders want to beat them and become division champions, improving their third-quarter offense will be key.
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Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal