Raiders Quarter Season Review: The Good, The Bad, The Guenther

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Week 3 @Patriots

The Raiders went into New England expecting to continue the streak. Although it was close at first, second-half adjustments or lack thereof allowed the Patriots to run away with it. This New England team sacked Carr twice and he lost two fumbles even though he was credit with just one as the refs ruled the second one as forward progress. However, he ended with 24 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns, one to Renfrow and the other to Foster Moreau. Head coach Bill Belichick limited his ability to use his main targets in Jacobs, Waller, and the almighty check-downs. It worked well as the Raiders could only put up 20 points, and plays like this were hard to come by.

The Raiders defense made too many mistakes. While they limited quarterback Cam Newton to under 200 passing yards and a touchdown, they let running back Rex Burkhead get two touchdowns, one of them was just unbelievable.

At least, Abram intercepted a pass and defensive end Maxx Crosby recorded two sacks. Offensive turnovers didn’t do these guys any favors but they gave up 36 points and were just dominated at times.

The defense looked the same, but this time offense couldn’t save them, or themselves. Guenther’s seat would be getting hotter on most teams by now, but since he’s head coach Jon Gruden’s close friend, he seems to get a pass for now. This feels like a Ken Norton Jr. Deja-Vu all over again.

Week 4 Vs Bills

This was the real quicksand game for Carr. He ended the game with 32 completions for 311 yards and two touchdowns but had another fumble. It could have been two, but he got lucky and the refs marked the second one as an incomplete pass.

The running game was nonexistent but that seemed to be a product of the game plan because Jacobs was his usual tough self. Why he only had 15 carries is curious since the game was relatively close and it didn’t make sense to steer away from the run. People were dropping left and right, Jacobs went out a couple of times looking hurt, so maybe that was a factor, but when he hit the field, he still hit.

The defense allowed the Bills to have their way for the most part. It seemed like every time Buffalo got the ball, they scored a touchdown. They had zero interceptions, and Crosby had one sack. Players were dropping like flies and cornerback Amik Robertson got to make his less-than-stellar debut.

Guenther’s seat should now be really hot, but beyond that, Gruden needs to grow a backbone. There were a few times in this game where they had an opportunity to set the flow of the game and take the lead, and each time he chose to stay conservative. Instead of unleashing the offense to make up for the defense, he relied on the defense that was giving up touchdowns left and right.

Related: Nature vs. Nurture: Who’s Responsible For Raiders Defensive Struggles?

The Raiders defense needs a spark

I’m not going to lie, I was excited when the Raiders brought in Paul Guenther. I remember the Bengals had a pretty solid defense under his watch. My brother, who’s a Steelers fan, enlightened me and told me Marv Lewis had a hand in everything Guenther did. It was actually him calling most, if not all the plays, when it mattered most. I’m aware Jon Gruden wanted to bring in his friend and closest allies, but deep down I hope he brought in Rod Marinelli as the insurance policy. Maybe he will reach out to Wade Phillips or Mike Smith, but that is probably wishful thinking.

In this most recent game, Guenther moved to the press box to see better but it did not help. He and Gruden will blame the player’s execution all day long, but the same players they said the same about in the past, and let go, have moved on and improved in other systems. Instead of moving him up to the press box, it’s high time they move him out. NEXT MAN UP!!!

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