Welp, that was awful. Things seem to be falling apart. At this point, I’m not sure if the Las Vegas Raiders look like a wildcard team.
The Offense Is A Problem
It is officially time to be concerned about the Raiders offense. Sure, the defense didn’t look great on Sunday night, but few do against Kansas City. The real problem is the offense. It hasn’t been great for most of the season. The defense has masked some of the offensive issues this season by giving them more chances. There are several causes for concern on a unit that used to be the team’s strength.
The biggest issue is the offensive line. Right now, it’s just bad. The unit rarely wins in crucial situations, and that is if they avoid jumping offsides before the play. The Raiders made several changes to this group this past offseason despite the offensive line being solid. The revamped line has been a disaster. In all fairness, they probably expected to have Denzelle Good and Richie Incognito at guard, but that is no excuse. This failed experiment is due to an inability to properly evaluate talent.
Speaking of which, who would have thought that losing Henry Ruggs III would derail the offense? The Raiders only have two guys that can consistently win one-on-one: Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. The problem is that neither of those guys is a true outside wide receiver.
Despite all of this, Derek Carr needs to be better. The biggest concern is that he doesn’t seem to know what to do when things aren’t working. Carr needs to figure out how to carry this offense. That may seem like a tall order, but if he wants to get paid like a top-tier quarterback, that is what he needs to do.
Here We Go Again…
This drop-off in play from the Raiders after a strong start feels all too familiar. The Raiders looked like contenders in each of the last two seasons, only to collapse and miss the playoffs. After the previous two weeks, it’s time to worry about a threepeat.
It isn’t just that they lost two in a row. That would be something that they could bounce back from, especially at 5-4. The issue is that Las Vegas hasn’t looked like a 5-4 team. They look like a losing team. At this rate, they could see their strong start completely evaporate. A 5-2 start could end with them limping to a 9-8 record and missing the playoffs again. That would likely lead to yet another rebuild.
Lack Of Depth Remains An Issue
The reason why the Raiders keep having these collapses is that they don’t have enough depth. The lack of weapons on offense allows teams to key in on certain players. On defense, injuries and rotations put liabilities on the field too often. The Raiders essentially lack the horses to survive the long grind of an NFL season.
The Raiders have created this problem for themselves. Every year, teams have an opportunity to add several players to beef up their rosters. In the process known as the NFL draft, teams take turns picking players in hopes of lading potential stars and long-term contributors. When it comes to making these picks, the Raiders squandered them for years. Now, it’s killing them. Instead of developing talent to wait in the wings, they have to make panic signings like DeSean Jackson and Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. The Raiders won’t stop collapsing until they start drafting better.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images