The Las Vegas Raiders were up 20-0 at one point against the Arizona Cardinals. Fans were happy and players were excited, but their happiness was stripped away because of the embarrassing collapse of the Raiders during the second half and overtime periods.
Well, what happened to the Raiders? After putting up 20 points during the first half, the offense went into ghost mode. They dropped a whooping zero points during the rest of the game. They were outscored 29-3 after the first half, thanks to the lack of offensive creativity and production.
Raiders HC Josh McDaniels spoke up about the play calling
The initial reaction is to put the blame on quarterback Derek Carr. That’s due to his missed passes and poor play recognition, but that goes beyond his control. Coach McDaniels was signed because of his ability to run an offense, and during the first two games there have been positive glimpses, but there hasn’t been consistency.
Being up 20-0, McDaniels’ ability to call a different game was tested during the second half of the Cardinals’ game, and he ultimately failed to put his team in a position to close the game out.
McDaniels was asked about how his play-calling leads to a more aggressive team. “But I think [to] maintain your aggressiveness in terms of opportunities to make plays, as opposed to taking too many things out of the offense that you feel like gives you that opportunity. I think sometimes you battle that. You battle it as a play-caller, you battle it as a player. It’s human nature,” McDaniels said.
If you stay conservative, no lead is safe, especially against a player and coach combination like Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury. McDaniels and the Raiders learned this the hard way. “And so, even though you have a lead offensively, it doesn’t mean you have enough points,” McDaniels said.
How can the Raiders make it all come together?
For the Raiders to avoid another collapse, McDaniels has to go back to the basics: gameplan around your stars. The Raiders have two elite offensive players in wide receiver Davante Adams and tight end, Darren Waller.
Nobody can guard either of those one-on-one, meaning they will attract more attention. But this can only happen if you get these guys going early and often. When defenses realize they are on their game, then it opens up chances for running back Josh Jacobs, wide receivers Hunter Renfrow and Mack Hollins, and even tight end Foster Moreau.
Despite the up and down offensive line, Josh McDaniels and Derek Carr have enough tools to become a top-five offense in the NFL. It is up to them to put this together.
*Top Photo: NBC Sports/Boston