Did the Las Vegas Raiders really trade for Davante Adams so he could be a decoy in Josh McDaniels’ offense? It’s a question that many folks are asking as you start to look at the film. That’s especially true after former Super Bowl champion Kurt Warner recently broke down on tape what’s happened to the Raiders’ offense.
So far, at 2â€“5, the words that come to mind when talking about McDaniels’ offense are inconsistency, confusion, and questionability. Much to the chagrin of Raider Nation, McDaniels was outcoached by Dennis Allen despite heading into New Orleans with one of the top offenses. However, we should point out that a lot of that was due to Josh Jacobs. No. 28, by the way, carried the ball just 10 times on Sunday. Raiders fans want answers, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There are, however, two critical points that are made by Warner’s analysis.
Why is Davante Adams being used as a decoy?
“I don’t like the idea of having my best receiver, the guy that I signed for a bunch of money, be the decoy that’s trying to set up the rub. Instead of being the guy on the other side that’s getting the rub set for him and getting open, I would rather have this guy [Adams] in a position where he becomes more of a primary guy as opposed to the guy that’s got to go out of his way to set a rub for my tight end.”
The Saints in many ways effectively neutralized Adams, and by doing so, they took out Derek Carr’s most sought-after weapon. Week after week, you know Carr is looking for Adams as well as he should, which is why you acquire a receiver of his caliber. However, Warner points out that so far, Adams is not being used adequately. That’s especially accurate in terms of not maximizing his abilities. Using him to set up other receivers is dubious at best. What’s worse is that when McDaniels dials something up for Adams, it’s a go route, as Warner highlighted. Low percentage throws that many times don’t translate into yards on a consistent basis, at least not for the Raiders on Sunday.
“Go routes are tough sledding. They are low percentage plays even with great players like Davante Adams. I’d rather have this guy [Adams] running a route, a ten-yard stop route, or a comeback route, slant routes against press. Things where I can separate and run away and it’s shorter, easier completions for my quarterback.”
Others need to step up for the Las Vegas Raiders
Warner also added that Carr was trying to get the ball to Adams anytime he saw one-on-one coverage. Unfortunately, whether it was timing or being off by a bit, those passes didn’t hit their mark. You could also make the case that Adams has been battling an illness and hasn’t been 100 percent. However, Adams was often double covered by the Saints, which forced others to step up. Regrettably, 13 receptions from Mack Hollins and Foster Moreau aren’t going to get it done. Raiders fans are hoping once Darren Waller returns, the play design will improve, at least in theory. If Adams is going to continue to be used as he has been, Waller, Hollins, and Hunter Renfrow will need to make bigger contributions.
Perhaps, once McDaniels has all of his pieces back on the field, he can make Adams the focus again. Make others set up a play and cash in on Adams’ talent. At the same time, the Saints demonstrated how to neutralize the Raiders’ offense. Yes, Carr and McDaniels were trying to get Adams the ball on many plays, but kudos to the Saints defense; they disrupted the offense.
â€œA lot of different things going on there, but the biggest thing is the Saints said, ‘Somebody else, beat us. Show us that if you’re going to beat us in this game that Davante Adams is not going to be the reason for it, that somebody else will step up enough to beat us.’ And obviously that didn’t happen.'”
It’s about creativity with the play-calling, which starts with McDaniels. Warner and Raiders fans as well want to see Adams used on different routes to force opposing defenses to adjust, and simultaneously, Adams’ teammates need to step up. If not, we could see similar results as the season continues.
The Raiders Are Excelling At One Thing Since 2011: Losing, A Lot
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images