Raiders vs. Jaguars

Raiders vs. Jaguars: 3 Concerns Heading Into NFL Week 9

Coming off of their annual dream-shattering blowout loss, the Las Vegas Raiders look lost with no direction. Whether it’s the horrid coaching or a struggling nine-year starting quarterback, the club is in a major hole. As they travel to Jacksonville to take on an underwhelming Jaguars team, only a glimmer of hope remains. Here are three concerns that could spell the end of the 2022 Raiders.

Raiders vs. Jaguars: Which version of Derek Carr are we getting in Week 9?

In year nine, Derek Carr has shown little evidence that he can carry this team. After Josh Jacobs’ emergence, Carr’s role was cut in half, and it was when the Raiders looked their best. The signal caller’s bread and butter is when he can manage his own game off of an efficient run performance. This was not the case against New Orleans. When the Raiders found themselves in a hole, it was up to Carr to lead the way through the air.

He responded with an interception into triple coverage, stepping into sacks, and just 101 yards on 26 passing attempts. While Carr flashes at times, inconsistency has become a major issue. This is especially impressive coming off a $121.5 million extension and eight seasons as a starter. We can’t predict which version of Carr we’ll see in Jacksonville, but Raider Nation better hope the boys don’t fall behind early on.

Will Patrick Graham’s defense be able to slow down Travis Etienne?

Saints head coach Dennis Allen dialed up an incredibly simple, yet lethal, game plan. Feed Alvin Kamara. With 158 total yards and three touchdowns on 27 touches, the Raiders could only watch. The big concern here is that the Jaguars have a weapon in running back Travis Etienne, who is just as efficient and has the ability to break the Raiders in the same style. Etienne has exploded onto the scene in recent weeks, so much so that the Jaguars brass felt comfortable trading their previous workhorse, James Robinson.

In his last three games, Etienne has totaled 356 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 48 attempts. The young back has also proven to be a game changer, averaging 7.7 yards per carry and hitting 45+ rush yards in each of his last three contests. If the Raiders’ defense can’t keep him in check, this game could run away from them. Literally.

Raiders vs. Jaguars: Keeping an eye on Josh McDaniels’ play-calling

Josh McDaniels’ play design is like a broken record, and it is costing the Raiders games. After his second lengthy post-game conversation with owner Mark Davis, you have to believe he will turn things around… McDaniels’ horrific trick plays have come at the price of the offense’s momentum. Against the Saints, McDaniels opted for a Davante Adams jet sweep and a poorly executed fake punt instead of giving it to his red-hot running back with under two yards to go.

The issue isn’t that a newly appointed coach is making mistakes; it’s that they’re the same mistakes on a weekly basis. Raider Nation has to be wondering how many more growing pains there will be before this staff shows even a slight learning curve. If McDaniels and Co. can’t win the coaching matchup in Week 9, there will be cause for major concern. That is, if there isn’t already.

Can The Raiders Get The Run Game Going Again?

*Top Photo: Sam Greenwood and Icon Sports Wire / Getty Images

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