Raiders TE Darren Waller

Las Vegas Raiders 2022 Rewind: Darren Waller, Future In Doubt?

Last year’s offseason had hopes of an explosive offense, but those quickly deteriorated. One of the reasons was injuries, which plagued the Las Vegas Raiders throughout the 2022 season. Darren Waller was expected to be a key component in new head coach Josh McDaniels’ offense, particularly since he had signed a lucrative $51 million extension. That was not to be, as early-season sputtering by the offense and an injury a few plays into Week 5 kept “RackWall” out for two months and limited him to just nine appearances.

Darren Waller had a decent start to the season for the Raiders… 

The start of the regular season was solid, as through Weeks 1 and 2, Waller had amassed 10 receptions for 129 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown came in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals and was en route to a 20-to-0 lead. Of course, we all know the wheels fell off and the Raiders ended up losing the game 29–23.

Waller’s Week 1 performance was notable as well. Had it not been for a pass a little behind him, he may have picked up a touchdown as well. In those two games early on, flashes of what the offense could be were showing, and many could’ve believed that it was a look toward a great season.

Waller’s worst game?

The wheels started to come off in Week 3. The oil was leaking, and the engine was running on fumes. The matchup with the Tennessee Titans saw both teams come in at 0-2 after making the playoffs the year before. What transpired was a close game that leaves you dumbfounded. Waller, who for the most part is sure-handed, dropped what should’ve been three touchdown passes.

On the opening drive, a pass meant for Davante Adams saw Waller streak in front and attempt to bring in the pass, but instead the pass hit the ground. Drop number two came late in the second on a third and seven. Carr found Waller running across the field, and again, Waller jumped up but could not bring the ball in. Then drop number three was the heartbreaker.

Following a heck of a catch (in which he was drilled over the middle), Waller held on to the ball for 17 yards. The Raiders were driving to begin the fourth quarter. The penalty for a helmet shot put Vegas in the red zone and in prime scoring position. Then on third down and three, Waller had the ball go through his hands and up in the air, which resulted in an interception. The Raiders lost the game 24-22, and when looking back at the last drop, it stings more because even a field goal would’ve won the game.

What does the future hold?

The offseason rumors ran rampant once the season ended, and right now that bus is spinning. Waller is the subject of trade rumors and may have played his last game in Vegas. We can understand the sentiment now, but Waller is not entirely to blame; he missed time due to injury. The problem is that this is the second season in a row that he has missed significant time due to injury. Before that, Darren Waller was relatively healthy.

Do they cut ties or see if the explosive offense can succeed next season?

*Top Photo: NBC Sports

NFL Draft: Raiders Must Target These 5 Senior Bowl Defenders

Join The Ramble Email List

error: Nice Try!
Subscribe to RaiderRamble

Get updates from RaiderRamble via email:

Join 5,868 other subscribers