Future Raiders QB Aaron Rodgers or?

Not Even Aaron Rodgers Could Save This Putrid Raiders Defense

As much as people like to pile on Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, the fact is that he wasn’t the major issue. To go a step further, Carr was often the scapegoat, especially in the last few years. However, playing opposite a putrid defense for most of his run was highly detrimental. Whether it was Patrick Graham, Paul Guenther, or Ken Norton Jr., Carr never knew what an upper-echelon defense could do for his game. With Aaron Rodgers rumors running rampant, fans should maybe take another glance at what No. 12 would be playing with.

Also, the belief from NFL “insiders” that Rodgers would cost two first-round picks is preposterous. Rodgers will go down as one of the greatest ever, but at this juncture, he’s not worth that level of compensation. To complement Rodgers, the Raiders would need to field an above-average defense. You won’t have that unless you invest premium draft picks in the group, thus creating a conundrum.

To have sustained success in the NFL, you need a defense built through the draft; just look at the New England Patriots’ model. Ironically, that is where Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler come from. That’s what makes a deal this size for a quarterback on his last legs unrealistic. Then again, Ziegler’s move for Davante Adams shows he’s not afraid of blockbuster deals.

How bad was the Raiders defense?

Categorically and statistically speaking, the numbers paint an ugly picture. The Raiders allowed 35 red zone touchdowns under Patrick Graham. That’s based on 53 trips by opponents during the season. In other words, you had about a 66 percent chance of scoring against the Raiders last year in this part of the field. Opposing quarterbacks threw for 25 touchdowns and compiled 4,129 yards through the air, which was 29th in the NFL.

After you factor in Maxx Crosby’s productivity, there’s a big drop-off from the rest of the group. Crosby had 15 sacks, more than any other player on the team; Chandler Jones had five. Receivers also ran through Raiders’ defenders last season. Nate Hobbs, Amik Robertson, Jayon Brown, and Divine Deablo surrendered a grand total of 774 yards after a catch. A lack of pressure combined with liabilities all over the field doomed the Raiders’ defense. It’d be impossible for any quarterback, Carr or Rodgers, to find much success with any of this.

Aaron Rodgers isn’t the answer because the Raiders aren’t “a QB away”

Simply put, the Raiders are far from being a Super Bowl contender. At least not with this current roster. Of course, the team’s brass will be busy trying to remedy this, but are Raiders fans confident in this front office? More importantly, are they confident enough to believe that Ziegler and Co. can fix the defense and “fix” the quarterback position all in the same offseason? Make no mistake, if the Raiders are serious about pairing Rodgers and Adams again, they’ll need to deliver within two, maybe three years. If not, giving up that much draft capital could set the organization back another decade.

To quote “Moneyball,” when Brad Pitt’s character is warned, “This is the kind of decision that gets you fired.” Year 2 for this regime will make or break them.

*Top Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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