Rusted Raiders

From 2003-2014, the Oakland Raiders were the joke and the laughing stock of the NFL. During that time, they didn’t qualify to make the playoffs at all. 2015, they improved and won seven games. Last year, the Silver and Black were relevant once again and they won 11 games with Derek Carr as a front-runner for the league MVP until he got hurt. Without him, they lost their final game of the regular season and their playoff game against the Houston Texans. After last year’s success, there was a lot of hype surrounding them in the off-season and they were able to help lure Marshawn Lynch out of retirement to come play for his hometown team in Oakland. Everything was there for them on paper. Carr was back and healthy, Lynch is back on the field, the offensive line is still one of the best in the league today and we can’t forget about Khalil Mack either, right? The reigning defensive MVP. Oakland won their first two games and since then, they’ve dropped four games in a row. So, what’s wrong with the Raiders?

When I watch their offense, it isn’t as good as people have made it out to be. I’m really wondering what was the purpose of even signing Marshawn Lynch especially if you’re going to give him the football 13 times like they did yesterday against the Chargers. It seems as if they are shying away from running the ball, something they did really well last year and want Carr to take everything over with his arm and it isn’t working that way. Their offense is built to run the ball two and three times per drive and that allows the passing game to open up. The offensive line, which I’ve referred to as the best behind the Dallas Cowboys has struggled to protect Derek Carr at times and he’s taken some unnecessary hits (the Denver game is a perfect example because he ended up hurting his back.

The defense has struggled for years outside of Khalil Mack. The secondary still continues to give up many big plays to the opposing receivers down the field, some struggle to tackle in open space and when you watch defenses nowadays, there’s usually another player to watch for and the Raiders don’t have that outside of number 52. Maybe they’ll get it now with NaVorro Bowman who just signed a one year/$3 Million deal with the team. If the Raiders want to be that contender that some penciled them to be, they will have to perform better on this side of the football.