Another Raiders Loss – Is It Time To Panic In Oakland?
What’s wrong with the Raiders?
After another ugly loss, there’s major cause for concern in the Raider locker room. What led to this point is up for debate, but two dynamics about this season are very different from a year ago… and one is very much the same.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
The Raiders had one of the top offenses in the league in 2016, but decided offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave wasn’t the best fit going forward.
Head coach Jack Del Rio had a reputation for booting coordinators in Jacksonville and actually fired Musgrave once there, too. This time (for now at least), Musgrave is getting the last laugh because the Oakland offense has morphed from a shiny red Lamborghini into a tricycle with two wheels.
Amari Cooper (118) has fewer receiving yards than Seth Roberts (122) and has more than double the targets.
For rookie offensive coordinator Todd Downing, the season has to feel like a nightmare so far. The first two weeks of the season are a distant memory and if the offense doesn’t get back on track, the ship could be sunk before Halloween.
Where are all the miracle finishes?
Derek Carr and Khalil Mack bailed the Raiders out over and over last year. Many wondered where the team would be without their heroics. Now we’re finding out. When the dynamic duo aren’t great (and at the same time), the Raiders just don’t have an identity.
Manuel played well in relief of Carr, but it seems the Raiders need elite-level play at quarterback to beat even average teams in the league.
It’s easy to forget just how many games the Raiders could have lost without the unbelievable finishes that somehow managed to keep happening in 2016.
Where’s the defense? Well… right where it’s always been.
Ken Norton Jr.’s defense has been marginally better than a year ago, but pass rush is still a major concern and the secondary hasn’t recorded an interception in five games.
The Raiders opened the game on Sunday by leaving Sean Smith on an island with Mike Wallace (result was a 52-yard completion) and it set the tone for another ugly loss.
Like last year, the Raiders feature a ‘bend but don’t break’ defense, but at times it feels more like a ‘Khalil Mack or Karl Joseph make a play or nothing good is going to happen’ defense.
The Raiders are giving up 21.8 points per game this season – which is down from 24.1 points per game a year ago. But the way things are going, an average defense won’t be enough to win games in Oakland.
The Raiders host the 1-4 Chargers on Sunday and another loss would put them in a last place tie in the AFC West (with an 0-2 division record).
Is now the time to panic?
Maybe, but try to hold off for another week. The last time the Raiders made it to the Super Bowl they started the season 4-0 and lost their next four games.
Maybe Del Rio has a similar plan in mind for this season?