Raiders Stats and Storylines: Week 14 Edition

A season that started with such promise — and was interrupted with drama and tragedy — is seemingly ending like seasons before: with a tailspin.

There’s certainly a lot of blame to go around. No Henry Ruggs — and an often limited DeSean Jackson — has meant no speed at receiver. Rich Bisaccia has been a noticeable downgrade from Jon Gruden in the game-management department, having two of the worst five coaching decisions in the NFL last week, per edjsports. And the run game has been non-existent all season.

That said, the Raiders are only one game out of the playoff hunt, so the final nail has not been hammered into this season’s coffin. Let’s take a look at those playoff odds, some of the trends surrounding a struggling offense, a couple contract extensions and who could be next on that front.

1. Obligatory Playoff Odds Update

Despite being only one game behind the AFC’s current #7 seed, the Raiders have a mere 13% chance of making the playoffs, according to The Upshot. A win this week would nearly double those odds:

Unfortunately, a win is unlikely. Draft Kings lists the Raiders as +351 to beat the Chiefs, which is an implied probability of 22.73%. In other words, the Raiders need a victory in a game they only have ~22% chance of winning in order to have a ~22% chance of making the playoffs. Not great odds.

2. Playoff Odds Have Fallen Sharply With Bisaccia at Helm

When Rich Bisaccia took over as interim head coach, he inherited a 3-2 team that was in the thick of the playoff hunt. Under his watch, however, the team’s playoff odds have fallen precipitously:

Odds via FiveThirtyEight

No interim head coach in NFL history has ever taken his team to the playoffs. After Week 6 it appeared Bisaccia may buck that trend. Now, not so much.

3. How the Vegas Sportsbooks View its Hometown Team

The Raiders are clearly trending downward and nowhere is that more obvious than in the betting markets. In the sportsbooks’ estimation, the Raiders are the twelfth-worst team in the NFL, receiving 1.5 points on a neutral field:

Based on these rankings, there’s only one remaining game on the Raiders schedule that they would be favored to win on a neutral field:

To have a chance of making the playoffs, the Raiders would likely need to win four of those five games. A daunting task for a team that was unable to defeat the Giants or Football Team.

4. Best-Case Scenario for Rest of Season

For a team that enters Week 14, with a 22% chance of winning their game and an 8% chance of making the playoffs if the lose, what’s the best-case scenario?

Likely — and unfortunately — it’s losing out. Late-season meaningless wins often feel good but set the franchise back. Take 2019 for example:

Instead of a seldom-used defensive end at pick 4, the Raiders could have drafted an electric quarterback at pick 1, if not for a meaningless win.

While the number one pick is out of reach this year, the Raiders could climb from pick 15 into the top 10. But, perhaps more importantly, losing out would remove any chance of Rich Bisaccia replacing his interim label with a permanent one.

5. Third-Down Woes

Third downs have not been kind to the Raiders of late. Per Raider Nation Boston, here are their third-down conversion rates over the last four weeks:


About third downs, Peyton Manning once saidI’ve always thought third downs are converted, if you will, on first and second down.” The implication being that the best way to convert third downs was to avoid them all together or — at the very least — make them manageable.

Unfortunately, Greg Olson and company are not taking Peyton’s advice. Per, this stretch of third-down failures coincides with the Raiders throwing an inordinate amount on second downs that are longer than two yards:

As we’ll discuss in the next storyline, relying on the Raiders run game in critical situations is not only stubborn, it’s making third downs much more difficult.

6. Raiders Run Game Continues to Hold Team Back

To piggyback off the above storyline, let’s take a look at three reasons why it’s foolish to rely on the Raiders run game in important situations:

1. They have the NFL’s second-worst run-blocking unit:
2. Josh Jacobs is unable to create on his own:
3. They are much better at passing:

At this point, the Raiders have two choices if they want to have a successful offense: Get better at running the ball or abandon it. Since improvement is unlikely this late in the season, adopting a pass-heavy approach should have been the strategy weeks ago.

7. Where is the Motion?

PFF has a great breakdown on why pre-snap motion can be beneficial to an offense here. The gist: Motion can confuse the defense and therefore create big plays in both the run and pass game.

Sure sounds like something the Raiders offense could use. Unfortunately, per Ryan Weisman, the Raiders rank in the bottom two of motion usage under Greg Olson:

Aggressiveness and creativity are certainly lacking under Olson and should be traits the Raiders value when searching for their next playcaller.

8. Raiders Lock up a Kicker, Part I

When you fail to convert third downs — and refuse to go for it on fourth downs — it’s important to have a solid punter. The Raiders made sure they’ll continue to have just that, as they re-signed punter A.J. Cole to a new four-year, $12.4 million deal that includes $5.9 million guaranteed, according to Adam Schefter.

It’s a pretty penny to pay for a punter, but Cole has earned it, ranking second in punter EPA this season:

9. Raiders Lock up a Kicker, Part II

On a special-teams spending spree, the Raiders also locked up kicker Daniel Carlson to a new four-year, $18.4 million extension that includes $10.2M guaranteed, according to Tom Pelissero.

Like his punting counterpart, Carlson is one of the best of his craft. Interestingly, per Emilio Conde, his value is lessened because a majority of his field goal attempts are short:

10. Who Signs an Extension Next?

With Cole and Carlson locked up, here are some of the other Raiders with expiring contracts, per Spotrac:

Nicholas MorrowOLB26.4UFA
Johnathan HankinsDL29.7UFA
Marcus MariotaQB28.1UFA
Jalen RichardRB28.1UFA
K.J. WrightOLB32.3UFA
Quinton JeffersonDL28.7UFA
Solomon ThomasDL26.2UFA
Casey HaywardCB32.2UFA
Zay JonesWR26.7UFA
Richie IncognitoOL38.4UFA
Alec IngoldFB25.4RFA

It’ll be interesting to see if anyone else is extended under Mayock’s watch, which may mean he has an inside track to keeping the GM title for the 2022 season.

The Raiders are on pace to have over $51M in cap space next offseason. A tidy sum that bodes well for whomever the GM is and perhaps signing a dynamic WR and former teammate of Derek Carr.

Twitter: @TravisGilkeson


8 thoughts on “Raiders Stats and Storylines: Week 14 Edition

  1. Excuse after excuse
    Raiders gave Derek Carr 8 years now,he has failed,they built the hole team around him and once again he failed GET RID OF CARR or the raiders have no future

  2. They built the hole team around Carr so there would be no excuses for him loosing he still did GET RID OF CARR

  3. So many qb’s have lost less game and got cut,never once do you ever hear the raiders say anything about cutting Carr not even a word of benching him thats how you no RAIDERS arn’t really interested in winning

  4. They moved back from LA to Oakland,they stunk up Oakland “WORSE THAN IT ALREADY STUNK”
    Now they goto Vegas to stink up that place

  5. Raiders
    A little less partying,less drugs,hookers,etc Actually try to play football and quit stealing the organizations money
    There will be more arrests,over doses etc
    DARREN WALLER will get back on the drugs again.ONCE A ADDICT ALWAYS A ADDICT

  6. This team should have started giving Marriotta a chance by now. If by some great miracle, the team makes the playoffs. And D. Carr is unable to play, Marriotta would be able to be
    Inserted with little disruption. It just seems that you have guys like, Crosby, Ngakoue, Perriman, Abrams, Hobbs, Renfrow, Moerig, Hayward Jr. Jacobs, every week. And the others
    don’t seem to breakout. And D. Carr has about used all his influence on this team with his
    performance in the most important times. Yeah, we are short handed.

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