Raiders Will Open Up The Offense Against The Panthers In Week One

The Raiders added serious speed on offense in the offseason, but will new vertical threats translate to more throws downfield for Derek Carr?

“Gruden has always preached taking the shorter pass rather than risking a turnover,” Vic Tafur wrote on Saturday in The Athletic. “But one has to sense he will take more risks this season with [Henry] Ruggs, high-point power forward [Bryan] Edwards and the matchup nightmare [Darren] Waller, who is too big for defensive backs and too fast for linebackers.”

It’s worth noting that the Chiefs scored 35 points on Thursday night against the Texans and about two-thirds of Patrick Mahomes’ throws traveled five yards or fewer.

Certainly Carr could have a similar stat line on Sunday.

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Patrick Mahomes threw 21 of his 32 passes fewer than five yards downfield against the Texans. He had one deep throw.


Regardless of where (or how) the Raiders get their big plays, expect Ruggs to clear plenty of room for Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow, Waller, and Edwards to operate underneath.

Jacobs is good bet to have multiple scores against a defense that struggled to stop the run last year. And if the Panthers are forced to play 8 players in the box, the Raiders now have the personnel to make the Panthers pay.

Prediction Time

Gruden may have been ignoring the complaints about his offense being conservative, but he has been hearing them. Look for Gruden to try to shift the narratives this week for both himself and his quarterback by taking shots downfield. While the Carolina safeties are paying attention to Ruggs, look for Edwards to be the beneficiary of Gruden’s scheme on Sunday. A deep score for Edwards and 100 yards receiving are in the cards for his NFL debut.

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