Fire Raiders OC Todd Downing
It appears that the final nail in the coffin for the Oakland Raiders’ season happened, following a loss to rival Kansas City, 26-15. One of the biggest issues for the Raiders this season is the offense, or the lack of consistency surrounding the offense. This issue became obvious throughout the first three quarters of the game Sunday. Derek Carr looked ineffective and outside of a couple big runs, Marshawn Lynch vanished.
One might point to the poor play of the players, but there is a bigger issue, the complete neutering of the playbook. Unimaginative screens coupled with ugly short passes fooled no one on Kansas City’s defense. It took Downing three and a half quarters to finally take shots down field and use an up-tempo offense. However, it was too late. For Oakland to take a step forward next season, Downing needs to go.
Fire Jack Del Rio
A disappointing season all but ended in Kansas City for the Raiders. Lofty expectations stood for Oakland, following a Raider rebirth. Oakland slept through this season. As a result, Del Rio deserves a large amount of the blame. A highly touted defensive guru and motivator, Del Rio displays none of those qualities this season . The Raiders’ defense has looked lost and the players have looked indifferent. Sunday in Kansas City, the Raiders did not look like a team playing for its playoff hopes. Every facet of the game Oakland was outcoached. The team simply did not look prepared to play, and that falls on Del Rio.
Oakland has Carr issues
While a lot of the blame for the offensive woes should rightfully fall on Downing’s shoulders, Carr failed to regain his 2016 magic. It seems that Carr appears off mentally after his gruesome leg injury last season. Carr has been quick to throw sloppy passes and has taken a lot more sacks than normal. The offense overall has taken a huge step back but Carr especially has been night and day compared to last year. After the Raiders clean house, the team should hire an offensive minded coach to work with Carr.
Defense has been consistently inconsistent: After defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr was fired, many were interested to see if the issue was the personnel or the coaching, after three games I could not tell you. Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin had great games Sunday, combining for three sacks but the rest of the defense struggled. Alex Smith was able to connect on multiple long passes and Kareem Hunt had his best game in weeks.
The highlight, or lowlight, for Oakland was the poor effort on tackling, with the perfect example coming late in the 4th quarter. With the Raiders needing a stop on third and long, down nine with five minutes left, the Raiders were in perfect position to get a stop, but a missed tackle allowed Kansas City to get the first and drain the clock. Pagano coaxed good play out of Mack, Irvin, Navarro Bowman, and Sean Smith. Be that as it may, the unit still has many issues.
Rebuild? No. Retool? Yes. Mathematically, the Raiders are still in the playoff hunt. Yet, this loss kills all hope of a postseason. The Raiders have been disgustingly average and careless. The team needs a jolt both in coaching and in personnel. After this season, Oakland is going to need to fill many positions including:
Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Cornerback, Free Safety and Right Tackle. These are all positions that Oakland is below average at. While some would think this is a complete rebuild, it is not. The nucleus of a good team is still there in Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Khalil Mack. There is still a considerable amount of talent on this roster, but certain positions need replacements and depth. It is not an easy situation but it could be far worse.