With three games remaining, the Oakland Raiders appear to possess various internal issues. Immediately, questions arise as to what and why the team arrived this juncture. From a twelve-win season, the team must reach the Super Bowl to equal those totals. Unit by unit, problems pop up without any solutions. Here is one question per position group/coaches.
Is Derek Carr gun-shy?
In 2016, few quarterback tested the vertical reaches better. Carr’s quiet confidence seems broken by his injuries. While injuries are a part of the game, they should never rent spent between your ears. No one can accurately say if the back injury continues to linger.
How many carries will Marshawn Lynch see for the last three games?
Since he did receive that suspension, an optimal number should sit around 18. If the Lynch carries the ball that amount, the score should be in the Raiders favor. In the last few games, Lynch looks spry. With the playoffs a slight possibility, there is no reason to hold back.
Where is Jamize Olawale? Lynch performs behind a lead blocker. Similarly, Olawale provides matchup nightmares for linebackers on wheel routes. He sits on the bench and sees fewer than ten percent of the offensive snaps.
Why Isn’t Cordarrelle Patterson the third receiver?
Honestly, Seth Roberts met his ceiling. Granted, he provides excellent blocking. However, Roberts will drop the easiest of catches. Meanwhile, Patterson can outrun defender. Yet, he remains the four wideout. Roberts’ fans will bring up the start. If you look deeper, you will see that Patterson’s catch are on screen and mostly shorter patterns. Which, for a deep threat boggles the mind. Swap him and Roberts and go from there.
Did the Newhouse experiment work?
To the surprise of most, Marshall Newhouse flashed moments of solid blocking. In that case, no one proclaims his signing a runaway success. Yet, he provides an upgrade over Vadal Alexander, who held and false started his way through 2016. Therefore, Reggie McKenzie claims a small victory here.
What can Downing do to save his job?
Short of channeling the spirit of the 1999 Rams, Downing’s time in Oakland should end with the last game. Usually, offensive coordinators join a team to enhance the performance. Downing inherited a top offense and turned it into a passive, uninspired group. Truthfully, he needed to go last week.
In reality, the Raiders have playoff possibilities. In the distance, harsh choices await this franchise. For this reason, no one on the coaching staff needs to feel any level of comfort. For fear that the Raiders repeat this outcome in 2018, something must happen on offense.