In the middle of the summer remains the best time to reflect upon the disaster the 2017 Raiders turned out to be. Yet, the fanbase needs to realize where the team will be when the take the field in preseason. Although the regular season still sits two months away, the offense needs all the training camp reps available. Below, these stats, provided by Graham Barfield illustrate the work needed to turn the offense around.
In 2017, the Oakland Raiders threw the ball 61 percent of the time. Now, some will say that is what most losing teams will do. However, when four of those losses are by ten or fewer point, that notion flies out the window. Under Jon Gruden, the Raiders will realize what phenomenal interior blocking they employ. As a result, look for the running game to tilt this number downward.
During trips into the red zone, Oakland barely five plays. That in itself screams ineptitude from Todd Downing. With a power running game and better playcalling, Oakland should see this number increase. Although Michael Crabtree departed, look for Oakland to spread the ball around. If you are looking for an under-the-radar threat, Marcell Ateman’s combination of strength and size could give Carr another target.
Last year, Oakland ran plays while trailing more than half the time. By that metric, the team either could not build or hold a lead. Half of that blame falls upon the offense. Thanks to an easier schedule, the Raiders should function with more leads and using their run game to bleed the clock and finally give the defense a rest.
Unlike many believe, Jon Gruden’s controlled passing game will not handcuff Derek Carr. Actually, sharper play design will create more space and yards after catch. Too many times, the thought of the deep ball clouds rational thought. Crossers will lead to big plays, as corners are washed on those semi-legal pick plays.
Overall, the Raiders reside in a far better offensive place this season. Any location far from Todd Downing guaranteed significant improvement. Now, the key is rapid implementation.