When Jon Gruden steps onto an NFL sideline on Monday, a light should flicker on. The NFL he left is not the league he finds today. As a result, the accessibility of various stats will help paint a clearer picture. With the help of statroute.com, we will provide certain key stats to look for on Monday night. The Raiders have work to do.
Granted, Marshawn Lynch played a decent 2017. Yet, due to awful schemes and coaching, he did not eat in the red zone. By scoring only twice in the money area, Lynch left points on the table. Now, Jon Gruden needs to cash in heavily. With a defense that could struggle to stop opponents, consistent offense becomes a necessity.
Wade Phillips’ Dominance
With Wade Phillips calling the Rams’ defense, the Raiders anticipate active rush and physical corner play. In that case, Phillips gives the Rams teeth. If you look at Amari Cooper, his stats present two different stories. Although he has only faced Phillips’ defenses twice, Wade appears to own the upper hand. Granted, Cooper’s twelve targets and 143 yards would feel bigger. However, the lone touchdown means that Phillips will concede yards but tighten the screw on his side of the fifty.
For Cooper to succeed, the Raiders must become imaginative and line him up all over the field. From the slot, to motion and each side, Cooper needs freedom. With Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, the Rams plan to suffocate him from the start.
Tight end Jared Cooks also struggled versus Wade Phillips’ defense. However, Cook’s struggle should raise the reddest of flag. In seven games, Cook saw 34 targets and just one score. If you look at the number, realize a few things. First, Wade Phillips loves throwing the kitchen sink at the quarterback. Next, that amplifies when his offense gets him a lead. Facing Suh and Donald will mean that Carr will feel immense pressure. One way to stymie that is locating a tight end. In addition, Cook’s speed gives him the chance to burst the seam for a huge gain. Holding the ball will not work Monday.
In reality, the Raiders and Jon Gruden have a mammoth task in Wade Phillips. If Gruden is to succeed in his second stint, a great showing needs to kick off the season. If the Rams dominate defensively, the Raiders could face a long year. Then again, many pick Los Angeles to get to the Super Bowl. Still, the next Gruden Era needs a victory to hush the naysayers.