After four games, the Oakland Raiders sit at 1-3. While that record includes three-second half meltdowns, you are what your record speaks true. As a result, the Raiders find themselves behind the proverbial eight ball after the first four games of the season. Not to mention, some of the stats bandied about will not tell the exact story of the Raiders. In that case, here are a few stats and what they actually mean.
Stat: 1767 yards
More Important Stat: 50%
While the first number represents the total number of yards from scrimmage generated by the Raiders, it tells an incomplete story. Although that yardage proclaims Oakland as the second-most prolific offense, it fails to tell the entire truth. However, the second stat screams a potential season-long issue. The Raiders score on half of their trips to the red zone (8 of 16). That number ranks them twenty-first in the league. From the looks of it, the Raiders compile massive yardage between the twenties, only to see a drive stall out.
Solution: First, stop giving Keith Smith the ball at the one. Next, stop with screen at the eight-yard line. Lastly, trust your receivers to win jump balls. Cooper, Cook, Bryant, and Nelson could win down there. If the offense can fix this, those yards will accurately reflect the offense. Despite whatever people feel about Jon Gruden, this offense, under the right adjustments in the red zone can work.
More Important Stat: 177 yards
In four games, Doug Martin tallied twenty-eight touches. Averaging 3.9 yards a carry as a backup may thrill some. Yet, Martin does not run with burst or pop. Despite a long of fifteen yards, Martin continues to see the field. On the other hand, Jalen Richard rebounded from a nightmarish 2017 to give the Raiders a perfect change-of-pace back. Richard can win in the open field slip past defenders. In the Browns game, he took a pass upfield, willed his way for a first down, and stopped the clock. With that heady play, Richard began to wipe away any notion of last year’s fumbling.
Solution: In this offense, Doug Martin appears at the end of the road. If Richard can maintain this level of decisive, explosive running, Martin needs to slide down the depth chart. Granted, Martin was a handpicked selection of Gruden. Yet, the coach can plainly see that Richard should serve as Lynch’s primary backup.