With the NFL abuzz with the Oakland Raiders and the potential playoff push, reality snapped them back to life. In losing 34-3 to the New York Jets, Oakland showed that they may not be quite ready for the playoffs. In defeat, the Raiders fall to 6-4. More importantly, this brings the Raiders pack to the pack in the hunt for AFC postseason. Nevertheless, this loss stings the team on various levels.
After watching the game, looking at three points managed by the offense, the fingers of culpability points at many. First, the wide receivers did Derek Carr no favors. From a half-dozen drops and sloppy routes, the offense sputtered. However, the line did their job, keeping Derek Carr relatively clean. the Jets dropped him only once. Other than that, he enjoyed time and windows. Facing a technically sound gameplan, Oakland could not afford drops.
Sitting in zone, the Jets picked them apart. Sam Darnold feasted on crossing routes, swing passes and underneath patterns. Darnold spotted Tahir Whitehead in coverage and knew the matchup was in his favor. Braxton Berrios sprinted 69 yards deep into Raiders’ territory. Braxton Berrios entered the game with three catches for seven yards. Whitehead could not stay with him and Berrios streaked downfield. Currently, the Raiders do not employ any coverage linebackers of any renown. They have run stoppers that look out of place in space.
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Granted, the Jets entered the game as the league’s stingiest run defense. However, how does Josh Jacobs only touch the ball eleven times, if you count his one catch? As a team, the Raiders only ran the ball 22 times for 68 yards. Jacobs gives the Raiders a legitimate threat in the backfield. Deviating from what Jon Gruden loves to do more often than not remains puzzling.
If the Jets continue to gash the Oakland defense, one would believe that adjustments would occur. Yet, it never happened. Too many times during his tenure, Guenther failed to alter a failing gameplan. This is a constant theme that started on the first game last season, all the way through to now.
Lacking a True Number One
With five games remaining, the questioning of who is the team’s number-one wideout is an honest one. Tyrell Williams tends to disappear for long stretches. As a result secondary wideouts see targets that a true lead wideout would catch.
After this debacle, the Raiders head to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. As a result, no time for navel-gazing or too much introspection. The Oakland Raiders can still make a run for the postseason. That road begins anew in Kansas City.
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