After five games, the Las Vegas Raiders begin to take shape and you get to see where this team starts to coalesce. Despite injury and maddening inconsistency, the team sits at 3-2. Armed with a boatload of confidence and determination, Vegas slides into the bye with actual momentum. With the help of advanced stats that begin to tell the story of the beginning of the season.
Granted, we all understand that Jon Gruden’s offense lends itself to a high completion percentage. Now, what you may not see is how this season, when on, Carr resembles the quarterback that the fanbase wants to see. In researching the advanced stats, a couple stands out and help paint an intriguing picture. First. Carr averages 6.9 intended air yards per attempt. In other words, Carr eschewed the often-discussed checkdowns for a little more of a verticle approach. Next, in five games, Carr faces favorable matchups in the Falcons and Broncos. Also, despite the strong pass rush of the Browns and Chargers, he plays behind a dominant offensive line. If the Raiders replicate their current record over the next five games, a record of 6-4 puts the Raiders in a prime position to make a late-season run.
Now, we’ve seen Josh Jacobs will himself, turning a one-yard carry into a three-yard test of heart. To what extent? If you look at the numbers, one thing stands out. From the moment of contact, Jacobs ensures that the tackler earns that paycheck. Of his 377 rushing yards, 162 of them arrive after contact. While he runs with a punishing tilt, the Raiders need to monitor the number of touches, as to not horse or overwork their franchise back.
For all of the talent of the Raiders can boast on offense, two fly under the radar and may need a few more looks. First, the number: 158.3. This is the perfect passer rating that Derek Carr enjoys when throwing to Nelson Agholor and Foster Moreau. Now, Agholor did arrive in Vegas with a reputation for dropping the ball and ending drives. However, to this point, he’s made 90.9% of his catches. That astounding number may not remain that, but his three touchdowns should build later trust equity. Meanwhile, Foster Moreau hasn’t dropped an NFL pass and averages sixteen yards per catch on four grabs. Yet, Moreau sits 45 snaps behind Jason Witten. Granted, Witten is a respected veteran. However, Moreau, at this time and place is the better player. The Raiders need to find targets for both.
Numbers can be manipulated, while others stand clear. The Las Vegas Raiders possess an offense that, when clicking, stands among one of the league’s best. While no offense is perfect, small tweaks could present problems for opponents down the line.