The most frustrating thing about fully devoting one’s fandom to the Las Vegas Raiders is how easy everything seems. Obviously, there is so much more to it than meets the eye. Yet, a good amount of moves/decisions remain some real head-scratchers.
Without getting too into it, the Raiders’ recent history of draft picks has been immensely disappointing. When a fourth-round pick is outperforming your fourth overall pick, it may become time for the front office to admit they wanted to be the smartest people in the room and took a risk on a guy they could have gotten with the 24th or 27th pick that same year.
The next year, 2020, the Raiders would take the first receiver off the board, in a pick no one could hate, but then refused to utilize him for anything except in-game cardio workouts. Following suit in the third round, the Raiders had back-to-back picks and chose two players that would play a similar amount of snaps for the team that drafted them, in Lynn Bowden and Bryan Edwards. Bowden would be traded to Miami before the season could even begin and Edwards would essentially trot himself out whenever a starting receiver went down.
Then comes the signing of Jason Witten, who at the time, was assumed to have been brought in to mentor Darren Waller and Foster Moreau, but quickly emerged into the number two tight end, limiting Moreau’s ability to continue adjusting to the NFL. Witten did not do much to help the team on the field (or at least did not do anything more than Moreau or Carrier could have), yet continued finding himself on the field in the red zone. Yes, he did have one clutch touchdown catch, but again, not anything any tight end could not have done.
In a broader sense, the offense as a whole completely faltered. While this accusation does not have a direct recipient, one could assume a majority of the blame could fall on the playcaller. No one knows where the run-blocking went and the red zone offense was equally parts disgusting and horrible.
Commitment to Mediocrity
Some may look at an 8-8 record and think that their team sits just a few steps away from cracking into double-digit wins. The Raiders’ 8-8 feels similar to a slap in the face. After seeing just how many opportunities the team struggles to climb above .500. Multiple first-round picks in the last two drafts, two 6-4 starts, and sharing a division with the Broncos and Chargers should have been enough to earn a Wild Card spot. Meanwhile, years pass and