The Oakland Raiders Still Need Work Before Pirate Ship Is Playoff Sea Worthy.
Terrell White – Oct 22, 2017
Holla At Me Raider Nation!
Well brothers, and sisters it's been (to say the least) an interest last couple of weeks. After a four game losing streak the Raiders were finally about the get some of the water out of their sinking playoff pirate ship. However, it's going to take more then one come from behind win at home to make this ship sea worthy.
Raiders On O.
After the Raiders dramatic win at home against the Chiefs a great deal of praise was given to quarterback Derek Carr. Now, I'm not saying that Carr didn't perform well; However, for my money this is one of those cases in which the quarterback gets too much praise. I personally feel that not enough attention was paid to the receivers; Receivers who were out there making some spectacular catches; As they were bailing out Carr, and his inaccurate passing. Way before his game winning touchdown catch, and before Derek Carr nearly got him killed, Raider wide receiver Michael Crabtree was balling like a rock star! I totally expect his play to continue to be stellar. It has also been great to see tight end Jared Cook restore some of the luster that the position has lost over recent years. Moreover, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how, by spending time at running back, catching passes out of the slot, and from the end, that wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson has been everything and much more then we could have asked for.
However, if the Raiders are going to end this season as champions we are going to need Derek Carr to return to the form he had last season. Even before the injury (this season) Carr was struggling. I was watching him holding on to the ball too long, throwing interceptions, and generally being inaccurate with his passing. As I stated, it's not that Carr didn't perform well in the Raider victory; There were however, a number of throws that I'm quite sure he would love to have back. The Raider victory also marked (in a way) the return of wide receiver Amari Cooper. As was the case with Carr, it was good to see the receiver have a break out (200 yards receiving) game. However, as has been the case all season long there were a number of passes that hit Cooper right in the hands that he just straight up dropped. We need Cooper to find a way to maintain his focus!! Carr has got to be on time, and on target; Cooper has got to come down with these catches!!
You've been hearing all season long about how the Raiders have one of the highest paid offensive lines in the NFL. Well, I think it's about time that we start hearing again about how the Raiders have one of the most talented offensive lines in the NFL. With Carr being in the position of looking to regain his form the offensive lines job is to insure that he remains upright, and uninjured. Let's see if they're up to the challenge. Now, you know that no offensive discussion is complete without talking about the running game. I don't know what the situation is with running back Marshawn Lynch. I do know that if he's not ready, willing, and able to be beast mode then perhaps it's time for the squad to give the 240 lbs. full back Jamize Olawale more touches? Why let him go to waste as we did Marcel Reece?
Raiders On D.
As has been the case for a number of seasons now, questions surround the Oakland Raiders defense. Questions about the coaching staff; I'm talking about you Ken Norton Jr. Questions about the formations; Again I'm talking about you Ken Norton Jr. Questions about the player personnel; With the exception of Khalil Mack, of course (I'm talking about you Bruce Irvin). Over the course of the next few games it's going to be very interesting to see what Ken Norton Jr. and company can come up with.
The Raiders are still struggling to find ways of consistently getting pressure on the opposing teams quarterback. The defensive unit also (still) struggles to contain opposing teams running back; Whether their running out of the backfield, or catching passes in the flats. The tight end position still causes problems not only for our linebackers, but for the secondary as well.
It was interesting, and telling last game to see the newly acquired veteran linebacker NaVarro Bowman (with the team for all of a week) being the one who was actually calling the plays for the defense. I spoke a moment ago about the Raider secondary. You have to wonder, can the Raiders really content for a championship with player like defensive back David Amerson, & Sean Smith struggling to the degree that they have? Don't even get me started on the all too injured rookie pick Gareon Conley. For all of the Raiders championship aspirations, one fact holds true; Their not going to win without playing a much better brand of defense.
I've been hearing the talking head say that our Raiders have a tough road ahead of them; Quite frankly, I don't agree. The Eagles, and the Cowboys, who look like tough teams right now aren't seeing Oakland on their schedule till the 4th quarter of the season. The way I see things, there isn't a game in the 3rd quarter of the season that the Raiders can't win. Working in reverse order, for no particular reason we start with Week 13, and the New York Football Giants; If I were asked: How would you describe the play of the Giants, if you had to use a sent? I would have to say they remind me of hot garbage in the summer time. They stink. Moreover, with this game taking place in the confines of the Black Hole, I see no reason why we can't and won't decimate the Giants.
The week before (Week 12) is when we see our hated division rival Denver Broncos pay a visit to the Black Hole. Earlier this year our squad suffered a six point loss to them at mile high; Therefore, the team should have revenge on its mind. Furthermore, they'll probably be looking to secure their place within the division; All the more reason for the Raiders to come out, play inspired football, and just win this game baby.
Week 11, we have one of the games that I put a star next to on my calendar. For quite some time now Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have been a dominate force within the conference. On this given Sunday signal caller Derek Carr, and the Oakland Raiders have an opportunity to make a statement regarding this franchise, and it's place with the AFC. I would love to be able to look back at this game a few seasons from now and see it as one of the signature Raider wins; The Patriots are ripe for plunder and our Raiders need to pillage New England, on their way to once again re-establishing their dominance over this conference.
Last but not least, or should that be first and foremost? We have a Week 9 match against the Miami Dolphins. In recent history, being honest these contests have been, no contest. The Raiders have lost these games at home, on the road, and overseas. Moreover, the games haven't even been close; They've been double digit losses in which the defense surrendered more then 30 points a game. The Raiders beating Miami would go a long way in helping this team appear to be what we thought they would be at the outset of the season. Championship contenders. If the Raiders want to sail into the playoffs, they're going to need to continue plugging holes; Starting with a win, on the road at Buffalo
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Who should the Raiders take with the 24th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft
|Jarrad Davis - LB - Florida|
|Zach Cunningham - LB - Vanderbilt|
|Kevin King - CB - Washington|
|Tre'Davious White - CB - LSU|
|Chidobe Awuzie - CB - Colorado|