It’s really not complicated to see why the Oakland Raiders are 3-5. Blame head coach Jack Del Rio and the performance of their “state-of-the-art-offense.”
Del Rio deserves the blame because he hired an offensive coordinator who had no previous experience calling and designing plays in the NFL. With a team that was predicted by many to compete for a Super Bowl, why would Del Rio choose Todd Downing to oversee the offense?
In the Raiders’ five losses, the offense has averaged 13.4 points a game.
That’s a waste of firepower.
The Raiders rolled out the Brinks truck for Derek Carr, who become the second highest paid player in the NFL this past offseason. He was rewarded for a spectacular 2016 season with a new five-year, $125 million deal with $70 million guaranteed. But he’s underachieved lately, becoming a dink-and-dunk quarterback overnight.
Also, the highest-paid offensive line has been inconsistent and high-flying wide receiver Amari Cooper has the skills to be the Raiders’ Maserati, but he’s played like a 1971 Ford Pinto.
Don’t blame the defense either. In the words of Dennis Green, they are who we thought they were: a flawed unit that bends but doesn’t break — good enough to keep you in the ballgame.
If the Raiders continue to flame out, point the finger at Del Rio for giving the keys of the offense to Downing. Carr and company haven’t been able to overcome their coaching.
Should we expect the Raiders to flip the switch this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins? Will Carr regain his form from 2016 — when he threw 28 touchdown passes and six interceptions — and stop being so quick to check it down?
I’m not so sure the Raiders have that extra gear. In 2016, I’d feel differently, but this something has been off with this team the moment left tackle Donald Penn decided to holdout a day before training camp commenced.
Downing’s lack of creativity has been one of the more befuddling developments for the Raiders. This offense has every piece imaginable to score at least 30 points a game. Whether it’s Carr getting rid of the ball in less than two seconds due to being skittish in the pocket or Cooper running half-ass routes and dropping passes, the lack of explosiveness by this offense just doesn’t make sense.
With the way the AFC is shaking out, the Raiders need to go 7-1 or 6-2 to even have a shot at a wild card berth. Possible? Sure, anything is possible, but likely? C’mon, be realistic.
Still, it’s an utter disappointment that this is the reality for a franchise that handed out contract extensions to Del Rio, Carr, Penn, Gabe Jackson, as well as bringing in Marshawn Lynch to bolster the running game.
Could you imagine if the late Al Davis was around? Oh, Del Rio would’ve needed a moving company on speed dial. The elder Davis would not go for this inconsistency.
One last thing about Del Rio: when is he going to take responsibility for the losses? The Raiders look far too bad for him to be shifting blame onto his coaches and players, like he has been all season.
Bonta Hill of 95.7 The Game can be heard from 12-3 on the Greg Papa Show. Born and bred in San Francisco, he is a sports junkie who loves to sit in the lab (home), eats breakfast food for dinner, and has a newfound love for tequila. Follow at your own risk on Twitter @BontaHill.Derek CarrJack Del RioOakland Raiderstodd downing