Monday, December 11, 2017

One Postgame Take

Unless the Raiders win out from here, they will at best notch a .500 record this year.  

As such, the Raiders will have gone 15 consecutive years with only one winning season. In a parity-driven league, this is inconceivable.

Reggie McKenzie was hired in January of 2012. Therefore, 2017 is his sixth year at the helm (damn, time flies, doesn't it?).

Yet we will still end this season with a massive to-do list: improving a bottom-of-the-barrel defense; implementing a Beast Mode succession plan; and fixing whatever the hell has gone sideways with the passing game.

The half life of Al Davis's poor decisions has long expired. Mark Davis, Reggie McKenzie and Jack Del Rio are responsible for this collective underperformance.

What I saw on Sunday was the worst you could say about an NFL team that was supposed to be a contender this year, and that was in a must-win situation: they were soft.

Del Rio is a defensive-oriented coach, and yet he is presiding over a marshmallow defensive unit. Our offense was humming last year, and he fired the offensive coordinator. Reggie's draft record is certifiably questionable. Mark Davis is taking his toys and heading to Las Vegas. Based on what I'm seeing, this team doesn't seem to have a lot of  heart (if you think I'm mistaken, please explain).

Frankly, it's a buzzkill, and barring a miracle, we are already facing a long offseason. But Mark Davis is getting his stadium in Nevada, and paychecks are being cashed, and the only thing we can do as fans is wonder when it will matter enough to all of them to raise their collective game and give us something to be proud of.        


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raiders are are back to being a bunch of worthless clowns.

Del Rio has proven this season that he's not a good head coach. Maybe an average coordinator at best, he needs to go.

Ef-ing Downing is a horrible coach. He doesn't know his ASS from a hole in the ground. Why is he out there on gameday?

Then we have our courageous qb. Carr is scared to be out in the field. He doesn't run with the ball, he sees the defense rushing towards him and ALL he does is throw his ef-ing passes to the line of scrimage. This guy is supposed to be our leader, our play maker and ALL we get for most of the game is nothing but ef-ing 3 and outs. Seems like now that he's being payed his millions, he doesn't give a shit anymore.

Our receivers are scared to be out there too. Dropping passes left and right, knowing that they are going to get drilled catching those floating passes from Carr.

Our offensive line can't block for shit. Why do we have that horrendous zone blocking scheme? Our running backs can't run for shit either. We run on second down ALL the ef-ing time. Too predictable!!!

Our defense is finally playing better since Pagano took over. Norton should of been gone like 10 years ago. What the hell was he doing out there on gameday? He was in over his head since day 1.

What a waste time and energy. A very SHITTY team we had this year. Hopefully next year we'll get better.


10:44 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

This entire season deserves a clown car. One bad decision after another.

But I pin most of this year's failures on Del Rio for hiring, then sticking with, Todd Downing as an inexperienced rookie OC. Downing, with a little help from Carr's erratic play, has completely dismantled the Raiders' high-powered offense. And that colossal failure has further exposed an already weak defense.

Del Rio is ultimately responsible for the defense, so firing Norton is just as much a reflection on Del Rio as it is Norton. Especially, considering how long it took Del Rio to give Norton the hook.

So this year ends up being a complete reversal of the progress we thought the Raiders made last year and, surprisingly, puts into question whether or not Derek Carr is a franchise QB. Suffice to say, he's no Tom Brady!

Our WRs lead the league in drops, and our CBs are worst in the league at defending passes (allowing the highest QB rating of any group in football). Cooper can be a playmaker when he gets the ball, but so could Heyward-Bay. They both have a penchant for dropping passes.

IMO, there are two things the Raiders can do short-term to save face heading into the offseason.

1). Re-sign Bowman to play MLB. Let's take that off the to-do list for 2018. Top priority!!

2). Fire Todd Downing. This charade has to stop! I wouldn't even let him call the game this week. Let Derek Carr freelance for a week. As long as Downing is calling plays, expect more beat-downs.

Honorable mention: Like past failures, the buck stops at the top. Davis is dangerously close to having this year's failures fall squarely on him. McKenzie and Del Rio deserve to have their jobs reviewed. If nothing improves (as it hasn't for so long), Davis will be entering Vegas on the back of his heels. Nonpartisan football fans won't want to watch the Raiders when they play like the Browns. Attendance is already way down across the league.

The team appears mismanaged and under-coached. Again!

P.S. Isn't Mack's contract up soon? He's worth more than half the Raiders defense.

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

CSN reported this:
"Looking back, Del Rio wishes his team would’ve played with abandon, with some risk in their play. The Raiders haven’t done that much this year, tiptoeing through quality competition with lackluster results.

'I think that there have been many examples throughout this season where we have not played boldly to go make the plays,” Del Rio said. “I would really like to see that because, at the end of the day, if you kind of go half-way, it’s not good enough anyway. I’d love to see us just let it rip. And go play. We’ve talked about playing with our hair on fire, talked about that kind of effort and energy and playing fast. That’s what I believe in, and I’d love to see it more often.'”


Don't look back and wish, do it! Make it happen, control your team. JUST WIN, DAMMIT!

9:11 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Just saying that, IMO, demonstrates how removed Del Rio is from his team's offense.

Unfortunately, it's too late. The season is over for the Raiders. My biggest concern for the next three games is that Del Rio might be challenging Downing to retain his job... if so, it should be Del Rio's job on the line.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT, Guys thanks for the thoughts. The one issue no one seems to have addressed is if Carr is part of the problem. Downing aside Carr has not played as well as last year and I don't think that can be pinned only on coaching or receivers dropping the ball.



9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Raiders fans don't want to face the unthinkable. Musgrave had an A,B, C, throw a go route if somebody's open system last year. Carr did well in that system. Under the new system, Carr has shown zero pocket presence. He is not a thinking man's quarterback. DCs have figured him out.

The Raiders took a lot of gambles and had an easy schedule in to win 12 games in 2016. The 2017 season has shown that Carr and the Raiders are not for real.

Del Rio should have never been hired in the first place. That's correctable but many QBs have been one-year wonders. Kerry Collins and Carson Palmer are examples of QBs who had one big year before comong to the Raiders.

Carr's skills are roughly on the level of Rex Grossman.

Giving the big contract to the wrong franchise QB can cripple a franchise for 5-7 years. Raider fans are about to go through the same torment other teams went through making a mistake at QB.

12:46 PM  
Blogger International Raider fan said...

C’mon man! Derek Carr is NOT the problem. He is recovering from back injury and more importantly as I pointed out in another post – this team has not been ‘together’ since the kneeling escapade in Washington D.C. in game three. Since then they have lost their “All for one – one for all” attitude that was so prevalent last year. Combine the above with a mistake at OC and the implementation of ZBS and we now have ZBS minus the Z....
Carr does not have confidence in the blocking scheme as he did last year, you can’t create the magic of last year with this nonsense.
Combine this failed blocking system with a porous secondary and non playing high draft picks from last year and this year = not ready for prime time, not ready for play offs.
Musgrave sure seemed to help an abysmal Denver offense.... makes you wonder?
We have a combination of coaching mistakes and player lack of football focus = not a winning recipe.

3:27 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It's a culmination of many things but, IMO, Carr is part of the problem... even if only because he's not completely recovered physically and/or mentally from his injuries, but also because he's being asked to play outside of his wheelhouse.

To the latter point, I rest 90% of the blame on Downing (now Del Rio for doing nothing about it). Poor scheme and horrendous playcalling have destroyed this offense. Carr was a shotgun QB who threw down field in college. Musgrave tapped into that more last year than he did the year before, but Downing has completely sabotaged that progress.

What I don't understand is why Derek Carr keeps propping up Downing like he's not the problem. Carr wants to shoulder all the blame and I just don't see that. Carr's position on this matter could lead to a very unfortunate retention of Downing.

And X, to your point that he's "not" a franchise QB, you would be hard pressed to find a better leader or a better person. And last year wasn't his only year of success. He was solid his rookie year and threw 50 TDs his last year in college.

He's not JaMarcus Russell. Raiders don't need 5-7 years to recover from Carr, they just need better cast of coaches and players around him.

5:43 AM  
Blogger International Raider fan said...

Well put NYR, I agree with most of what you stated. It’s just ridiculously amazing that many other Raider fans and even a casual observer can identify these problems from the outside – Why can’t Jack Del Rio, Reggie Mckenzie or Mark Davis ? *(personally I think they do see it) Which frustrates this fan even more as they don’t seem prepared to either man’ up and make the hard decision(s) to (change OC) or financially (change HC) or go after needed free agents or even admit to mistaken draft choices. I know this is simplified, but these are obvious issues - and no one in the organization seems willing to admit these mistakes and/or take real steps to rectify them... We get the same post game ‘redderick’ after each loss..... If you want to repair something that is broken, you have to replace or repair the damaged or faulty component(s) Other-wise nothing is going to change, you are only fooling yourself = JDR, RM, MD...... IMO.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Great discussion going on here. I read the following the other day, could be a chicken-or-the-egg thing with the pocket breaking down more quickly these days and with the receivers not exactly lighting it up out there, but:

"Carr’s 41.4 passer rating when pressured is 60 points lower than his 101.4 rating in a clean pocket — the largest difference of the 37 quarterbacks with 150 or more dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus."

2:51 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Carr doesn't seem as focused this year. It's hard to tell exactly how much of Carr's failure is tied to Downing's ridiculous offense. But here are a couple things that have bothered me all season.

Last year, Raiders were a league leader in hurry-up offense and 2-minute drill. This year, hurry up offense means being able to beat the play clock, to keep from wasting a time-out. That's inexcusable!

Also, I would guess Carr has taken snaps under center at a significantly higher rate this year than in previous years, and way more more than in college (because he didn't). That's gotta play a role.

I thought giving Carr more opportunities to play the way he was successful in college was, by design, what helped Carr play at MVP level last year. Could the Raiders have lost track of history so quickly?

Let's hope the Raiders brass is capable of a little introspection, because the 2017 season desperately needs an autopsy before its final burial.

3:47 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Breon Borders, Raiders pre-season standout CB was just signed by the Bills off the Raiders practice squad.

Did Reggie McKenzie go on vacation?

Raiders have been understaffed at CB all season, using safeties and LBs in coverage packages. And, yet, the best CB available to them has been on their practice squad all along.

Bills thought enough of him to sign him to their 53-man roster (a requirement for players signed off other teams practice squads).

The worst part is, Raiders have multiple players injured, and could have easily opened a roster spot for Borders.

Bad management and bad business. The Raiders housed and trained this kid for a year, and turn him over to the Bills.

Raiders have jumped the shark!

8:00 AM  
Blogger International Raider fan said...

With the state of our secondary - I can’t believe they let Borders go! With all the confusion and inept decisions we’ve seen this year - It’s starting to look like the Raider brass are: Distracted? Blind-sided by the anticipation of the Las Vegas glitter and lights? It sure looks like they’re preoccupied with something other than game planning and setting the team up to win football games.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carr is no Jamarcus Russell. Hell, I think he is better than Rex Grossman. Hell, I think he has the ability to be a 8-8/9-7 type quarterback. The guy lacks pocket presence. If you looked at Wentz before the injury, notice the ability that guy had to dance around in the pocket and read defenses.

It what separates a potential Super Bowl QB from a guy who might get you maybe one round in the playoffs like Andy Dalton.

Sure, the coaching is lousy but it seems like Carr is getting a free pass. This is his fourth year. Do great QBs regress in year 4? Even a bad back can't explain an inability to read defenses. In garbage time against the Chiefs, it was mostly dink and dunk on the last series.

Next year will be a make or break year for Carr and the Raiders.


10:24 PM  
Blogger International Raider fan said...

I hear what you’re saying and I can understand that perception. However I keep going back to game 3 in D.C, and all the negativity that introduced: Carr was crushed that day, the ‘togetherness’ that was so prevalent last year and gave them all the confidence to win even in the 4th quarter - I believe it was lost or at the least severely lessened at that point. Nothing has been the same since. Combine that with all the rest of the issues at hand, the OC, the ZB c-rap, the defensive secondary weakness and lack of depth, the poor decisions in most aspects of the roster (who to put on IR, who to activate, who to whatever, most of it just isn’t looking like the decisions of a winning team. Will the brass make the right decisions now and go back to power blocking and shotgun/hurry up? I think that would help the offense. The defense... they just let Borders get signed away... my confidence is low on the “D” secondary, the only thing I think the Raiders can do now is try to score more points than they allow....

11:11 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

X, I feel your frustration. This season is a huge disappointment.

But Carr has proven he can win at least 12 games. I think his apparent inability to read defenses has a lot to do with the system. We don't know what options he has before the snap but, based on the plays we see, it ain't good.

Often times he doesn't appear to be going through his reads because his primary receiver is waiting for a pass at the LOS, or he's coming out of the backfield. By the time the Raiders open up the offense for Carr to do what he's capable of doing, it's already too late in those games. Del Rio has admitted as much.

IMO, the trio of Downing, Del Rio and McKenzie have completely sabotaged the 2017 Raiders.

Raiders drafted and signed road graders for offensive linemen, then they asked them to be ballerinas in ZBS. And Lynch trying to outrun a defense to the edge or catch passes out of the backfield has been painful to watch. Is there anyone who doesn't believe the Raiders could have been a top-ranked rushing offense with their O-line and Lynch in a power scheme? At the very least, that would have taken tremendous more pressure off Carr. We did it last year with Murray!

I have no expectation that Derek Carr will ever be Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning, but he has proven he can play at a pretty high level. With smart coaching and better players around him, the Raiders can be so much better.

The Raiders blew this season. Two things need to happen for me to keep my composure. One, Downing has to go. He has already blown every chance he should get in this lifetime to make adjustments, and he failed miserably. To think he'll get it right next year would be a colossal mistake, akin to leaving Ken Norton Jr to his vices for so many years.

Second, the Raiders need to re-sign Bowman. He's is not a marginal FA talent like the Raiders have allowed to leave year after year. He's a team leader and a legit pro bowl MLB who can bridge the gap to a future draft and lift a tremendous weight off this coming off-season.

Yet every off-season, McKenzie seems to invite more work... going back to the days when he completely whiffed on Safford but luckily ended up with Penn falling into his lap. The secondary has been a revolving door every year, with no worse a corp than the one fielded this year.

Raiders are in a bad place, and they have nobody to blame but themselves!

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