In what might be the final home game in Oakland for the Raiders, they beat the division rival Denver Broncos in convincing style. The win highlighted the progress made by the team during the season and the problems that still exist.
Once more the game featured a lack of pass rush from the Raiders defence but creative blitzes got dialed up by the DC to help cover that. Keeping Casey Keenum out of sorts for most of the game.
Derek Carr’s progress in the offensive system was showcased with the him now having thrown over three hundred and thirty passes without an interception. While, finding targets in the short and medium passing game that allowed the Raiders to carve up the weak heart of the Broncos’ defence. For a seventeen to nothing lead at the half and twenty seven to fourteen final score.
Doug Martin’s 107 yards rushing for a touchdown highlighted his worth to this team. That adding to his performances since Lynch went down probably have earned him another contract with the Raiders. The same can be said for Tight End Jared Cook, who has been Carr’s favorite target this season.
For the second time in the Raiders history, no players were voted to the Pro Bowl. 2003 being the first time.
Tight End Jared Cook’s season certainly earned him consideration, as did center Rodney Hudson’s performance this season. But they got snubbed by voters.
The pair however did make alternates list for the AFC squad along with left guard Kelechi Osemele.
Well not really. Mistakes, turnovers and penalties downed the Raiders. The Bengals exploited the inexperience on the Raiders offensive line. On top of it all, the week was fraught with distractions for the team with the firing of GM Reggie McKenzie and the lawsuit brought for the city of Oakland.
Ultimately, this is a game to forget and move on to the next one.
The Raiders attempted for years to remain in Oakland and the city showed no real interest in keeping them. Now it’s a forgone conclusion they are leaving, they sue?
My guess, this ends the chance of the Raiders ever returning to the Bay Area again.
The Raiders released the following statement:
ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Raiders have released Reggie McKenzie from his duties as General Manager. We are grateful for everything Reggie has done for this organization as a player, executive and member of the Raider family. We wish the best for Reggie, June and the entire McKenzie family.
The Raiders will immediately begin a search for a new front office executive and will have no further comment until that process is complete.
McKenzie’s run saw a wealth of talent brought to Oakland but consistent winning always alluded him.
He oversaw a modernization of the organization. From facilities to scouting. Which is likely why he found the talent he did.
However, his initial and possibly choice only for head coach in Dennis Allen proved an awful choice. Rumour had it that Mark Davis had a hand in his replacement – Jack Del Rio – and was certainly behind bringing Gruden back to Oakland.
I wish Reggie good luck for the future and hope our next GM can pull everything together.
The Raiders season is over, has been for sometime. No playoffs, nothing to fight for but their pride and maybe roster spots for next year. Yet fight they do.
This week, the Steelers came to town fighting to remain on top of their division and cement their chances of a play off berth. They learned that the Ravens lost and had a chance to have a full game advantage over them with a win. So desperate in fact that they brought an injured Big Ben back into the game to ensure it.
Yet, thank to the last minute drive led by Derek Carr and a botched field goal attempt by the Steelers, it’s the Raiders that came out on top. The slip by the kicker is on the Steelers equipment manager, given they brought up loads of shoes earlier in the game.
This team over came a penalty laden performance (some of which seemed to be completely false – like when the defensive line man slipped and we got called for a penalty) to get the win.
Gruden has the team fighting together, fighting to win, fighting to improve and I love to see this. Derek Carr hasn’t given up on winning, he still wants to win and you saw it on display yesterday. Coaching a receiver when he went the wrong way. Helping the injured line man off the field after scoring what turned out to be the game winning touchdown. That display alone tells me Carr hasn’t lost this team by the way, as was suggested earlier in the season.
This team’s improvement can be seen in the 2-3 record in the last five games. It can be seen in the improvement of the receivers brought in after Cooper was traded. It can been seen in the dramatic improvement of the Raiders defence that still doesn’t really have a pass rush.
Imagine this team with an injection of first round talent that is coming with the 2019 draft.
The 2018 Oakland Raiders under head coach Jon Gruden have been somewhat of a disappointment. At least for the many people that hoped for instant success from a coach who hadn’t been on the sidelines for a long time.
Didn’t help that our best player the last few years choose money over loyalty and was traded away to the Bears before the season began. Its a shame we couldn’t keep him but the cost would have been too high to do so.
It meant that all season long the Raiders have had zero pass rush. Not that they had much with Mack anyway.
During the season, we traded away another of our stars, Amari Cooper looked to have a bright future in Oakland and then he didn’t. Drops became the norm for the wide receiver and a fresh start looked like the best chance for him to turn it around – which it looks like he did. While giving the Raiders more draft picks for the rebuild of the Raiders in Gruden’s image.
On top of that, Derek Carr has had some growing pains as he learned to function in Gruden’s scheme. While watching some of his weapons disappear, Cooper to trade and Lynch to injury.
However, this Sunday, I saw something that gives me hope for the future. The Raiders went toe to toe with the Chiefs. Losing by only a touchdown in a shoot out that ended 40-33.
Carr looked more comfortable in the scheme. Richard looked comfortable at running back (he just needs to make sure he holds onto the ball in future). We have a tight end that can scare opponents. We still have a front seven that couldn’t get to the quarterback with a two second head start. But we have picks for that. Picks to find a pass rush and a new start WR.
I have some hope that we’ll be good again soon, something I worried about when Gruden was announced as our head coach.