The Oakland Raiders have completed the first half of their 2013 NFL Season. Owner Mark Davis stated at the end of last year, that he wanted to see progress. He wanted to see the team improve. While it certainly feels like the team is improved, lets analyze wins/losses and points scored/allowed. After all, you win and lose by how many points you score and allow the opponent to score. I also need to note that I was wrong in my previous column, Dennis Allen has won two games in a row as a head coach. Last year the Raiders beat the Jaguars and Chiefs in back to back weeks.
The Raiders offense is near the bottom in all categories this year, except in rushing yards and total yards. This is mostly due to Terrell Pryor’s scrambling and his record-setting run against the Steelers. From a points scored perspective, thru the first 8 games last year, the Raiders scored 171 points for a 21.4 average. This year thru 8 games, they have scored 146 points for an 18.2 average. No improvement, in fact a decline. Compared to the final 8 games last year which saw the Raiders score 119 points for a 14.9 average, you can say there is slight improvement in about 3 points per game.
The Raiders defense would definitely be considered improved, but by how much? Last year thru eight games they allowed 229 points for a 28.6 average. The last eight games of last year they allowed 214 points for a 26.8 average. This year thru eight games they have allowed 199 points for a 24.9 average. An improvement of almost 4 points compared to the first half last year and almost 3 points to the second half of last year. The defense is trending down each half per season, hopefully they can continue that trend thru these final half of games
Despite excitement, only slight improvement
How has all that translated to wins and losses? Well, like we noted in a previous article, the Raiders have the same record after their first 8 games as they did last year, 3 wins and 5 losses. Last year, 3 of the 5 losses were by 10 points or more, with 2 of those being blowouts of 20+ points. This year, four losses were by 10+ points and only one of those was a blowout of 20+ points. This year two of the three wins were by 10+ points, while only two were all of last year, one in each half of the season. So compared to the first half of last year, from a win-loss perspective it’s status quo, no improvement. A slight decline in allowing more double-digit losses and slight improvement in getting more double-digit wins. Compared to the final eight games last year, where the Raiders went 1-7, you can say there is slight improvement in 2 additional wins.
Defense on the right track
I think this paints a picture of a team trending in the right direction defensively. We all could see and feel that and the numbers prove out. It did feel like the improvement was greater from a points perspective, I would have guessed closer to a touchdown per game. Offensively, it depends on which half of the season you want to compare it to. Compared to the final half of 2012, it’s trending up and compared to the first half, it is trending down. This just confirms the inconsistency we have all be feeling from the offense this year. Being that it took Mark Davis to get Terrelle on the field last year, I have a feeling he will have patience with the offense. Especially if this defense keeps going in its current direction.
This Year – first 8 games:
146 pts scored. 18.3 avg
199 pts allowed, 24.9 avg
171 pts scored. avg 21.4
229 pts allowed. avg 28.6
3 wins, 5 losses (3 losses by 10 pts or more, 2 blowouts by 20+)
Last year – final 8 games
119 pts scored. avg 14,9
214 pts allowed. avg 26.8
1 win, 7 losses (5 losses by 10 pts or more, 3 blowouts by 20+)