This will be a weekly segment in which I provide my opinion on the state of the Oakland Raiders. I encourage each, and every reader of this blog to comment or ask questions, whether you agree or disagree with the opinion I provide.
I hate stats. I’ve never been a guy that bases his opinion off of statistical figures. Don’t get me wrong, stats show production “On Paper,” but the way I see it, you don’t need a lot of stats to win football games. What a team needs is a big beefy offensive line that does two things; 1. They push the defensive line back on running plays, and 2. They create a pocket for the quarterback to operate within (Football 101).
This is what the Oakland Raiders lacked in 2013. Although the Raiders ranked 12th among NFL Teams in rushing, they ranked 24th in passing. Simply put, it really wouldn’t have mattered who the quarterback was, they would have been sacked 68 times nonetheless. This was due mainly in part to a lack of consistent offensive guard play and a shuffling at the left and right tackle positions.
Injuries plagued the Raiders early in training camp. OT Menelik Watson dealt with a foot and ankle injury, and he never started in 2013. LT Jared Veldheer had to get triceps surgery in August of 2013, and he didn’t start until the last 5 games of the season. OG Mike Brisiel never seemed healthy, and he struggled to show any type of consistency throughout the season. OL Andre Gurode filled in well, but he was more of a band-aid type player than anything.