Oakland Raiders are in a growing process
Sep 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Johnson (21) runs the ball against the Oakland Raiders during the third quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Raiders 19-14. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Like all of Raider Nation, and the Oakland Raiders themselves, I wanted the Raiders to beat the NY Jets. However, that’s a foregone conclusion, and it is time to move on. After sifting through all the interviews of the players and Head Coach Dennis Allen, I formed my own opinion as to the progression this team has taken, and I feel that this year is going to be a growing process for the whole team.
Don’t get me wrong, I want them to win and win big. I want QB Derek Carr to bomb the ball down the field like Matthew Stafford in Detroit, but I have to take a step back and analyze this process. First, the trenches on both sides of the ball have to do a better job with their assignments. Let’s face it, the Jets got to Carr too much. According to Carr himself, there were deep ball pass plays called that didn’t have a chance to evolve due to pressure. Plus, Carr admittedly stated that he needed to see the pressure coming better. Spoken like a veteran. #InCarrWeTrust
The defensive line wasn’t bad, but they weren’t where they should have been. Still, I felt that there needed to be some more blitz packages with Sio Moore, Khalil Mack, Tyvon Branch, Charles Woodson, etc…, that penetrated the Jets line to get Geno Smith off-balance. Unfortunately, Smith is a very mobile QB, and he was able to avoid a lot of trouble by escaping and extending plays. All in all, this was a very good eye-opening game for the defense to break down and diagnose.
In the coming weeks, the Raiders will face teams that don’t have a mobile QB as Smith was, and this could play to the Raiders advantage. Justin Tuck, Sio Moore, and Charles Woodson all stated that they needed to execute and position themselves better to be more consistent. They all laid the blame upon themselves as opposed to shoveling it off onto someone else. I imagine that there will be changes made to get this team into the right positions in the coming weeks. By the way, Sio Moore looked to be in Pro-Bowl form in this game. Can’t wait to see what he does the remainder of the season.
It’s a process that requires growth in so many ways, and I, along with all Raiders fans, must understand that this won’t happen overnight. It takes time to put everything together with so much turnover and scheme changes. However, I am confident that the right combination of players and coaches is in place to start something great. Obviously we’re not seeing it just yet, but it will begin to unfold in front of our eyes. Once that happens, the momentum will shift in the favor of the Raiders, and the sky is the limit.
Yes, my optimism is extremely high, and I am done blaming coaches and players for things that require a bit more time. I don’t think we will see the same offense on the field at home in Oakland against the Houston Texans. The players and coaches will break down and diagnose the Jets game, and they will find what works and what needs improvement. That’s their job, and I have to trust that they will do what is necessary to win. The season is not over, it has just begun, and the Raiders can still put together a string of wins to get to the post season.
This is a growing process that will eventually become a dominant team. Once the offense and defense get more time together and learn one another’s nuances, this team will grow by leaps and bounds. It takes game-time situations to make this happen. Still, the Jets game could have been a lot worse. It wasn’t, because the defense didn’t allow it to be. A more disciplined Raiders team took the field in NY, and that same team will be better in Oakland. I for one am counting on it, Go Raiders!