Raiders Offense Can’t Be Stopped
The Titans certainly proved that false in the second half. After leading two fairly easy TD drives in the first half and adding a field goal, the Raiders offense stagnated in the second half in Tennessee.
Sure, a large part of that was due to the drops — both killed promising drives that likely would have led to at least field goals, if not more. But it wasn’t just the drops.
It was the Raiders’ inability to decide what they wanted to do. OC Bill Musgrave is much-maligned by Raider Nation as a predictable play-caller that generates as much excitement as a Chargers pep rally. But he’s actually been pretty creative and off-balance much of this season.
However, when the Raiders opened the second half with a two-score lead, Musgrave couldn’t decide whether to run the ball and possess the clock, or throw the ball and try to score. The muddled mix of both at inopportune times — he ran the ball three straight times from midfield during their first possession — was ineffective.
The Raiders also appeared to tire a bit in the second half, understandable due to the 90-plus heat and the long trip. The NFL’s insistence they wear their Black jerseys regardless of conditions doesn’t help matters.
Baltimore won’t be as hot this weekend but the trip is longer. Hopefully the Raiders stay fresh long enough to open holes in the run game late and finish the game.
Derek Carr also threw his first interception of the season on one of his only poor decisions of the year. This was right after Sean Smith had given the Raiders the ball back with by intercepting Marcus Mariota.
Carr cannot do those things, and he knows it. Carr doesn’t hide his emotions, and rarely have a you seen a man burn with such anger toward himself than after than play.
The Raiders have shown thus far that their potential offensive machine wasn’t just hype but rooted in reality. They have to prove they can continue that in a tough game against a good defense.
Putting up 28+ against the Saints and Falcons is pretty standard. The Titans, a middle-of-the-road defense but not terrible, showed what can happen when they get predictable against a decent team.
The Raiders need this one, but it’s their toughest test yet. An undefeated opponent with a tough defense and a ton of confidence. The Raiders need their offense and defense to play a complete game together for the first time this year to win this one.
If they do that, they will. If they don’t, they won’t. It’s that simple.