The Oakland Raiders had 10 days to get ready for the Buffalo Bills. All that time to create a solid game plan and they were yet again humiliated.
Frustration. Anger. Disappointment. That pretty much sums up the emotions us fans have felt this season. The Oakland Raiders came into the season with high expectations.
They added a few more players to bolster an offense that was already top-tier and addressed the Swiss cheese defense with draft picks. The defense was the huge question mark coming in, while the offense was poised to light up teams for 30+ points.
In the last six games, the Raiders offense has failed to exceed 16 points in five of them. They only failed at that once through eight games last season. To say this offense has been a disappointment is an understatement.
They have dramatically regressed. The team we were used to last season that put up points is gone. With Todd Downing calling the plays there isn’t a sliver of hope for the Raiders to even sniff the playoffs.
All was well after the Raiders won against the Kansas City Chiefs. They broke their losing streak and Downing appeared to have finally matured with his play-calling. The game against the Buffalo Bills was going to be telling. Does Downing ride the success? Or does he revert back? Well, it’s clear now that he went back to his play style during the losing streak.
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The amount of dink-and-dunk passes that they featured on Sunday was upsetting. Aside from their first drive, and maybe even their second, the offense played the entire time underneath the coverage of the defense. Hitches, ins, outs, curls you name it.
This team had 10 days to rest and prepare for the Bills and this is what they came up with. It feels like Downing copies his playbook from Madden when he should be copying former offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave‘s playbook because he was the one that was getting the job done for the offense.
Why Downing didn’t stick to what worked against the Chiefs is mind-boggling. That game plan utilized his players talents effectively. Even if he doesn’t mirror what he called on Thursday night, he still needs to use some of what was working. It looked like he was after that first drive that resulted in a touchdown , but he reverted back to the losing ways.
Downing just isn’t ready yet and his ineptitude is costing the Raiders their season. It’s not 100 percent on Downing for the offensive woes, but it is significant. The offensive line isn’t what it used to be, especially in pass protection. Amari Cooper dropping passes. And Derek Carr being off on some of his throws. All of them share the blame, but it all goes back to Downing.
Head coach Jack Del Rio isn’t free of blame either. During that entire stretch that the offense went dry, he could have easily had Downing go back to it. In his response to Vic Tafur’s question, he answered it as if he doesn’t have the power to have Downing use what was working or even work with him to adjust. But at that point, it is just asking too much because Del Rio doesn’t know a thing about in game adjustments.
He is stubborn in his coaching and truly believes his way will work even when it does not. This situation is similar to his last head coaching job with the Jacksonville Jaguars. There are a lot of us hammering for someone to get fired. For something to change after losing another game, but unfortunately nothing will.
The rest of the season doesn’t get easier. The Raiders continue their road trip to Miami Gardens to face the Miami Dolphins. They don’t strike fear in any team, but neither do the Raiders at this point. Will the Raiders start a new losing streak? Or will they bring themselves up with a win?