2017 Oakland Raiders: Third quarter report card
By John Buhler
Much has been said about the job that new offensive coordinator Todd Downing is doing in his first year on the job. Many Raiders fans are not happy with design of some passing concepts or that the zone blocking scheme up front isn’t getting the most out of the running game. That being said, it has been Oakland’s offense that has been key in their turnaround of late.
Outside of the disaster that was against New England, the Raiders have been able to score at least 21 points in all three of their wins in the third quarter. Though Derek Carr isn’t torching teams through the air with his arm, he is averaging over 8.0 yards per attempt in those three victories. He may not have thrown for over 300 yards in any of the last four games, but Carr is playing with more confidence in this offense.
The big key here has been the stellar play of veteran running back Marshawn Lynch. He has been the catalyst to the Raiders’ offensive success. Using the run to open up the pass has been key in Carr playing his best ball of the season. Lynch has emerged as the team’s bell-cow back, while DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard have taken a backseat to him. It has made the Raiders’ running game better in the process.
Overall, the Raiders offense has been as balanced as it has been in quite some time. It’s the best part of this team. Though not as explosive as it was a year ago, the team is never out of it because of Carr’s arm and Lynch’s legs. This group is playing with confidence. We’ll dock them for a dismal performance in Mexico City versus New England, but the Raiders get a good mark offensively this quarter.