Oakland Raiders: 3 big stats from the first quarter of the season
1st half point differential
It’s not a coincidence that the games the Raiders have led going into the half have resulted in wins, and vice versa in their losses. They are currently -7 in first-half point differential, and that will need to be higher if they want to seriously compete this season.
There have certainly been teams in the past that have succeeded without at high first-half point differential. However, given the construction of this roster, this stat becomes very important in determining Oakland’s success.
Coming back in the NFL is already difficult, but given the Raiders’ lack of explosive playmakers, it becomes even harder. They simply aren’t built to play from behind. Jon Gruden wants to be a ball-control offense, which is not possible if the Raiders are playing catch up. In these situations, defenses know the Raiders can’t beat them over the top, so they force Derek Carr to dink and dunk down the field. This is something that annoys fans, but in reality, it is often the only thing available. If the Raiders aren’t able to have a balanced attack, they become very vulnerable.
Last week’s game is probably going to be the perfect formula for how the Raiders will have to win most of their games. Jump out to a nice lead early and then hold on for dear life. The conservative nature of Gruden won’t compel him to continuously attack if they have a lead, and the defense can’t be relied on to bring the team back with game-changing plays regularly. The Raiders must jump on teams early and manage the remainder of the game.