Raiders: 3 Keys to victory against the Denver Broncos in Week 16
Implement Change in the Playbook
The Raiders win was not on the back of play-calling. For all of the grief RaiderNation gave Jon Gruden for his play-calling in his second tenure as Raider coach, his mind looks as if he was a modern-day philosopher compared to that of offensive coordinator Greg Olson.
The running game failed once again in this one, and although Olson may have played a part in the offensive failures in that department, he should not be fully to blame for a rushing attack that has been non-existent all season.
Josh Jacobs has found running holes far and few this season, and although the offensive line gets the blame in this one, his inside running style does little when behind such an inexperienced offensive line. His lack of directional running has played a large part in what has been a dismal season.
Now back to Olson. If the Raiders have thrived in one department this season, it has been the pass. Whatever your take may be on how quarterback Derek Carr gets his passing yards, you can not deny the fact he is second in passing yards in the league for a reason.
The bulk of his yardage came under Gruden, and although the loss of deep-threat wide receiver Henry Ruggs has clearly been an issue for Carr, you cannot blame the quarterback completely for the way his disappointing second half to the season has been.
The check-down passes are more apparent than ever, and although Carr takes the blame for this as he is indeed the culprit of the plays, it is the play-calling that is letting down the quarterback more than the captain himself.
Carr sticks to the play-calling and is not known to call many audibles at the line. The play-calling has shifted from a mix of downfield airing it out to quick slant passes which have not faired well for the Raiders. As Carr continues to garner the bulk of the criticism here, let’s not excuse the miserable play-calling of his offensive coordinator.
DeSean Jackson was added late in the season to replace Ruggs, and his deep playability is still there despite his advancing age — the only issue is the Raiders refuse to use him. His one reception on Monday was evidence of this, and when you date back to the Thanksgiving win over the Dallas Cowboys, the deep-threat receiver showed he still can burn opposing cornerbacks.
The Las Vegas Raiders are welcoming a familiar foe in the Denver Broncos this week. A team that the Raiders were able to defeat earlier this season.
Greg Olson must figure out ways to become not so predictable, and although much can be said for the play of Carr, he can not fully take on the bulk of the criticism here. The play-calling is basic and predictable and calls for check-downs that the opposing defense is well aware of at almost all times. Olson needs to mix up the balance of deep passing and short passing for the Raiders to even have a shot against this tough defense.