Raiders: Like it or not Josh McDaniels is not the problem in Las Vegas
New Scheme, Same Offense
The Raiders this year were supposed to be a force to be reconned with when it came to their offensive power. After trading for superstar wide receiver Davante Adams, the Raiders boasted arguably the most talented pass-catching trio in the game in Adams, tight end Darren Waller, and slot receiver Hunter Renfrow.
Couple that with offensive guru and new head coach Josh McDaniels, and the expectations for the offensive side of the ball couldn’t have been higher.
Yet as we sit here in the middle of November with a 2-7 record, the offense has been but a shimmer of what many had hoped they’d achieve by this point. In their defense though, injuries have plagued two of the three-headed monster, as Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller have been dealing with nagging injuries and have both since been put on the Injured Reserve list.
Looking deeper into things though, this offense is but a mere image of the one we saw last year that barely squeaked into a Wild Card spot and made the playoffs for the first time in 5 years. In fact, a lot of stats have slightly improved this year from last.
Last season the Raiders averaged 22.0 points per game under Jon Gruden/Greg Olson, this season they’re averaging 22.6 with Josh McDaniels calling the shots. Last year they had a 49.23% in the red zone (TD only) and through week 10 this year they have a 51.85%.
This season they’re ranked top 10 in average drive for time, plays, yards, and points. Last year they were ranked anywhere between 14-20 in any given category of the same metric.
So, what is the difference between the two that has their record so wildly worse than they were last year? Bad breaks and turnovers. Currently this year they are ranked first in turnovers, first in fumbles lost, and sixth in interceptions. Last season they ranked 20th, 23rd, and 14th in their respective categories.
All in all, this offense is much of the same as we saw last year. Call it recency bias, but people forget how much this offense struggled to keep a lead and faded down the stretch in the middle of the season. McDaniels is trying to run his system with a bunch of Jon Gruden’s guys, but in due time we will see him ween out the bad, bring in the good and get this offense to a place where they can flourish like many think they can.