The unfortunate part about the NFL is that sometimes scandals can sidetrack teams. The Raiders have fallen prey to that exact situation. Emails resurfaced of Jon Gruden using unkind references and now has resigned. Although it’s good to see the NFL disciplining people for bad behavior, it’s left the Raiders in a tough spot.
The Raiders have lost two straight games, dropping their record to 3-2. At one point they led the division, but have since been passed up by the Chargers. They face the Broncos in Week 6, but everyone is wondering how their interim coach will perform. We think, if they follow these steps, they can regain control of their season.
First, bring balance back to the offense
The first thing the Raiders will need to do is bring some sort of balance back to the offense. At the beginning of the year, they softened teams with the run first. After that, they started taking deep shots downfield. They have the receivers to get it done and Derek Carr has more than enough arm strength.
By bringing some balance back they’ll also be able to settle down Derek Carr. This will take some of the pressure off him, giving him a chance to make efficient passes. They’ll be facing the Broncos defense this week, which has a great pass rush. The last thing they’ll want to do is give up sacks.
Defense, Defense, Defense!
It’s unfortunate that the defense of the Raiders has crumbled in the last two weeks. However, we feel this is partly on the offense. It doesn’t matter how great your defense is if you’re on the field for most of the game. A strong offense will compliment a mediocre defense, which is what the Raiders have.
Interim Head Coach Rich Bisaccia should focus on putting pressure on Teddy Bridgewater. If you look at how the Raiders performed in Week 1, that’s exactly what they should emulate. Las Vegas beat the Ravens by pressuring and sacking Lamar Jackson. If the defense is backed up by a solid offense, the Raiders can get their season back on the right path.
Block out all the excess noise
The only thing that should concern the Raiders is winning football games. None of the exterior news should be talked about during press conferences or in the locker room. If they really want to be a contender in the AFC, they’ll need to block out the noise.
Jon Gruden will no longer be there for Derek Carr to lean on, which could be good. It could finally mean the training wheels are coming off for Carr. He has to step up and be his own voice and make this team his. We have faith that the Raiders can do what’s necessary to turn this around.