The 2017 season has not been kind to the Oakland Raiders. Injuries to key players and the overall regression of the team as a whole have led to a losing record in a division that many believed was theirs for the taking. Today’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers is a fitting end to a season that left much to be desired.
Week 17 Oakland Raiders Takeaways
The Secondary Needs To Improve… Period
The Raiders have had a need for playmakers in the defensive secondary for the last few years, and to date, they have yet to show up.
Second-year man Karl Joseph is the one of the lone bright spots in one of the worst defensive backfields in football. His play against both the run and the pass make him extremely valuable when trying to mask the deficiencies at other positions. The Raiders lost him in the first quarter of a game that looked to be winnable.
With 2017 draft picks Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu spending time on injured reserve this year, the Raiders were without their two top draft picks. A pair of young and talented defensive backs whose absences certainly didn’t help Oakland’s efforts to reach the playoffs for a second consecutive year.
Philip Rivers Had His Way
The Raiders defense has been improving since the team moved on from former coordinator, Ken Norton, but they weren’t ready for Rivers and the Chargers pass attack.
On two separate occasions, Rivers hooked up with his receivers for long touchdowns over 50 yards. This has become the norm for Oakland and in a year that the team failed to generate any kind of positive turnover differential, it was expected.
The Chargers wide receivers found plenty of room to work all game. And Rivers capitalized by placing the ball into spots that allowed for big gains after the catch.
There’s no denying Rivers’ amazing talent. He could have done the same thing to any number of teams. However, the fact remains that Oakland’s defense is their Achilles heel, and it will need to be fixed with coaching and philosophy changes this off-season.
The Raiders Offense Needs To Start Over
Last year the Raiders looked unstoppable. They took care of the football and players made a visible effort to help the team as a whole. This is not the case for the 2017 version of the Silver and Black.
There has been speculation as to the cause of the astonishing regression of one of the league’s most promising teams. Carr’s injured back, the change in offensive coordinators, have all been tied to the team’s poor offensive performance.
The Raiders are young, and talented enough, at all the right spots to not necessitate a total rebuild. But to say that some sort of makeover this off-season isn’t needed would be wrong.
Their uninspired performance in Los Angeles in week 17 is proof that something isn’t quite right with the Raiders. When key players remove themselves from a game that is all but lost it speaks volumes about team environment.
Michael Crabtree took himself out of the game for a non-injury related reason.
— Christopher A. Booker (@Bookerc94) January 1, 2018
To say that the Raiders have some major changes coming their way is an understatement. This team will need to do some serious soul-searching if they hope to bring a title to Oakland.
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