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2022 Las Vegas Raiders (4 Viewers)

Chaka

Footballguy

Five reasons for optimism, and pessimism, after Raiders’ slow start​

Raiders can’t afford another loss when they travel to play Titans on Sunday​

By Case Keefer (contact)
Friday, Sept. 23, 2022 | 2 a.m.

No one with the Raiders is panicking.

The franchise’s most anticipated season in recent memory hasn’t gotten off to the start they anticipated with back-to-back-losses, but there are 15 games left to play and ample opportunities to make a push for the playoffs.

“I think it's important for us to be consistent and try to learn from the things we haven't done well,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said. “Whether we won or lost, there's going to be a lot of lessons to learn. Nobody plays a perfect football game, that's almost impossible to think of. We have the same urgency that we've had. We know what we have to do better and what we're trying to accomplish here.”

Not everyone is as calm and collected as McDaniels, especially after witnessing the biggest blown lead in the history of the franchise (20-0) in last week’s 29-23 loss to the Cardinals at Allegiant Stadium. Fans are despondent and even star receiver Davante Adams admitted to “all different levels of frustration.”

“We’ve got to figure it out, and the urgency is definitely there right now,” Adams said. “There’s a lot that went into why we didn’t win that football game this past week.”
The Raiders will need to figure it out in time for their Week 3 kickoff at 10 a.m. Sunday on the road against the Tennessee Titans. The big question is if they’ll be able to pull it off, so let’s investigate.

Here are five reasons to be hopeful for the Raiders’ chances, and five reasons why not to be, as a way to take inventory of where the team stands through two weeks.

Reason for Optimism:
The AFC West might not be quite as daunting as advertised anymore.
The Chiefs might be slightly better expected so far — showing little to no ill effects out of losing star receiver Tyreek Hill in a 2-0 start — but the Broncos are unquestionably worse. The Raiders would almost surely be 2-0 if they started with the Broncos’ schedule. The Chargers are also formidable, but the Raiders played them close in a 24-19 Week 1 loss despite a -3 turnover margin and Los Angeles is now dealing with a rib cartilage injury to quarterback Justin Herbert that may linger all season.

Reason for Pessimism: The injuries are already piling up.
Las Vegas is shorthanded going into Week 3, especially on defense. They’ve lost four starters in cornerback Anthony Averett (who’s on injured reserve with a thumb injury), defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (shoulder), linebacker Denzel Perryman (ankle) and safety Tre’von Moehrig (hip). McDaniels praised the Raiders’ depth going into the season, and now it’s time to find out whether those were hollow words or not.

Reason for Optimism: Both quarterback Derek Carr and coach Josh McDaniels promise they’re already “very comfortable” with each other.
That’s the company line at practice this week, and they do have some evidence to back it up. Carr was electric and looked right at home in a 20-0 first half against the Cardinals last week, and also settled in nicely for several drives against the Chargers. He hasn’t put it together for four quarters in the same game yet this season, but there’s no loss of confidence from either coach/playcaller or quarterback that such sustained success is coming.

Reason for Pessimism: It sure doesn’t look like Carr is fully comfortable in McDaniels’ offense yet.
With the aforementioned exceptions, Carr doesn’t appear to be playing as freely and aggressively as he did at his best during winning stretches the last two seasons. He’s looked too mechanical, hesitant even as he’s tried to execute an offense that’s still new to him. There’s precedent to Carr struggling in a complex, foreign offense. Perhaps his worst season since his rookie year came in 2018 when Jon Gruden first took over the franchise. It’s not a perfect parallel because the Raiders have far more talent around him now, but there’s no disputing it sometimes takes quarterbacks extra time to adjust to new systems.

Reason for Optimism: Maxx Crosby continues to play like one of the best defensive players in the league.
The fourth-year edge rusher is right back at the top of the league in pressures where he spent all last season. He ranked third in the NFL with 12 pressures — behind only Myles Garrett and Micah Parsons with 13 apiece – through two weeks according to Pro Football Focus. He’s the undisputed leader of a defense that was respectable a year ago under coordinator Gus Bradley and now could take a leap and become one of the better in the league with coordinator Patrick Graham’s direction.

Reason for Pessimism: Maxx Crosby has only one sack.
The expectation coming into the year was that Crosby’s gaudy pressure numbers from last year (he had 107 total) would start to translate into more sacks (he had 11 last year) this season. That hasn’t happened yet. He brought down Kyler Murray once early in the loss to the Cardinals, but saw the quarterback slip out of his arms or hands on multiple other occasions. A pair of those near-sacks could have all but ended the game and secured victory for the Raiders. Crosby is playing too well not to get paid off for his pass-rushing success sooner or later, but it must be a frustrating trend for him to keep pushing that expectation back.

Reason for Optimism: Raiders may have hit on offseason trade acquisition Rock Ya-Sin at cornerback.
The former Indianapolis Colt cornerback — acquired in a swap for edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue — played every single snap of the Cardinals’ loss, and largely made the most of them. He led the league in Week 2 with three passes defensed, and allowed only one reception for 10 yards on six pass attempts thrown his way, per Pro Football Reference. It’s possible the Raiders acquired the 26-year old Ya-Sin at the perfect time, right as he enters his prime.

Reason for Pessimism: Raiders may have missed on offseason free-agent acquisition Chandler Jones at edge rusher.
It’s possible the Raiders acquired the 32-year-old Jones at an inopportune time, right as the 11-year veteran hits the downside of his career. It’s too early to say definitively, but Jones hasn’t made much of a difference through two weeks. He’s logged four pressures and no sacks. There’s still time to turn it around, but the longer Jones goes without tapping into the skills that have made him an All-Pro in the past, the more his three-year, $51 million deal begins to look like a risky investment.

Reason for Optimism: Las Vegas was in a much more dire situation last year and still navigated its way into the playoffs.
Sitting at 6-7 on the season after a 48-9 blowout loss to the Chiefs last December, the Raiders had below a 5% chance to reach the postseason according to all publicly available projection models. Las Vegas then of course reeled off four straight wins to earn a playoff game at Cincinnati. Even the most pessimistic systems still have Las Vegas around 25% to make the playoffs this year. There are a lot of games left; Las Vegas has fought back from worse.

Reason for Pessimism: It’s rare for a team to bounce back from an 0-2 start to reach the playoffs.
The NFL’s expanded 14-team playoff presumably makes it easier to rebound from an 0-2 start to get into the postseason, but it hasn’t happened yet. No team that started 0-2 in the last two years under the current format reached the postseason. Going back the last 20 years, only 9.6% of teams that started 0-2 reached the playoffs according to ESPN. The playoff rate falls all the way to 1% with an 0-3 start, speaking to the importance of Sunday’s game. The best thing the Raiders can do to provide their fanbase with optimism, and kill off the pessimism, is win at Tennessee.
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HW_53

Footballguy
Gotta be honest, I'm still not over it. Last week was one of the most difficult losses I can remember from the last decade. I honestly can't think of a game I was more vested in watching that hurt more to lose.

I don't know that I can watch them again this season.

I'm considering becoming a Lions fan. Think about that. Choosing to root for the Lions because it hurts to much to root for the Raiders.
This^^ As die hard, and faithful as this fan base is, it is a shame to see where this franchise has driven so many of its loyal fans. I have been a fan since the early 70's, and will continue to do so as I am sure you will too Chaka, but I completely get the frustration. Honestly, for a stretch there, Fantasy Football was the only thing that kept me interested in the NFL, because the Raiders were so bad, for so long. Its sad to realize that there is an entire generation of fans who never knew this team to be any good, much less the dominant franchise they once proudly were. Hang in there, I know I will.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Gotta be honest, I'm still not over it. Last week was one of the most difficult losses I can remember from the last decade. I honestly can't think of a game I was more vested in watching that hurt more to lose.

I don't know that I can watch them again this season.

I'm considering becoming a Lions fan. Think about that. Choosing to root for the Lions because it hurts to much to root for the Raiders.
The Browns have always been my second team but after Watson, I can’t root for them. My brother is an Eagles fan so I pay attention to them more than any other team after the Raiders. Hurts is fun to watch too. I can’t just become a full-blown Philly fan and quit the Raiders though. I’m also not giving up on the Raiders now that Gruden is gone. There is lots to fix after that debacle and it’s going to take a couple of years to right the ship.

What pains me is seeing Mack and Cooper continue to have solid careers after Gruden gave them away for nothing in return.
I'm always going to be a Raider fan of course but this just hurts. It's my own fault really. I am happy they signed McDaniels, Graham, Ziegler etc. Thrilled they brought in Davante. My problem is even with the signings I knew this was still not going to be a competitive roster in 2022. The team is simply too thin at too many positions to go up against the likes of the Chargers and Chiefs (let alone the Bills). I should have kept my expectations but as we got closer to week one I started to buy into the hype even though I knew I shouldn't have. There is no shame in losing to the Bolts, they are a very good team but Arizona? No. I let myself be caught off guard for that one.

TRIGGER WARNING!!!:
Honestly, I blame @Chadstroma way to go Chad, you crushed my soul before week 3. Hope your happy.
Last week was brutal. I watched the game and starting put my thoughts down in a post but then just gave up on it.

There had to be at least a dozen opportunities to end that game in our favor from the 3rd to the end. Likely more than that.

I would say that it wasn't even the loss or who we lost to that hurt but rather the tease. Like the girl in high school you pined for all year long and you finally get the balls to ask her out and surprisingly she said yes. You go on a first date with her and things were good and bad. You came away not knowing what to think but then you ask her on another date and early in the date she is flirting with you nonstop. She smiles constantly, laughing at your jokes. Flipping her hair. Scoots closer to you. Puts her hand on your thigh. She gives you that 'come get me' look and you go in for the kiss and before you connect.... she stands up, doesn't say a word and leaves.

You can't move. You can't do anything. All you can do is think WTF and feel your heart drop down your stomach, into your legs and sit on top of your toes.

You will be in your thirties before you ask another girl out again.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Unless a Nate Hackett situation starts cropping up in Las Vegas I won't complain about McDaniels this season. It's a matter of expectations and the realistic expectation is to keep installing the system and filling the locker room with more talent and depth. And to stop signing fossils who can no longer compete to perform key roles. Wins and losses be damned this year.
My reasons for optimism... NE seemed to start slow for many of their years. Both games were extremely close (at least at the end). This team is use to, survived and thrived going through much more drama than an 0-2 start. Some players are playing above expectations like Hobbs, Ya-Sin, Abram.

My reasons for pessimism... The oline indeed looks as bad as we hoped it would not be. They don't seem to have a plan like we hoped they did. If Jones is done like it has looked over the last two games.... we have one player that OC's can scheme against to limit the pressure we can put on a QB. If Cle, Koonce or Bowser can't step up.... we are in a very bad spot. A 31st Oline and neutered pass rush is going to drop games.
 

Chaka

Footballguy
Unless a Nate Hackett situation starts cropping up in Las Vegas I won't complain about McDaniels this season. It's a matter of expectations and the realistic expectation is to keep installing the system and filling the locker room with more talent and depth. And to stop signing fossils who can no longer compete to perform key roles. Wins and losses be damned this year.
My reasons for optimism... NE seemed to start slow for many of their years. Both games were extremely close (at least at the end). This team is use to, survived and thrived going through much more drama than an 0-2 start. Some players are playing above expectations like Hobbs, Ya-Sin, Abram.

My reasons for pessimism... The oline indeed looks as bad as we hoped it would not be. They don't seem to have a plan like we hoped they did. If Jones is done like it has looked over the last two games.... we have one player that OC's can scheme against to limit the pressure we can put on a QB. If Cle, Koonce or Bowser can't step up.... we are in a very bad spot. A 31st Oline and neutered pass rush is going to drop games.
FTR I think Cle is playing solid ball. He's never going to be a pass rusher but he is a big guy and can set an edge and hold up against the run.
 

DocHolliday

Footballguy
FTR I think Cle is playing solid ball. He's never going to be a pass rusher but he is a big guy and can set an edge and hold up against the run.
Glad he is contributing. He was never going to successful as a pass rusher in the NFL but providing push and taking up blockers can free up other players.
 

Bruno2

Footballguy
Gotta be honest, I'm still not over it. Last week was one of the most difficult losses I can remember from the last decade. I honestly can't think of a game I was more vested in watching that hurt more to lose.

I don't know that I can watch them again this season.

I'm considering becoming a Lions fan. Think about that. Choosing to root for the Lions because it hurts to much to root for the Raiders.
This^^ As die hard, and faithful as this fan base is, it is a shame to see where this franchise has driven so many of its loyal fans. I have been a fan since the early 70's, and will continue to do so as I am sure you will too Chaka, but I completely get the frustration. Honestly, for a stretch there, Fantasy Football was the only thing that kept me interested in the NFL, because the Raiders were so bad, for so long. Its sad to realize that there is an entire generation of fans who never knew this team to be any good, much less the dominant franchise they once proudly were. Hang in there, I know I will.
Agree. Here’s some perspective. My 28 year old daughter was 7 the last time the Raiders won a playoff game, or any good for that matter. Sad, that a whole generation of millennials doesn’t know the greatness that once was.
I will never stop rooting for them. But I won’t allow myself to get emotionally (or financially) invested in this organization anymore. Or at least until they show some stability from top down.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Unless a Nate Hackett situation starts cropping up in Las Vegas I won't complain about McDaniels this season. It's a matter of expectations and the realistic expectation is to keep installing the system and filling the locker room with more talent and depth. And to stop signing fossils who can no longer compete to perform key roles. Wins and losses be damned this year.
My reasons for optimism... NE seemed to start slow for many of their years. Both games were extremely close (at least at the end). This team is use to, survived and thrived going through much more drama than an 0-2 start. Some players are playing above expectations like Hobbs, Ya-Sin, Abram.

My reasons for pessimism... The oline indeed looks as bad as we hoped it would not be. They don't seem to have a plan like we hoped they did. If Jones is done like it has looked over the last two games.... we have one player that OC's can scheme against to limit the pressure we can put on a QB. If Cle, Koonce or Bowser can't step up.... we are in a very bad spot. A 31st Oline and neutered pass rush is going to drop games.
FTR I think Cle is playing solid ball. He's never going to be a pass rusher but he is a big guy and can set an edge and hold up against the run.
When he was playing a good amount of snaps, he would get consistent pressure but for whatever reason never seemed to be able to get to the QB for the sack. He is a big guy which fits what Graham wants on his Dline.

Jones is at 89% of the snaps right now with Cle 27%. Bower 5% and Koonce 1%. Based on what I am seeing, Jones needs to have his snaps cut. I really think it was a mistake to have Jones out there in the OT after the defense had so many snaps and you have a runt QB who likes to run around a lot. Maxx is Maxx and has such a high motor you don't need to give him much of a break but Jones is pushing against Father Time and may be giving ground from what I can tell. You need to keep him fresh so he can make an impact when he is in there. Cle can give quality snaps. Koonce showed some promise but at 6-2 250 listing, is on the smaller side of what Graham likes to see on the line. I am not sure what the right mix of snap percentage is but I am pretty sure 89% for Jones is too much.... or at least until we see him make an impact with the snaps he gets.
 

LawFitz

Footballguy
Jones is at 89% of the snaps right now with Cle 27%. Bower 5% and Koonce 1%

Holy crap, this needs to change NOW. Jones should be at 50% max, even if he's playing well - just to save his old man *** for the long haul. WTF is the only warranted response to this stat, especially with Chan playing with his feet up. What happened to keeping 11 DL so they could rotate and keep fresh!!

This plus the OL management and Jacobs under utilization has me really questioning whether or not this coaching staff knows what it's doing. There better be some Jedi master plan behind this **** that we are unable to see b/c otherwise McD is operating only a step or two ahead of Paul Can't Hackett!
 

LawFitz

Footballguy
And no ****ing way am I going to stop being a Raider fan now. I'm a hardened mutherphucker after witnessing the last 30 years of ineptitude. Cle over Devin White and prime Khalil Mack is just the most recent obvious blunder. Remember Girllery over Larry Fitz? How about Jamucous over Megatron and AP? How about letting CWood go in his HOF prime? How about Buffalo Bill Callahan driving our All-Pro Center (and entire team) into a death spiral by flipping the winning game plan upside down the night before the Superbowl? How about the endless stream of game-changing Zebras that this team encounters year after year after year? Add last weekend to the steamy pile.

Still not giving up on this season or this team. I'm a battered and beaten wife who still loves her POS husband. And other than the Chan signing looking pretty suspect, I'm good with the rest of their moves this offseason, especially the signings of the core talent w/o breaking the bank or locking in long-term to any of them other than walking HOFers Mad Maxx and Davante. Between the cap management and the new stadium, this team is in by far the healthiest place I've seen it since the late 90s. I'm going to be patient with some of the growing pains. New England teams historically have needed the first 3-6 weeks of each season to work out kinks and gel/grow - I'm giving McD at least that before casting judgment for this season.
 

ICON211

Footballguy
Cle over Devin White and prime Khalil Mack is just the most recent obvious blunder. Remember Girllery over Larry Fitz? How about Jamucous over Megatron and AP?
Don't forget Napoleon Harris one pick ahead of Ed Reed or Fabian Washington one pick ahead of Aaron Rodgers.
 

LawFitz

Footballguy
Napoleon Harris one pick ahead of Ed Reed or Fabian Washington one pick ahead of Aaron Rodgers

I memory holed Rodgers b/c I wasn't particularly high on him coming out, so I didn't freak when they passed on him - I do recall thinking they were gonna take him when they traded up during his free fall.

Ed Reed OTOH was indeed another of my many many draft day freak outs that later went onto HOF careers for other teams. Derwin James is another recent example. Miller was a fine pick at a much more premium position. But save for bad luck with injuries, James has been uber elite from day one til now.

Oh well, moving on... I am pretty happy so far with this year's first and second round picks!
 

DA RAIDERS

willy t flyers
Raiders signed Javelin Guidry to the practice squad, cut Jordan Meredith from practice squad
this is moronic. meredith crushed the preseason and he's an offensive lineman. which correct me if I'm wrong, is a position of need. jesus christ
 
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ICON211

Footballguy
First quarter observations:

Raider D is still bad.
Seems like 80% of the time Carr says "we're good we're good" it turns out to be a bad play.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
First quarter observations:

Raider D is still bad.
Seems like 80% of the time Carr says "we're good we're good" it turns out to be a bad play.
I am taking a wild guess here and thinking that "we're good, we're good" means that is no audible..... so, that means McDaniels is calling a not so great play. Which is frustrating as hell as he pretty consistently was a good play caller in NE.
 

Wingnut

** Inactive **

REPORT: Raiders Owner Mark Davis had “Lengthy Closed Door Meeting” With Josh McDaniels After Loss To Titans​


 

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