Derek Carr is a solid starter who has shown that he can be relied on to carry an NFL team. He handles pressure well and throws the deep ball, but will need to work on limiting his turnovers, especially his fumbles.
Josh Jacobs is quality running back who excelled at breaking tackles and gaining yards after initial contact. Plus, according to pro football focus, 41% of Jacobs' carries last season went for 1st downs or a touchdown. He also has reliable hands in the screen passing game, but he will need to work on improving his blocking ability.
Protection & Blocking
The Raiders offensive line is an interesting unit. Last season, the OL was pretty abysmal when it came to protecting Derek Carr and was average at best when it came to run blocking. Most of the issues along the line were the result of left tackle, Kolton Miller, who gave up 16 sacks last season. Aside from Miller, the rest of the OL should be able to protect Carr in the passing game. However, none of their linemen have ever been known for being great run blockers.
The Raiders have one of the best, if not the best, WR in the NFL with Antonio Brown. Aside from Brown though, Tyrell Williams will look to assert himself as a reliable target in his first season in Oakland, especially deep down the field. Plus, Oakland has a good rookie slot WR in Hunter Renfrow. However, they lack a reliable receiving tight end.
Skills Analysis Notes
All of the Raiders players have average speed relative to their positions, but they should be able to improve their production from last year. With Antonio Brown, Tyrell Willians and Josh Jacobs, this offense will have some firepower and create some big plays, but with Derek Carr as the quarterback, this offense could have difficulty staying consistent throughout the season.
Last season, the Oakland Raiders were the absolute worst when it came to rushing the passer. They were only able to accumulate 13 sacks last season, which was less than half as many as the second and third-fewest teams, the New England Patriots and New York Giants with 30 sacks each. Clelin Ferrell will help the Raiders get after the QB and stop the run more, but it won't be enough to drastically improve the DL.
The Raiders linebackers are all past their primes and are coming off some of the worst years of their careers.
Raiders safeties, Karl Joseph and Lamarcus Joyner, are great at coverage and stopping the run. Their rookie first-round pick, safety Johnathan Abram, also excelled in college in terms of coverage run defense. However, their cornerback Gareon Conley is relatively inconsistent and needs to improve tremendously to prove he's a reliable No.1 option. Aside from Conley, the Raiders lack a corner who can help on the other side of the field.
Controlling Field Position
Skills Analysis Notes
The Raiders main defensive issues pertain to their inability stopping the run and sack the QB. If they are going to have any success next season, they are going to need to do a better job at pressuring the QB and accumulating sacks. If they can improve their run and pass rush, that will mitigate a lot of the issues in their secondary and help them control the field better. However, it looks like the Raiders will rank last in sacks again this year, and be ineffective at stopping the run. However, their safeties look to have improved, while their linebackers are still shoddy at best.
Special Teams and Coaching
Overall Unit Analysis
Daniel Carlson had a good year last year, making all of his kicks from 50+ yards out. However, he struggled to try to make kicks from 40-49 yards.
Overall Coaching / School Analysis
Jon Gruden isn't a patient head coach, and he will be looking to see his offense improve from last year, especially his QB, Derek Carr. Gruden is going to look for Carr to have a better command of the offense and be more consistent if he is going to keep his job as a starter in Oakland. However, since taking control of player personnel, Jon Gruden hasn't shown any attention to detail when it comes to the defensive side of the ball. When it came to the draft and free agency, Gruden was only able to draft one quality defensive linemen, Clelin Ferrell, and only acquired LBs who were past their primes.
Overall, the Oakland Raiders are a team that is predicated around the offensive side of the ball. During the off-season, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock made sure to acquire Trent Brown and Richie Incognito, which should help alleviate much of the pressure that Derek Carr faced last season. In addition, they traded for Antonio Brown and signed Tyrell Williams, who are two drastic improvements from the weapons Carr had last season.
Last season, did the team
meet your expectations?
While the Raiders did do a lot to improve their offense in the off-season, their defense still has a ton of holes. For instance, all of their linebackers are past their primes and are unable to make a difference in the run game. Likewise, while they were able to draft a quality defensive linemen in Clelin Ferrell, they're DL still lacks the ability to consistently rush the passer or stop the running game. As a result, the Raiders will consistently have to come back from behind, especially in a division with Patrick Mahomes and Phillip Rivers. At best, the Raiders will go 8-8 and try to build on their offensive success while further fixing their front seven in the 2020 off-season. At worst, this is a chaotic team that will struggle to get even five wins and will look for a new signal-caller in the 2020 draft.