Raiders Should Already Focus on Fixing Offense for Next Year, Not Next Week

[CSNBY] Raiders should already focus on fixing offense for next year, not next week
Scott Bair

The Raiders offense has broken down, stuck on the side of the road with steam coming from the radiator. There's no fixing it now. A rebound game against the Los Angeles Chargers won't fix damage already done.

Not with a season already in shambles, with playoffs off the table after three consecutive losses.

Upper management should already be focused on 2018, pondering how to remedy what has gone so wrong.

Part of it's execution. Part of it's coaching. All of it is a mess.

Stats aplenty will prove how bad the offense has been this season, but let's keep it simple. Scoring points is the primary objective. The Raiders haven't done that consistently enough.

The Raiders are 6-0 when they score more than 20 points. They are 0-9 scoring less than that.

By contrast, the 2016 Raiders scored 20-plus points 11 times and hit 30 or more eight times. They were 2-3 last year in games scoring less than 20, 10-1 when exceeding that mark.

"There's definitely frustration in why we can't get rolling," right tackle Marshall Newhouse said. "There was very little we couldn't do, but we couldn't finish enough. That's been the story too often this year. There's no lack of effort or passion or fire. It's an all-around thing of execution. We haven't done that well enough."

The Raiders rank among the NFL's best red-zone offenses, but rarely get there these days. Giveaways are way up.

Blame should be shared, from quarterback Derek Carr, to a drop in pass protection to receiver struggles to a slow developing run game. The passing game in particular is a mess.

The season has been especially painful because expectations for this unit were so high, and it's constantly compared to last year's efficient, productive crew. This offense carried over tons of talent and upgraded a few spots, but played far below last year's standard.

"Potential's just a vomit word because it doesn't matter if it doesn't come together," Newhouse said. "We have to be brutally honest with ourselves, and take our lumps."

Fans don't want to hear excuses. They don't want to hear how close things are. Their buzz term is accountability, an acknowledgement that what transpired is unacceptable.

Offensive coordinator Todd Downing sits on a hotplate; there's a good chance he won't be retained after just one season running the Raiders attack. Other position coaches may also be wrapping up their Raiders tenure.

Carr can't control any of that. He remains committed to personal and team-wide improvement. He has great talent and leadership skill, but has clearly fallen off track. He's adept at blocking out criticism and personal improvement, and will continue doing exactly that while trying to rebound from a lackluster year.

"When things get tough, a lot of people point fingers," Carr said. "I've tried my best every single time to stand up here and be a man and just take it. That's who I am. That's how I was raised, and I'll always be that way. When it gets hard, I fight. Nothing's going to change. Hopefully results change, but I'm going to keep fighting."

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