Oakland’s season ended in predictable disappointment as the Raiders fell at the first hurdle in the playoffs. With a third string rookie quarterback under center, few gave the silver and black much chance of upsetting Houston, and so it proved. Robert O’Reardon reports…
Exactly what we expected
It’s been a great season to be an Oakland Raider. It’s been their best season in over a decade, however in season ended in the way everyone expected it to. Since Derek Carr broke his leg there was little or no expectation the Raiders would win a play-off game.
In fact, the only way anyone thought they’d make it past the wildcard round was if Kansas lost to the Chargers on the final week of the regular season.
It was a tough full debut for Connor Cook. He threw the ball 45 times and only completed 18 passes. Jack Del Rio admitted after the game that this ‘wasn’t by design’ so it’s clear the original game plan was to run the ball more which they have had a lot of success with in the second half of the season.
Unfortunately, as all know, the quarterback is the most important position in a football team. Once Carr got injured it was always going to take a fluke for Oakland to get further. Especially against a team with the number one ranked defence.
Where to improve for next season?
Oakland’s ability to always make a mess of the draft and pre-season signings this millennium became a running joke but that has changed over the past few years. Since Reggie McKenzie took the reins as general manager in 2012, they have made all the right decisions in relation to on the field personnel.
Shrewd decisions in picking up Carr, Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack through the draft shows the days of signing Jamarcus Russell are behind them.
Despite having the 24th pick in this year’s draft, Oakland must continue their good work this year to fix the defence. The famous saying ‘defences win championships’ is not said as a joke and if they conceded less points it would turn a good team into an excellent team.
It wouldn’t be the Raiders without a saga and 2017’s instalment of the Oakland soap opera is the will they-won’t they move to Las Vegas rumour. Since owner Mark Davies failed place to relocate the franchise back to Los Angeles, there have been public attempts to find a new home for the Silver and Black.
It is anticipated that over the next few weeks Davies will apply to move his team to Las Vegas and it is sure to dominate all Raiders news until the season starts back in September.
It would be an unpopular move with their local fanbase who have opposed this move and are begging for the team to stay at the Coliseum. This appears to be an unlikely outcome from a saga that is likely to be played out in the public domain for many months.
A gameball for…
Andre Holmes – The wide receiver finished the game with 50 yards and a touchdown off his five catches meaning he was the most dangerous offensive player all evening for Oakland.