Here at Silver & Black Pride, obviously we’re well versed in the difficulties the Raiders have had this season. You might even say each of their problems get held under a microscope, because, I mean, over here it’s all Raiders, all the time.
Some weeks during the season, we reach out to get the perspective of those who put the microscope on the Raiders’ next opponent. And when you get a closer look at the Giants from the perspective of Big Blue View, it gets pretty ugly. If you like, it could just make you feel a bit better about what the Raiders have been going through.
First, let’s take a look at the injury bug. That’s often a major point of discussion when a team disappoints. You wonder what might have been had certain players been healthy.
The Raiders have said this season they relied on their top two draft picks a bit more than they should have. Having ignored the defense in free agency and going almost entirely defense in the draft, being without their top pick Gareon Conley basically the entire season and second round pick Obi Melifonwu just returning a few weeks ago hurts. Especially with the Raiders’ secondary playing as poorly as they have this season.
The Giants just lost their top cornerback Janoris Jenkins to injured reserve and he’s only the latest in a somewhat hard to fathom string of injuries for the Giants. Edward Valentine of Big Blue View has more.
Odell Beckham is, of course, the biggest one. But, Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris are also out for the year and Sterling Shepard has missed significant time. The Giants rely a lot on rookie Te Evan Engram, but there's no way to overcome that. Six (yes, 6) linebackers have been placed on IR. Can't overcome that. Two starting offensive linemen off a line that was questionable depth to start with.
The only two wins of the Giants entire SEASON came against the Chiefs and Broncos. How did they do it? Help us out, Ed.
Well, about the only good things I can say is that the running game has improved and the defense has played more like it was expected to in recent weeks. Oh, that and the Broncos and Chiefs are really terrible -- not nearly as good as their records indicate.
After a spectacular season in which Derek Carr led the Raiders to a 12-3 record with 7 4th quarter comebacks and 5 game-winning touchdown passes to punch their ticket to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years, the Raiders are 5-6 this season with Carr only displaying those heroics once.
The dip in production has often been attributed to the changing of offensive coordinator from Bill Musgrave to Todd Downing. That move, along with the retention of Ken Norton Jr this season, leading to his subsequent firing two weeks ago, has drummed up some rumblings and grumblings in Oakland about the job Jack Del Rio is doing the head coach. Replete with Del Rio saying that no one should feel comfortable.
The Giants were 11-5 last season, going 9-2 down the stretch. They flipped that to a 2-9 record thus far and just benched 2-time Super Bowl winning QB Eli Manning. It would appear to be a scapegoat move at best by a head coach who is seriously under fire. But I’ll let Mr Valentine tell it.
It was a terrible, vindictive, non-sensical move a coach who doesn't appreciate Manning is probably about to be fired was allowed to make. It's travesty, and it's pointless with Geno Smith getting the start.
That head coach Valentine speaks of is Ben McAdoo. He made the move to start Geno Smith this week over Manning. His reasoning went something like this:
“He’s a pocket passer, just like Eli is,” said McAdoo over conference call Wednesday. “He can do a little bit more with creativity. . . He knows where he wants to go with the ball. He gets football. He’s been around it a long time and has played a lot of games in this league.”
He’s more creative? Uh...Ed? What does that even mean?
Haven't got a clue. Maybe it means he runs around more. In all honesty, McAdoo might have had to look up the definition of the word creativity.
Back to the cornerback situation. In Oakland the combo of Sean Smith and David Amerson has not been what it was hoped to be when Amerson got his big extension and Smith was signed as a free agent. Rookie top pick Gareon Conley was supposed to be a safeguard for this, but a shin injury he suffered in June minicamp never went away and after two games early in the season, he never returned, leaving TJ Carrie as the only one resembling a consistent corner on the roster.
As I mentioned, the team just lost Pro Bowl cornerback Janoris Jenkins for the season. Their next best cornerback is Eli Apple, who hasn’t played in a game the past two weeks and not for injury reasons. He missed a couple practices to be with his ailing mother and was sat down last week because McAdoo said he didn’t seem ready to play. Valentine gave his take on Eli Apple.
Talented kid. Could be a really good player. But, crappy attitude. Can't handle criticism. Has given really poor effort at times this season.
It would seem it’s not a good time to be a guy named Eli in New York. Really, it’s not a good time to be anyone in that organization right now.
In Oakland there’s actually still hopes for the playoffs. That’s something.
I answered questions from Ed too. Check those out here.