When it rains, it pours. In the Raiders’ case those drops are not rain, they’re footballs. Yeah, this season the Raiders have had a case of the butterfingers.
With three games remaining, the Raiders lead the league with 35 drops, according to Pro Football Focus; tied with the 49ers and Giants. If they were to keep their average of 2.7 drops per game, they’d have 43 by season’s end. For context, the Jets led the NFL last year with 44 drops.
The Raiders drops haven’t been little insignificant ones either. They also lead the league by far with 380 air yards left on the field. That’s nearly 11 yards per drop or the equivalent of 35 first down throws. Oh, what this team could have done with another 35 first downs. Currently their 22nd in the NFL, averaging 18.5 first downs per game. Add 35 first downs and they’d be tied for 6th in the league with 21.2 first downs per game.
The worst culprit is Amari Cooper who had 7 drops in the first four games and 10 drops by midseason, which still leads the league. Since then he’s seen just 17 passes with 8 catches and no drops, and may not see another pass this season due to his ankle injury.
Certainly though, with 35 drops on the team, there’s a lot more to go around. Here’s how they break down:
Amari Cooper 10
Michael Crabtree 6
Jared Cook 5
Johnny Holton 4
Seth Roberts 3
DeAndre Washington 3
Marshawn Lynch 2
Cordarrelle Patterson 1
Jalen Richard 1
And these don’t even include all the fumbled catches by the likes of Holton (2), Roberts (2), Cooper (1), Cook (1), and Patterson (1). Or Richard’s 6 muffed/fumbled punts.
You combine that with their inability to intercept the ball — they have just two this season — and it’s clear that holding onto the ball has been a real problem. Along with a whole lotta other problems this season.