If you were to look back in the 59-year history of the Raiders you may have difficulty finding a worse four-game span than the one that just played out in the second quarter of the 2018 season.
In the last four games the Raiders were outscored 129-44, that is a 32.2 points per game differential giving up versus 11 points per game scored. Two of the four loses were completely lopsided games including the 27-3 loss to the Seahawks and the 34-3 blowout at the hands of the 49ers.
Then Marshawn Lynch was placed on injured reserve, former 2015 first round pick, Amari Cooper was traded to the Cowboys, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie up and retired, and Bruce Irvin was released in his third seasons with the team.
As bad as things have been on the field, the Raiders have been getting plenty of negative publicity off the field. Leading up to the week eight came versus the Colts, there were reports of a fractured locker room, the team having lost faith in quarterback Derek Carr, and Carr possibly being on the trade block.
In addition to that, Jon Gruden continues to make strange comments through the media. Last week in an interview with Raider legend, Howie Long, Gruden said, “And to have salary-cap space and to have a chance to talk to the people that you really want to wear the silver and black, the guys you really want to wear the silver and black and represent this team, that’s exciting.”
I can’t imagine those comments went over well with his current players.
Looking at the remaining games on the schedule it is possible the Raiders do not win another game. The number one pick in the draft is looking more and more like a certainty.
Offensive and defensive ranks
After eight games the Raiders rank 21st in total offense. Derek Carr’s 258.8 yards passing a game ranks 15th, and the run game is averaging 95 yards a game. (24th)
Points have not been easy to come by in the second quarter, with the exception of the Colts game in week eight the Raiders have scored 10, 3, and 3 points. On the season the offense averages 17.6 points per game, which tops only Buffalo, Arizona, Tennessee, and Jacksonville.
That is the good news.
Defensively the Raiders rank 24th in total defense. 27th against the pass (407 yds/game), and last in the league against the run (144.5 yds/game). The defense surrenders a healthy 31.5 points a game, 31st in the league.
This is not a recipe for success. The biggest disappointment thus far has been on defense. Considering the additions of Rashaan Melvin, Daryl Worley, three promising rookie defensive lineman, and more importantly a competent defensive coordinator. Things were not suppose to be this bad.
Melvin has been benched, Worley has shown some signs of being a decent starting cornerback, and the rookies are starting to hit the rookie wall. Combine that with the leagues worst pass rush, poor linebacker play, and even worse play from the safeties and you find yourself with a 1-7 record.
Lowlights of the second quarter
The last time this article was written this section was titled “highlight of the first quarter.” But as hard as it is to believe, there hasn’t been any highlights. So let’s look back at some of the memorable or better yet forgettable plays from the second quarter of the season.
Derek Carr throws interception on the one yard line vs Chargers
Carr said he wasn’t forcing the ball to Carrier. “Ingram made a play.” Looks like a forced ball to me. Gruden should have never put him in that situation. Run the ball. pic.twitter.com/OtioLG8Cio— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 8, 2018
Doug Martin fumble in the fourth quarter vs Colts
Turning point play of the game. pic.twitter.com/jdt94bY3OX— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 29, 2018
Raheem Mostert gashes the Raiders defense for a 52-yard touchdown
Look at the effort on this play. pic.twitter.com/gEAhS88BYV— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) November 2, 2018
What to expect in the next four
If the Raiders have any chance to win another game it has to be week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals. You certainly can’t expect wins vs the Chargers, Chiefs, or the Ravens.
Even a win versus the Cardinals seems like a long shot, keep in mind they did beat the 49ers who just destroyed the Raiders.
The week 11 match up with the Cardinals will be the “Bosa Bowl II”, if the Raiders should lose this game then they may as well be “put on the clock” with the first pick in the 2019 draft.