An 0-2 start never is treated well in the NFL power rankings put out by media outlets across the internet. Considering where the team had already started out in these power rankings, it’s no surprise then that the Raiders continue to be ranked low as the season reaches Week 3.
The Raiders did almost everything right in Denver for four quarters -- except win the game. They fell apart. Gruden’s grinders were up 19-17 late in the fourth quarter against an offense that was parked in neutral all day. The defense had tired out, clearly. However, Oakland owned a perfect opportunity to run out the clock after Marshawn Lynch bull-rushed his way to a violent yard (and a first down) at the Raiders’ 46. Then he issued his patented Beast Mode jump cut, gaining another 6 quality yards and forcing the Broncos to start burning timeouts. Facing a second-and-4, the Raiders could have run two more times to get another all-important first down, but Jared Cookwasn’t set for Derek Carr’s quick count (Bruce Arians said Cook “was lazy getting [set]” on the CBS broadcast), leading to a false-start penalty on Cook. A massive gaffe, given the circumstances, as second-and-9 is a whole different world for an offense trying to play clock ball. Three plays later, Oakland punted and Denver embarked on its game-winning drive. Ugh.
Last Week: 27
The Raiders might have lost again Sunday, but Derek Carr was 29-of-32 (90.6 percent) and did not have a single off-target pass (overthrown or underthrown). That was the fourth-highest completion percentage in NFL history (minimum of 20 attempts) and the highest ever in a loss. -- Koontz
Last Week: 27
They’re averaging just one sack per game sans Khalil Mack. But, hey, they’re only allowing one sack per game, too, so glass half full.
Last Week: 29th
The Oakland Raiders had it.
The Raiders were up 19-7 on the Broncos in Denver. A defense that had been shredded by the Los Angeles Rams had held the Broncos in check. Quarterback Derek Carr had been brutally efficient in a game where he missed on just three of 32 passes—a completion percentage over 90 percent.
But the defense faltered late, allowing 13 unanswered points to close the game. The offense wasn’t able to answer those scores, either, failing to hit the 20-point plateau for a second straight week. And with a last-second field goal, the Broncos sent Oakland to its second defeat in as many games.
The Raiders are already a team on the brink—two games back of Kansas City and Denver and all alone in the AFC West cellar.
That’s not really what most fans had in mind when Jon Gruden signed a $100 million deal to coach the Raiders.
Last Week: 29
Derek Carr completed 29-of-32 passes, and not all of it came on dump-off passes. Carr wasn’t great last season and didn’t look good in the opener, but I still believe he can be at least a serviceable quarterback. He’s not the Raiders’ biggest problem.
Last Week: 27
Last Week: 29
Last Week: 23
In Jon Gruden’s first season, the Raiders appear to be one of the league’s worst teams. A loss at Denver will leave them 0-2.
Last Week: 26th
Sure, the money is great for Jon Gruden in his return to coaching, and he’s back doing what he loves. But life must have been so much easier in the broadcast booth, with no one-point losses and no constant second-guessing of a trade that seems so misguided.
Last Week: 28th
Jon Gruden motivated Derek Carr and Amari Cooper to play better, and the defense is grinding as well as it can without Mack. But it’s not good enough yet.
Last Week: 30
They are 0-2 under Jon Gruden after blowing a lead at Denver. Next up is a long road trip to Miami.
Last Week: 21
Derek Carr can’t win games all by himself. It seems like he could use an excellent defensive player creating havoc, a bonafide closer off the edge. Gosh. How could the Raiders find someone like that…
Last Week: 23
Average Ranking: 28.08
Last Week: 26.75
It is just two weeks into the week so these rankings will have a lot of movement yet as the season goes on, but with an average ranking of 28.08 the Raiders are currently being considered one of the bottom 4 teams in the league. That seems a little harsh after they played well against the Rams until turnovers doomed them in the 2nd half and then dominated this game against the Broncos until they fell apart in the 4th quarter.
If the wheels keep falling off like this at the end of games though then they would end up being one of the worst teams in the league this year so maybe the ranking isn’t harsh at all. They are 0-2 and next week is a tough road game against Miami so they actually probably are ranked where they should be right now.
It will be up to them to prove they are better than they are being credited for if they want to rise in the rankings. The Raiders do have opportunities to improve the following two weeks after this Miami game though, especially if they can upset the Dolphins in the Miami heat.
They get to play against the Browns in Week 4 and then in L.A. against the Chargers in Week 5 where the outpouring of love from Raiders fans in So Cal is always extra motivation for them. However, if they don’t take advantage of that part of the schedule it could get really ugly as they fly to London in Week 6 to play against the Seattle Seahawks.