For weeks Raider Nation poignantly noted the Area of Concern shouldn’t be relegated to one particular aspect of the Las Vegas Raiders or their upcoming opponent. And for weeks I resisted this. After a taxing Thursday, however, I must relent.
The Raiders area of concern in Week 10 against the incoming Indianapolis Colts is: Everything. This is a byproduct of the Silver & Black placing tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow on injured reserve, along with the sudden retirement of linebacker Blake Martinez.
The first of that trio of dominoes to fall was Waller. It wasn’t unexpected after he continuously missed games with a bothersome hamstring injury. Then came Renfrow landing on IR. That was a bit of a surprise as he went on the injured list with an oblique ailment. But the third, Martinez, was shocking. Coming off a season high snaps and tackles, the inside linebacker appeared to be settling in. Instead, he hangs up the cleats.
Which brings us to Sunday’s matchup.
The Colts started the week off with a spotlight on disarray as the team dismissed Frank Reich as head coach and installed former player and consultant Jeff Saturday as boss man. Then it proceeded to name Parks Frazier the offensive coordinator and play caller. Like Saturday, it’s quite the promotion for Frazier as he doesn’t have experience calling plays at the NFL level.
Then, Las Vegas matched Indianapolis’ changes which makes for a peculiar affair this Sunday inside Allegiant Stadium. On to more pointed concerns for the Silver & Black:
From head coach Josh McDaniels to offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi and wide receiver Davante Adams, the common theme is execution. Each have pointed out how the inability to execute the plays properly continue to scuttle the Raiders boat.
A concerted effort is a must for Las Vegas offense. That starts with a consistent all-11 outing -- something that is too often routinely absent -- from an offense that ranked in the top five in scoring and is now in the teens in terms of firepower.
The offensive line must be in sync and communicating along with holding up in both pass protection and run blocking -- especially agaikst a group of Colts pass rushers that can get after quarterbacks from the interior and edge.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr must be poised and a quick decision-maker and his receiving options running crisp routes and catching the rock.
A return of Las Vegas downhill domineering run game led by Josh Jacobs would cersinly help, too. But getting a solid outing from the ground game relies heavily on the offensive line.
Denzel Perryman practiced in limited fashion on Thursday and his presen e will sorely be needed especially after the Martinez's retirement. Divine Deablo is already in IR leaving the Raiders Perryman and undrafted free agents: Luke Masterson, Darian Butler and Curtis Bolton.
The Raiders signed thumping linebacker Reggie Ragland to the practice squad to round out the group.
Unlike Martinez, the undrafted trio on the active roster don't have the NFL track record. But the only way to improve is to play, watch the tape, and learn and grow from the teachable moments
Just For Kicks
Las Vegas kicker Daniel Carlson has the leagues third longest streak at 41 consecutive field goals. He's just three shy of tying the all-time mark of 44 set by Adam Vinatieri.
Expect Carlson to get the opportunity to clothes the distance if the Raiders offense gets him within range.
Normally that wouldn't be a tall ask but the shutout loss to the New Orleans Saints and getting blanked in the second half by the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Sunday has zapped the Raiders ability to put points on the scoreboard.