The Las Vegas Raiders’ offense is a work in progress after a 0-2 start. So, there are some interesting nuggets that continue to develop.
Let’s look at some key offensive snap counts for the Raiders in their shocking 29-23 overtime home loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday:
Dylan Parham/Lester Cotton:
Josh McDaniels’ offensive-line rotation settled down some because of injury. So, rookie Dylan Parham played every snap at center in place of the injured Andre James and Lester Cotton played every snap after they rotated in Week 1. When James returns, perhaps this will change. It’s something to keep an eye on.
The Raiders’ starting tailback was on the field for 76 percent of the snaps in Week 2, up 16 percent from Week 1 against the Chargers. He had 19 carries against the Cardinals after having 10 carries in Week 1. The Raiders are throwing the ball much more than running it (76 passes compared to 34 runs in two games), but Jacobs’ increased playing time may be an encouraging sign.
Renfrow down (sort of):
Slot wide receiver Hunter Renfrow played 69 percent of the snaps compared to 83 percent the first week. However, his role in the offense increased. Against the Chargers, Renfrow had three catches on six targets. Against the Cardinals, Renfrow had seven catches on 10 targets. Renfrow, whose status for Sunday’s game at Tennessee is currently unclear because he suffered a concussion on his game-ending fumble, will be part of this offense. The biggest question is the types of plays. Thus far, he is averaging 8.0 yards a catch. Last year was his lowest season yardage average at 10.1 and his career per catch average is 10.9 yards/ So, his role in McDaniels’ offense is very much a work in progress.
Moreau over Waller:
This really stuck out. Backup tight end Foster Moreau was on the field for 41 of 67 plays and star Darren Waller was on the field for 37 plays. Last week, Waller was on the field for 84 percent of the plays and Moreau was on the field for 18 of 58 plays. But like Renfrow, Waller’s production increased with less snaps. He had six catches on eight targets against the Cardinals after having four grabs on six targets against the Chargers. Moreau had three catches on four targets in Week 2 after not being targeted in Week 1. Until Moreau consistently plays more than Waller, this is not officially a thing. It’s probably just a matter of game plan against the Cardinals. As long as Waller’s targets are reasonably high, there’s no reason to have a big issue with this.
Like Jacobs, backup Ameer Abdullah and fullback Jakob Johnson’s snaps were up in Week 2. Abdullah went up to 21 percent from 12 percent and Johnson’s snaps went up from 14 percent to 25 percent. Abdullah’s rise was predictable with Brandon Bolden out with an injury. Johnson’s snap increase was probably like Moreau’s and based on particular game planning. So, expect the running back snap distribution to be fluid each week.