The Raiders offense isn’t built using a sustainable formula

Raiders (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Raiders were exposed in their 34-3 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. And at this point, it’s clear that this team’s offensive gameplan isn’t sustainable.

The Oakland Raiders were absolutely embarrassed in their 34-3 blowout loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. It’s left people searching for answers and asking what exactly went wrong.

In reality, there is no sole explanation for the game. The Jets showed up to play and the Raiders just didn’t.

Games like this happen — for better or for worse. Maybe not to the extent that we saw on Sunday, but even the best of teams get kicked in the mouth sometimes. It’s all about responding and letting the past be the past.

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But we did see a troubling trend continue to unfold on Sunday that could hold the team back going forward. It was far from the only reason for the Raiders’ loss, but it certainly didn’t help matters.

This Raiders offense simply isn’t built using a sustainable formula.

Jon Gruden has opted to employ a smashmouth, power run offense that when working, can be very effective. And we’ve seen firsthand how effective that approach could be this year.

The Raiders offense has thrived at points with Josh Jacobs leading the charge behind a powerful offensive line. It’s a throwback to the Raiders of old and a style that’s rarely seen in today’s NFL. But when it works, it works.

Unfortunately, as we saw on Sunday, that gameplan doesn’t always succeed. And that’s fine on its surface, but good teams have the ability to enact contingency plans and pivot to ‘Plan B’ when ‘Plan A’ fails.

The Raiders have shown that they simply do not have the ability to do that.

Oakland’s offense thrives when the ground game is able to set the tone early on and they are able to control the time of possession. This, in turn, allows Derek Carr to get into a rhythm and the passing game is opened up.

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But when the running game fails, so too does the rest of the offense. Jacobs was shut down by the Jets’ No. 1 ranked rush defense and the offense’s entire rhythm was thrown out of sync.

The Raiders aren’t built to come from behind by multiple scores. If they go down early or fall behind by 10 or more points in the second half, it’s very difficult for them to claw their way back. That’s doubly true when their running game is struggling.

This isn’t entirely a fault of Carr either. As we saw on Sunday, the issues in the passing game extend far behind their quarterback who’s actually having a very solid season.

Countless drops, imprecise routes, and poor timing have held back a passing game that could be quite good. And the loss of Hunter Renfrow certainly isn’t going to help matters.

Outside of Darren Waller, the Raiders simply don’t have another reliable target for Carr to turn to. And when forced to play from behind, the offense has proven that they will and do struggle.

The Raiders have an effective offensive gameplan when everything falls into place. But with a defense that’s still clearly a detriment and an offense lacking playmakers, it just isn’t a sustainable formula.

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And that’s something that’s going to continue to hold the Raiders back until they either adapt or make some roster changes in the offseason.