Programming note: Tony Sparano is scheduled to address the media starting at 2 p.m. this afternoon. Watch the live stream right here.
OAKLAND – James Jones’ first catch against the Denver Broncos went for 10 yards. The next seven went for 10 yards. Not each. Combined.
Jones had 20 yards on eight receptions in the Raiders’ 41-17 loss, which exemplified the Raiders offense. Lots of effort. Not much production.
The Raiders couldn’t move much at all, with just 125 yards outside of a last minute 97-yard touchdown drive, when the Broncos had checked out.
They went three and out nine times. They turned the ball over twice on four drives beyond that threshold.
Before the final drive, the Raiders had six first downs. None came on the ground.
The Raiders averaged 2.0 yards per carry. They also struggled to move through the air in their worst offensive showing of the season.
“You’ve got to hand it to them,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “They rushed really well, they defended the run really well, they covered really well. We knew going into it that they’re a talented team. We got outplayed today.”
The Raiders offense has been outplayed most of the season. The Raiders are dead last in rushing offense, headed for the lowest output since 1946. The Raiders are averaging 5.7 yards per pass attempt, which, per the Associated Press, would be a franchise low.
They’ve struggled with turnovers lately, with nine in the last three games.
Scoring is difficult. Reaching the red zone is a challenge. They’re going 3-and-out a third of the time.
These are characteristics, not aberrations. An inability to sustain drives hurts a defense playing far too long, which could make life harder as the season rolls on.
Carr didn’t fare well against the Broncos, but this isn’t all his fault. This is a unit-wide issue.
Carr will certainly take some flak for recent performance, but it shouldn’t impact overall opinions of this young, promising talent. Can’t see it negatively impacting his long-term progress. He’s too committed to get discouraged and digress.
“Derek Carr is a great quarterback,” veteran left tackle Donald Penn said. “I wouldn’t say he’s doing too much, I would call it trying to make plays to help our team out and that’s what quarterbacks do. He’s learning, but the bad thing is he’s got to learn the hard way.
“He’s a great guy and a great quarterback. He’s getting better and better every week, but everyone around here has to help him.”
The running game is doing the opposite. They’ve been ineffective, causing the Raiders to abandon ship early and rely on Carr to move the football. That heaps pressure on a young quarterback with enough on his plate already.
The running game will work to improve future results, but an about face seems highly unlikely.
The Raiders must do better offensively to end a winless streak that’s hit nine games this year and 15 over two seasons.
Offensive resolve is being tested, and the Raiders remain committed to progress.
“Good things come to those who wait, and I’m waiting patiently,” Carr said. “It hurts really bad when this happens. We all spend so much time away from our families. Getting up at 4:30 in the morning is not something humans like to do. You do it because you want to be successful. Starting early and staying late are things we continue to do as a group. It’s really hard to work hard preparing for a game that doesn’t work out. I know that good times are coming.”