Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr Needs 3rd Option in Critical Situations

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s pick-six thrown to Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris stands out, but there’s a bigger issue going unnoticed.

No, this isn’t a reference to the Blue Angels theory reported by Bleacher Report’s Kyle Newport. According to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, head coach Jack Del Rio actually assigned fault to both the quarterback and wide receiver involved in the play:

Let’s backtrack a bit.

The Raiders averaged 24 points per game heading into Week 5 and struggled to score 10 points on Sunday.

The Broncos have the fifth-ranked pass defense in the league, allowing 192.8 yards per contest, but Carr surpassed that threshold with 249 passing yards.

He moved the ball steadily. Five passing plays extended for 20 yards or more down the field. The offense entered Broncos territory five times and came away with only one touchdown:


Raiders Lack Red-Zone Threat

The Raiders don’t have a finisher or, in NFL terms, a viable red-zone threat to score in critical moments. In cramped situations closer to the goal line, teams often use a tight end or a dominant wide receiver capable of executing on fade routes to cap off an offensive drive.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper shows impressive quickness and awareness. However, he hasn't developed a go-to route that defenses find difficult to defend in the clutch. The same goes for wideout Michael Crabtree.

The Raiders have two tight ends capable of posting up defenders as large targets in traffic, but they’re seldom used in or near the red zone.

In the last two weeks, tight end production shows an inadequacy in getting the ball to Mychal Rivera and Clive Walford.

A large target serves as the best option for a quarterback throwing in traffic. Thus far, o...

About the Author