Oakland Raiders Must Show More Creativity in All Three Phases of the Game

The Oakland Raiders’ growth phase requires some reflection to make minor tweaks and adjustments—just like any other evolutionary process. 

The Raiders coaching staff should address all three phases of the game with three types of changes in mind: schematic, philosophical and personnel.

Here’s a rundown of each concept with an attachment to the corresponding unit.


Philosophical: Don’t Protect Leads, Extend Them

Oakland’s pass defense ranks 31st in the league and allows an average 310 yards per game. In translation, it’s tough to rely on the defense for a stop unless safety Charles Woodson pounces on an interception near the far sideline.

The odds aren’t in favor of Oakland when the opposing team has possession on the final drive as witnessed in Week 4 against the Chicago Bears.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave should adopt an aggressive style of play-calling to put more points on the scoreboard. Some teams prefer kicking field goals and allowing the defense to seal the deal.

It’s important to jump-start the rushing attack to keep the defense honest, but critical situations in the fourth quarter should include at least one pass play when attempting to take over or extend a lead.

The inclusion of a pass play gives the Raiders’ solid 11th-ranked pass attack a chance to drain more time off the clock instead of three predictable run plays, similar to the decision Musgrave made against the Bears in Week 4.

Quarterback Derek Carr and the wide receivers have earned some trust in the last three weeks. Carr’s touchdown pass, shown above, courtesy the NFL, propelled the Raiders to victory against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2.

The second-year quarterback posts a 62.6 pass-completion percentage. He also threw for 300-plus yards in ...

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