Oakland Raiders Must Use Bye Week to Soothe Offensive Growing Pains

The Oakland Raiders have a full week off to iron out the wrinkles on offense. The process begins with expanding the playbook near or in the red zone.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave attacks opposing defenses with a variety of creative designs for a versatile quarterback in Derek Carr who shows functional mobility.

In the first four games, Carr showed the ability to throw accurately inside and outside of the pocket. Unfortunately, Musgrave fails make use of those attributes when approaching the end zone.

On Sunday, Musgrave’s conservative approach hurt the Raiders' chances of finishing off drives and potentially stymied a comeback rally. 

Oakland controlled the football for nearly seven minutes on one particular drive in the first quarter and came away with zero points.

Musgrave isn’t accountable for Sebastian Janikowski’s failed field-goal attempt, but the offensive coordinator took his foot off the gas pedal in the red zone:

After guard Gabe Jackson’s false start, running back Latavius Murray took two carries for four yards, which set Carr up for 3rd-and-11. Denver Broncos defensive end Malik Jackson registered a sack on the following predictable pass play.

The Raiders had already ventured into field-goal range, and the offense made one throwing attempt to reach the end zone through the air.

At this point, Carr made smart decisions with the ball. He could've thrown it away or rifled an incomplete pass through the back of the end zone if faced with a threatening pass rush. Instead, Musgrave played it safe and settled for a long third-down conversion.

He made a similar mistake against the Chicago Bears in Week 4. In Week 5, Janikowski failed to convert on the consolation points.

Head coach Jack Del Rio’s decision not to comment on the four-yard pass to Marcel Reece, that ultimately sealed the Raide...

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