Oakland, CA – The quarterback controversy is over. But the offensive struggles still remain. Neither Matt McGloin nor Terrell Pryor have solved the ongoing issues that have stifled this offense. Week fourteen is upon us and Oakland must figure out why they can’t finish plays in the second half.
The last few games, the Raiders have started off fast, scoring quickly on offense. While the defense has forced their opponents to kick a field goal rather than allowing them into the end zone. Their last game against the Dallas Cowboys they led 21-7 to end the second quarter.
The Cowboys came back to win that game 31-24. The biggest problem for Oakland has been on third downs. Failing to convert on a single third down during the fourth quarter, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a field goal in the final minutes.
With two young quarterbacks, sometimes mistakes can be costly. McGloin threw an interception late in the fourth that was intended for Jacoby Ford, the ball was picked off because he was surrounded by players that were much taller than him. Ford was in position to complete that pass.
“That was unlike him, I felt like that was a desperation type of throw and that wasn’t a desperation moment,” said offensive coordinator Greg Olson. “That’s a mistake he’ll have to learn from moving forward.”
With a 4-8 record and in last place in the AFC West standings. Oakland heads to New York this Sunday to face the Jets. Despite the challenging season, there’s no look of disappointment in the locker room. No one’s walking with their head down or avoiding questions when asked, “what happened?”.
“Guys got some time off. They got a chance to regroup both mentally and physically. We had a good week of practice,” said Head Coach Dennis Allen. “We understand the challenge that’s set forth in front of us and that’s to win a football game.”
They’re four games left on the schedule including this Sunday’s game. The Raiders are not done playing football. The last three games are against division opponents and the qoal is to finish strong. Oakland has two healthy quarterbacks that will be utilized in a timely manner, making the offense more of a threat.
Taiwan Jones moves back to offense as a running back until Rashad Jennings is cleared to return after suffering a concussion. Darren McFadden is out again, this time with an ankle injury and no timetable on when he’ll return. The injures have taken a toll but it’s not the nail in the coffin.
“I think anytime you have injuries at this point of the year, there’s obviously that concern on when their return will be,” Allen said. “We’ll make do with who we have and go from there.”
The only task is to win the remaining games and not focus on what went wrong in the past. The Raiders won’t focus on why their offensive woes have continued through most of the season. But instead prepare each game with a positive attitude knowing things will eventually work in their favor.