The Raiders offense averaged 27.1 points per game in 2020. You may think the offense was firing on all cylinders and didn’t have issues scoring. Four of the Raiders eight losses came when the offense scored 25 points or more. Those stats can be a little misleading. Three of those four games could have easily had a different outcome with a better offensive performance.
The Raiders lost to the Colts 27-44. Their final touchdown came in the final two minutes when the score was 20-44. Las Vegas lost to Miami 25-26 after a defensive blunder. The offense struggled to get into the end zone and settled for four field goals in the red zone.
Las Vegas also lost 27-30 to the Chargers in overtime. QB Marcus Mariota had an interception at the 2:05 mark of the fourth quarter at the Chargers 21 yard-line. They were in position to win as the game was tied 24-24. They also failed to get a touchdown in overtime when they had the ball at the Chargers 5 yard-line.
Perhaps the only understandable loss when they scored more than 25 points was the Chiefs game. A late defensive mistake by the secondary left TE Travis Kelce open for the go-ahead touchdown.
The Raiders offense ranked 23rd in the league when it came to getting a touchdown on their red zone trips. The Raiders had 18 field goals that were inside of 29 yards in 2020. They often stalled inside the opponents red zone. That is an area that they have to greatly improve.
The Raiders averaged over 8 points per quarter in the 2nd and 4th quarters. They averaged under 5 points per quarter in the 1st and 3rd quarters. They have to start each half more aggressively and pull away from bad teams in the third quarter.
When they let teams hang around by not scoring touchdowns, it opens the door for heartbreaking losses. This is on the quarterback and the head coach. Derek Carr has a record of 14-45 against teams that finish the season with a winning record. That can improve if he can consistently get his offense into the end zone. Over the last three seasons, he’s only led his offense to over 20 PPG once.
Gruden also has to be more aggressive with his play calling in 2021. The offense has to go from efficient to dangerous if this team wants to make the playoffs. The have a variety of weapons on offense that have the ability to score. The coach and the quarterback have to get the ball into their playmakers’ hands.
As Gruden and Carr enter their fourth year together, they have an opportunity to show they are capable of winning. Carr has a losing record for his career and Gruden is just barely over .500. Until they show they can win, they’ll feel the pressure from a fanbase that hasn’t seen winning football since 1983.
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