The first quarter of the 2021 season is over and it feels as if the Las Vegas Raiders offense never had any production in the first quarter of each of their first four games. Slow starts have been a featured issue for the Raiders. Even though the team got off to a 3-1 record, the sluggish starts were bound to come back and bite them.
“I think we needed to start a lot faster if I’m honest,” quarterback Derek Carr said following Monday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. “I think we started the season great, but we don’t start games nearly good enough yet and that is something we need to be better at.”
The Raiders trailed at halftime 21-0 against the Chargers.
Through the first four games of the season, Las Vegas finds themselves in the bottom three of the league when it comes to scoring points in the first quarter. The likes of the Washington Football Team, Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets are all also at the bottom of the league in that category.
Most would agree the Raiders have better offenses than Washington, Indianapolis, and the New York Jets, from the quarterback position to the offensive weapons that can be used. The Raiders offense still has room to grow if they can create some sort of production in the first quarter.
Heading into Week 5, Las Vegas will host a 2-2 Chicago Bears team that has announced first-round draft choice Justin Fields the team’s official starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. The Bears are coming off of a 24-14 win over the Detroit Lions.
Chicago made a change in play-calling duties last week. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor called plays for Fields, which helped the Bears jump out to a 14-0 lead on Sunday. Chicago was able to take advantage of a young and mediocre pass defense in Detroit, where WRs Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney put together their best performances of the season thus far.
Mooney and Robinson combined for 188 yards with eight catches, and Mooney had 93 of those yards in the first quarter alone. With potential injuries to CBs Trayvon Mullen, Damon Arnette, and Nate Hobbs, depth players may have to step into important roles for the Raiders to prevent a young Justin Fields from having a major day through the air.
If the Raiders want to get back in the win column against the Bears and sustain success this season, the offense will need to start putting up points in the first quarter.
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