The 2019 Raiders’ offense was, for lack of better terms, boring, punchless, and mundane.
It wasn’t Derek Carr or Jon Gruden’s fault, as they were put behind the eight ball when Antonio Brown demanded his release and did their best to modernize the offense on the fly. The Raiders ranked 11th in the NFL in yards per game, but only 24th in scoring. They also struggled to become a third chance and in the red zone.
Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock went to work to rebuild the offense in the draft, selecting wide receivers Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, as well as Kentucky athlete Lynn Bowden. Add those three game makers to a cast that already includes tight end Darren Waller, running back Josh Jacobs, slot receiver Hunter Renfrow and Tyrell Williams and you have the capability of an offense that could be one of the most dynamic in the NFL.
Raiders legend Charles Woodson believes the unit may be “explosive” in 2020 and can’t wait to see them work.
“Offensively, they’re all different types of men, man,” Woodson said of the 2020 draft class, via Raiders.com. “They are guys you can do different things with and I was excited to add them to Josh Jacobs, [Darren] Waller and Derek Carr. I think offensively they have a chance to be explosive and defensively I think they brought [Cory] Littleton of the Rams, is going to be key. I think they will have to act as a defense and some young guys will have to step forward and make a few plays for that defense, but offensively I think they have a chance to be explosive. “
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With defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs setting the pace, the rest of the AFC spent the offseason trying to bridge the gap between them and the best team in the NFL.
The Raiders charged offensively in the draft and focused on improving their defense in free agency, adding linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski, defensive tackle Maliek Collins, defensive end Carl Nassib, safeguards Damarious Randall and Jeff Heath and the Prince Amukamara cornerback.
That infusion of talent should help a defense that ranked 30th in the DVOA last year go from the bottom of the NFL to somewhere in the middle of the group.[[[[RELATED: Edwards’ ability to play the role of Deebo should excite the Raiders]
But all eyes will be on the offensive in 2020. With a weapons-loaded arsenal, one of the best offensive lines in football, and a hardened mindset, all signs point to Carr having a career year in the inaugural season. of the Raiders in Las Vegas. Carr presented solid statistics in 2019, but was unable to deliver victories in the final stretch, as Silver and Black finished 1-5 to fall from the playoff dispute.
Carr is responsible for the Raiders’ struggles at the end of the season, but he wasn’t playing with a full deck. Williams suffered from plantar fasciitis from week 2 onward and Jacobs missed three of the last four games with a fractured shoulder. That allowed defenses to enter Waller and Renfrow and slowed Gruden’s offense.
With game makers across the board in 2020, that shouldn’t be a problem if the Raiders stay healthy. Ruggs’ game-changing speed means the defense will have to account for him on every play. If Edwards can play even a moderate role like a big slot machine and a chain engine, that will give Carr four receivers that are capable of making people lose and converting short, sure throws into longer wins.
Woodson hopes to see a new Raiders offense in 2020. One that, if all goes as planned, will help them make the playoffs.