After a surprising 12-win season last year, the Raiders were probably due for some regression. But a full-on collapse? Fewer saw that coming.
At least one had his suspicions. Back in August, a Mercury News reporter wrote an article entitled, “Six ways the Raiders’ season could go off the rails in 2017.” Some potential problems he noted: quarterback Derek Carr getting injured, running back Marshawn Lynch looking past his prime, and a mediocre defense failing to take a step forward.
All three have come to pass, and the result is a season that will end with six or seven victories.
Carr suffered three transverse process fractures in his back in October, but missed just one game. He hasn’t exactly been a savior, throwing for multiple touchdowns just three times since. Lynch has only rushed for 100 yards once, a mark he had eclipsed 31 other times in his career.
And the defense? Oof. There’s talent on the roster, most notably in the form of three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Khalil Mack, but the overall unit isn’t stingy enough to win any games on its own. Oakland ranks in the bottom half of the league in points allowed (343) and yards allowed (5,106), but its biggest flaw may be an inability to take the ball away. Only 7.5 percent of the their opponents’ drives this season have ended with a turnover. Only the winless Browns, at 6.3 percent, have been less disruptive.
WHO’S COACHING THE RAIDERS?
Jack Del Rio needed just two seasons to break a franchise playoff drought that lasted more than a decade. Incredibly, he might not make it to a fourth campaign.
The Raiders gave the 54-year-old a four-year extension back in February, but given how their offense has broken down, that no longer feels like an ironclad commitment. Late last week, Pro Football Talk reported that Del Rio’s job security was a “50-50 proposition” – and that was before a 19-10 road loss to the Carson Wentz-less Eagles on Monday night. Philadelphia clinched a No. 1 playoff seed,…