Buy or Sell is a weekly series that will examine statements about the Oakland Raiders and provide a “buy” or “sell” response. This is the Week 6 edition.
After a gut-punching loss to Kansas City Chiefs, the Oakland Raiders were given a harsh reality check. No longer was the offense able to bail out the league’s worst defense, and the Raiders were simply outplayed in all three phases of the game.
With both wins and losses, the fanbase tends to have overreactions, but that is especially true in defeat.
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Let’s examine some of the thoughts and opinions that have been discussed by Raider Nation in the days following the ugly loss.
A statement will be given, and the answer will be given in a Buy/Sell format.
Nov 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. encourages the defense before the start of the game against the New York Jets at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
It’s time to fire Ken Norton Jr.
It’s time. The Oakland Raiders should part ways with second-year defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.
The Raiders have a historically bad defense through six weeks, allowing 444.8 total yards per game. That is the worst mark in the NFL by about 25 yards per game.
312.7 of those yards per game are surrendered through the air, which is also worst in the league. The run defense hasn’t been much better — 130.2 yards allowed per game, ranked 30th.
Oakland has allowed an average of 27.2 points per game, ranked 24th and they are ranked 28th in sacks, with 8. The Raiders have yielded the third most 1st down conversions, with 137 on the season.
They’ve been strong in the turnover department, tied for 10th in interceptions and tied for 1st in forced fumbles, but the defense is near the bottom of any possible defensive category that exists.
And even outside of the numbers, there is plenty of reason to let Norton Jr. go. The biggest being his unwillingness/inability to make adjustments.
Quarter after quarter, game after game, Norton is simply not interested in making adjustments. And that is a major sign of an inept coach.
October 16, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) passes the football against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Carr’s interception cost the team the game.
This is a popular notion that was thrown around following the loss. That the early interception thrown by Derek Carr killed the momentum of not only the drive (obviously) but of the entire game.
That Carr’s interception was demotivating, and from that point, the energy of the team was flat, and that the overall awful performance could be attributed to this one play.
There are countless amount of tweets out there that are similar to this one.
Yes, it was a bad decision and a worse throw, or maybe vice versa. No doubt about it. It cost the Raiders at least 3 points, and maybe 7. But that’s it.
Oakland looked sharp for roughly three minutes on Sunday, and were terrible for the remaining 57.
The Carr interception was just one play, and there were 52 others in the game.
The Carr interception killed one drive, but the Raiders failed to score on seven of the remaining eight, with a Sebastian Janikowski field goal being their final points of the game.
Here is what cost the Raiders the game:
Allowing 40 carries for 183 yards and a 3 TDs, and 406 yards of total offense. Sure, the offense didn’t help, but the defense yet again proved why they have been the worst in the league through the first six weeks of the season.
September 1, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Jihad Ward (95) during the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Jihad Ward needs to be benched.
Not to pin the poor performance of the defense on any one player, because the entire group is ultimately accountable for that, but Ward has been a major disappointment so far.
Jihad has 13 total tackles in six games, with only 5 of them being solo. He has no sacks, no tackles for a loss, no pass deflections, no QB hits.
PFF has 117 players graded at the position, and Ward is #116.
Outside of the box score, Ward consistently loses at the point of attack, he gets pushed off of his spots, he doesn’t maintain his gap assignments — he’s been a complete non-factor.
So why point out that Ward has to be benched, when there are several players who have been quite bad?
The answer is because there are more viable options who could take Ward’s snaps. Take Reggie Nelson for example, who has also been bad. Bench him for who? Keith McGill or Nate Allen?
While players like Denico Autry, Stacy McGee or Darius Latham be used in some of the same spots that Ward is used.