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Raiders Mailbag: Stating the obvious, but offense must start faster vs. Bears


Sam Stahlhut asks:

"How about they score first and not play from behind every game?"

This is the NFL; scores don't just come easy in this league.

But yes, it would be fantastic if the Raiders could start games much faster. I've already gone into great detail regarding the team's first half offensive woes in my key matchups for the week. It truly is an eyesore for the Silver and Black, and while it's great to see how resilient they have been to torch teams in the second half, the first half counts for something too. And that was proven last Monday in Los Angeles.

The Bears have a pretty good defense — borderline elite defense if you ask me. They currently lead the NFL in sacks (15) and are tied for sixth in takeaways (six). The Raiders can't afford to warm up and ease themselves into a game against a defense like that. They'll need to punch them in the mouth from the start.

Doug Kalk asks...

"Why does Derek Carr get so much blame? I love his loyalty to the Raiders."

Unless I missed something, I don't think anyone is blaming Derek Carr for what happened Monday.

When it's all said and done, the Raiders didn't play well in the first half and ran out of time while trying to rally back from behind. Carr's second half was much better than his first, throwing two touchdowns to make it a one score game. Missed tackles, blown blocking assignments and injuries are just as much the reason the Raiders lost — even though the QB shouldered the blame in his postgame press conference.

No. 4 is still currently leading the league in passing yards and should be on path to have a rebound game against the Bears, who's allowed eight passing touchdowns this season.

Jacob Blackburn asks...

"When are we going to pick up some free agents for our O-line?"

The Raiders' offensive line is young, shaky and makes some mistakes time to time.

They've also helped protect Carr enough for him to lead the league in passing yards and win three straight games to start the season. The offensive line isn't broken and doesn't need immediate change. They're more like a really tight pair of brand new shoes that you have to break in to make more comfortable with time. And that's what they're in the process of doing right now, breaking in and settling down.

Injuries to the offensive line aren't brand new in Las Vegas. The team had to deal with it the majority of last season. All they can do is adjust and roll with the punches. They recently signed Jackson Barton off the New York Giants practice squad and still have 2021 seventh-round pick Jimmy Morrissey on the practice squad, but Head Coach Jon Gruden expressed Tuesday that he's still pleased with his offensive line for the better or worse they've played this season.

"We're considering all options, but we like our linemen. We really do," said Gruden. "We did have some pretty good outings. We are not going to hit the panic button. We got to keep coaching. We got to keep developing these guys and sometimes the medicine is what we all need. We all need a taste of that medicine even though we don't like the taste. You got to get back to work, you got to get back on the horse. That horse will throw you off once in awhile. ... Some of these guys in this league, they are pretty good at throwing you off your horse. So, you got to be mentally tough and keep fighting."

So my advice to you, Jacob, is hold off on free agent talk for now. Let's just get back on the horse against Chicago.

The Raiders return to Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center as they prepare for their Week 5 matchup against the Chicago Bears.

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