We're still figuring out the 2018 Oakland Raiders, and through two games, that's totally fine.
Sitting at 0-2 headed into Week 3, there are certainly areas that the team would like to improve– the pass rush and finishing games are two that come to mind – but there have been a handful of positives that have taken shape through two weeks as well.
And perhaps one of the biggest positives is one that we already knew – Derek Carr has a ton of weapons at his disposal on the offensive side of the football.
Let's go back to the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams for a second, shall we? Not a great day overall, but individually, Jared Cook was an absolute monster, hauling in nine catches for 180 yards, setting a franchise record for tight ends in the process.
Fast forward just six days, and Amari Cooper was the Raider to feast; eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the 12th time in his career, catching all 10 passes he was targeted on against a really quality Denver Broncos secondary.
"He [Cooper] had 10 official catches on 10 targets. He really was 11-for-11," explained Head Coach Jon Gruden Wednesday. "I've never had that before. He's a great receiver. I've said that from the beginning. He's strong, he's fast, he knows what he's doing. He is quiet, but we are communicating better. We're getting to know each other."
Headed into Sunday's road matchup against the Miami Dolphins, Head Coach Jon Gruden's offense already ranks No. 10 in the league with 768 total yards, and that's with limited production from one of their starting wide receivers.
Jordy Nelson has gone over 1,000 yards four times in his decade in the NFL, but through the first two weeks as a Raider, the veteran wide receiver has just five catches for 53 yards, but No. 82 isn't worried about his perceived lack of production.
"If you look, on Sunday we were extremely productive moving the ball, in the run game and pass game, we were able to get some big plays," Nelson explained. "We were able to put some points on the board, and just needed to finish up that last drive. At the end of the day, that's all that matters, getting the 'W.'"
So, is it just a matter of time until Nelson gets rolling during a game too?
"Of course," Amari Cooper said. "We have so many weapons. We can get the ball to any of our players in space, and they'll make plays."
"We're using a lot of receivers," added Coach Gruden. "We expect to see more and more from Jordy as the weeks unfold. Cooper had a big week last week. Cook had a big week in Week 1. Hopefully Jordy has one this week."
And against a Dolphins defense that ranks just No. 24 against the pass (270 YPG), Nelson and the rest of the Raiders wideouts should have their chances to make plays Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium.
"Coach does a great job of putting us in situations to, like you said, create those matchups," Nelson explained. "Sometimes you get in bunches, and stacks and motions to make the DBs talk, and communicate, and move a little bit, instead of lining up in the same formation all the time. I think it's a great asset to have, and we try to take advantage of it."