It’s only Week 6 of the NFL season, but the Raiders offense, led by head coach Josh McDaniels, appears to be at a crossroads.
The unit has failed to score more than 20 points in any of its games thus far despite the presence of wide receiver Davante Adams, considered by many to be the best wideout in the NFL. Raiders opponents have made stopping Adams a priority and consistently sent extra defenders his way.
Adams had just four catches in the Raiders’ 17-13 win against the Packers on Monday night and after the game, Adams said it shouldn’t matter if he’s facing double teams — Coach McDaniels and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo have to get Adams the ball.
“That’s what every team does,” Adams said of facing double teams to reporters following Monday Night’s game. “That doesn’t make it an excuse. Still gotta find a way to get me the ball. Like I’ve said many times, if we are going off of just getting the ball in single coverage, I would have 22 catches on the year. We gotta find a way either way.”
“That’s what every team does….still got to find a way to get me the ball.”
— Logan Reever (@loganreever) October 10, 2023
As the Raiders try to figure out how to get Adams the ball despite extra attention from the defense, one of the most celebrated defensive game planners in NFL history, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, is preparing to face Las Vegas on Sunday.
“They’re coached well. They do a good job… I haven’t really had a game against the Patriots yet where I feel like I had the game I was hoping to have,” Adams told reporters on Wednesday. “They obviously understand who’s meant to do what — who’s who in the zoo as we say around here.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to find ways to still make it happen and not use that as an excuse for not having certain guys be able to produce. You gotta get a plan together and execute it.”
McDaniels not only has to find a way to get Adams the football, he has to do so against Belichick, who will undoubtedly throw extra attention Adams’ way. And while every team has done so, Belichick has long been considered the best at taking away the opponent’s No. 1 weapon on offense.
Of course, the Raiders have to win the game, no matter how many receptions Adams has. Doing so would even their record at 3-3 and alleviate a lot of early-season stress in Las Vegas.
But looking at the season as a whole, it stands to reason that Adams must play a larger role if the Raiders offense is to make a real breakthrough, or at least average more than 20 points this season. McDaniels and Garoppolo surely know that as well, but only time will tell if they can get Adams the ball more, starting against the Patriots on Sunday.