While the Las Vegas Raiders are technically still in the playoff race, their hopes are quickly dwindling. The team has dropped five of their last six games and has fallen to 6-7. The Raiders are likely to be making a coaching change this offseason as interim head coach Rich Bisaccia clearly isn’t the right guy. Beyond that, the team will soon have a decision to make at quarterback.
Derek Carr is going to enter a contract year and it’s no guarantee that he’ll be getting an extension anytime soon. The losing hasn’t been all his fault but owner Mark Davis could decide to have a fresh start. If that’s the case, the Raiders will likely trade him. He’ll be a hot commodity for quarterback-needy teams. However, if he gets hurt during these last four games, he’s going to lose a lot of trade value. With the season lost, Las Vegas could shut him down while they decide to figure out the next steps.
According to CBS Sports Radio, the Raiders are considering benching Carr and giving Marcus Mariota more playing time, via Steve Tannen.
Now, the report is a bit unclear as Tannen didn’t say directly who it came from. Unless it comes from somebody in the Raiders organization or one of the big-name NFL reporters, take this rumor with a grain of salt. Bisaccia recently suggested that they don’t use Mariota packages very much because they don’t like taking Carr out of the game. It would be a quick turnaround if the team all of the sudden benched him. That would likely be a direct order from Davis himself as Bisaccia doesn’t have much to gain by playing Mariota these last few weeks.
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Raiders Game With Browns on Saturday Still Planned
The Raiders are desperate for a win against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday if they hope to stay in the playoff race at all. The opponent has given Las Vegas a gift as they are set to possibly be missing multiple key members of the team due to COVID-19 protocols, including starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and head coach Kevin Stefanski.
Despite the fact that Cleveland could be missing as many as 11 starters, the NFL has no plans to postpone the game. The league made it clear before the season that they wouldn’t be as accomodating to teams with COVID-19 outbreaks this year as they were last year. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to have a discussion about moving the game to a later date.
“We feel confident with continuing changes and adaptions to our protocols we can do that,” Goodell said Wednesday, via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Raiders Have to Beat Browns
Even with the Browns being ravaged by COVID-19, Raiders fans aren’t banking on a win. The team has disappointed far too often over the years to instill any confidence in the fan base.
If the Raiders head to Cleveland and get blown out by a decimated Browns team, things could get ugly earlier than expected. Mark Davis has already had to deal with two blowout losses to the Kansas City Chiefs in a month. Can he stomach another loss to a team missing its head coach and starting quarterback? The hope is that he won’t ever have to find out. There’s never been an interim head coach that’s been fired during the season but Bisaccia is pushing his luck if he can’t beat a Browns team that the Raiders dominated last year when they were at full strength. At the very least, general manager Mike Mayock could be in serious trouble if the team losses.