The Las Vegas Raiders offense is in a major slump right now and needs a jolt to bring it back to life. After looking like an MVP candidate just a few weeks ago, Derek Carr has been playing his worst football of the season. Benching him isn’t on the table quite yet but Marcus Mariota could provide the offensive spark the Raiders need.
There’s been a lot of talk surrounding a Mariota package this season but we’ve only seen it a handful of times. With the Raiders in free fall, there’s no reason they shouldn’t at least try getting the quarterback more snaps. Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia was asked what the pros and cons of playing Mariota would be and he had some interesting things to say.
“The pros would be doing some things our opponent hasn’t seen; getting an athlete like him in the game with his ability to throw and certainly run the football. … It’s constantly talked about as far as a curveball to some degree,” Bisaccia said Monday.
Bisaccia doesn’t really see the downside to playing Mariota.
“I don’t really know what the cons would be,” Bisaccia said. “He’s an experienced player, he’s played well when he’s had to go in for us. We like to think when he goes in, the advantage is for us regardless of the down and distance.”
The Raiders need to start trying something so expect Mariota to see the field more in the near future.
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Is More Mariota the Answer on Offense?
Fans that are over Carr will get excited about the prospect of Mariota playing more. His skill set is very different as he can run the ball. Having a quarterback who can use his legs to make plays would certainly be a change of pace for the Raiders.
It’s hard to know for sure if using Mariota more is the answer to the team’s woes, but it can’t hurt to try. He’s not a great thrower of the football but has elite speed for a quarterback. He’s a much better version of Taysom Hill if the Raiders figure out how to use him properly. He won’t completely fix the team’s offense but he could help the third down and red zone issues.
Should the Raiders Just Start Mariota at QB?
With the Raiders in a slump, it’s easy to forget how good Carr was to start the season and call for him to get benched. There are many fans that would jump for joy if Mariota was put in as the starter. However, that’s definitely not the answer to the Raiders’ issues.
In the last five seasons, Mariota has thrown 32 touchdowns to 26 interceptions and lost a starting job when he was still with the Tennessee Titans. That team has been significantly better since he left. Also, he has an extensive injury history and already spent time on the Injured Reserve this season. He’s simply not reliable enough to be counted on as the day-to-day starter. Giving Mariota more snaps is a good call but it would be unwise to suggest that he should start.