With the Las Vegas Raiders still reeling from the improbable Arizona Cardinals comeback overtime win on Sunday, there’s lots of action on the Raiders player stock market in both directions.
The Raiders seemingly had the game under control after building a 20-0 lead only to be outscored 29-3 in the second half. Kyler Murray ran roughshod over a tired Raiders defense and Hunter Renfrow fumbled, after being throttled, resulting in a scoop and score to end the game.
The Raiders face an uphill battle to make the playoffs after just two weeks. Since the NFL moved to a 14-team playoff format, no 0-2 team has made the playoffs. Still, it’s early and Las Vegas’ potentially high-flying offense has to find its rhythm and identity fast as they travel to Nashville to take on the thin Titans.
Here’s this week’s look at those players on the rise and those searching for answers.
Las Vegas Raiders players with stocks on the rise
Dylan Parham, center/guard
Parham entered the 2022 season as starting center Andre James’ backup. With James out due to a concussion he sustained in the Week 1 loss to the Chargers, Parham was excellent and committed just one error resulting in a penalty. There were no snap issues with Derek Carr and he performed well on both run and pass plays. It begs the question if James misses another week, could Parham replace him permanently?
It’s worth consideration as he is a Dave Ziegler/Josh McDaniels draft pick. That could mean James moves to a backup tackle role as he played the position as a collegiate starter at UCLA. No matter what, Parham has proven, thus far, that he is a budding starter.
Amik Robertson, cornerback
Robertson appears on the list for the second-straight week as he played his best game as a pro including notching his first interception. Robertson is looking more and more comfortable in Patrick Graham’s defensive scheme and has improved greatly in coverage. There’s nothing better for a young player than to gain confidence when they get reps. Robertson’s role as a rotational CB is solidifying through two weeks of this young season.
Rock Ya-Sin, cornerback
While fans are inaccurately pointing fingers at the Raiders’ defense in the Arizona loss, Ya-Sin had his best game so far. Ya-Sin also looked much more comfortable and was like a glove in coverage against the Cardinals. As an underperforming second-round pick, the Raiders picked him up in the Yannick Ngokue trade hoping he could reach his full potential. So far in 2022, he is and could be a key cog in a Raiders rise to prominence.
Josh Jacobs, running back
Poor Josh Jacobs. He’s healthy and running the ball like a true force but is being underutilized in the McDaniels offense. Jacobs had 19 carries for 69 yards and would have broken 100 yards in the second half had he been given the ball. He was off to a fast start but then the Raiders abandoned the run. Jacobs, who was denied his fifth-year option in the offseason, is running like a back with something to prove if he was only given the full chance. Hopefully, the Raiders start doing more with the Alabama product as he could be a key to an early season offensive turnaround.
Raiders talent with stocks in decline
Josh McDaniels, head coach
Ok, it’s supposed to be the players in this column but you cannot talk about the Raiders’ bad start on offense without McDaniels shouldering much of the responsibility. The so-called offensive genius continues to struggle with using his personnel in a way that gives Las Vegas the best chance to win. The tight-lipped Bill Belichick protege isn’t giving too much away on why he thinks his team is struggling, but his game management ability and play calling in the second half against the Cardinals has fans scratching their heads. Hear us talk about the McDaniels start on our latest Silver and Black Today podcast:
Derek Darr, quarterback
Derek Carr makes the list for the second-straight week and is struggling so far in 2022. It’s not all bad but he seems to be having problems processing this offense and stepping up to lead his guys. In the first half against Arizona, it looked like late-season Carr from 2021. He helped his team build a 20-0 lead and then crumbled in the second half. Yes, the play calling was questionable but Carr also wasn’t sharp or accurate down the stretch.
Carr had better protection in Week 2 and it didn’t seem to matter. He didn’t turn over the ball but had trouble seeing open receivers and seemed out of sorts again. He needs a big game against the Titans to get his team back on the right track.
Hunter Renfrow, wide receiver
This is a hard one as fans and media alike love the quiet, unassuming slot star. But while some call him “surehanded,” the reality is Renfrow struggles with fumbles. He had two in overtime against the Cardinals including the turnover that resulted in the Cardinal’s come-from-behind win. In his 3+ seasons as a pro, Renfrow has fumbled 11 times.
To put it into perspective, Davante Adams, in his 8+ seasons has just five total fumbles. There’s no questioning Renfrow’s talent and his position on the Raiders yet he must get better at protecting the football. Renfrow suffered a concussion on the game-altering fumble and his status for Week 3 is unknown.
Chandler Jones, EDGE
It’s simple: you have to get production out of your high-priced defensive acquisition Chandler Jones. While some will argue Jones has done some good things against the run, he’s paid to rush the passer and he’s been completely invisible. Yes, he’s making plays in other areas but you simply need more from him with the contract he was given. It’s only two games so all Raider Nation can hope for is a quick turnaround from one of the league’s best pass rushers in recent years.