With the news on Friday that the Raiders would officially be without Jakobi Meyers, it seemed inevitable that the result would be the return of Hunter Renfrow’s targets. That quite end up being the case.
In Sunday’s loss to the Bills, Renfrow did see an increase in snaps, going from just 13 in the opener (22%) to 26 in Buffalo (65%). But his targets only went up by one. That is to say from zero in the opener to one on Sunday. And that one target was literally the last one of the game, with the game well out of reach.
Monday head coach Josh McDaniels admitted that wasn’t how things should have gone.
“There’s been some missed opportunities on our part, but I don’t think that’s a function of Hunter,” said McDaniels. “He should’ve gotten the ball more than he did yesterday, I think there was more opportunities than that.”
It was nice to hear McDaniels admit Renfrow should have gotten the ball more. Though, it does kind of suggest he is still not taking any blame, but rather saying his QB missed opportunities to get the ball to his shifty slot receiver.
After the opener, McDaniels put it all on the Broncos defense taking Renfrow out of the game plan, when in reality it was McDaniels himself who kept Renfrow on the sideline for nearly 80% of the offensive plays.
Many people gave McDaniels and Garoppolo a pass (so to speak) after the opner for not getting the ball to Renfrow because they won the game. They get no such pass now.
The 38-10 result in Buffalo leaves behind no benefit of the doubt. There’s simply no excuse for a team that needs as much offensive firepower as it can get to have a Pro Bowl slot receiver completely absent from the offense.
After all, not much else was working. The Bills defensive live was obliterating the Raiders offensive line, leaving no running room and forcing Garoppolo to get rid of it quickly. Which would usually lead to more targets for the slot receiver, but somehow still didn’t matter.
No one is suggesting forcing the ball to Renfrow. I mean, does anyone really think Derek Carr was forcing the ball to him? Or was he just open a lot and thus presented to best option a good portion of the time? Their 2021 playoff run came in a season in which Renfrow caught 103 passes, so I’m thinking utilizing him might be a good idea.