Skip to main content

Studs and Duds From Week 2

It wasn't pretty, but the Raiders got a win to improve to 1-1.

Studs


Tommy Kelly and John Henderson

Stopping the run was the goal and these two guys were the biggest reason. Henderson’s efforts were almost entirely stopping the run, while Kelly also was getting to the passer. Kelly did have two penalties, but on this day he was dominant despite them.

Darren McFadden

A recipe for success is stopping the run and running it well. The Raiders were able to do this Sunday. Tom Cable has been impressed with McFadden “running behind his pads.” Indeed that could have been part of his issues in the past, lower his head and basically losing balance too often. McFadden is also pumping his legs after contact. This is newly learned skill for McFadden and it is benefiting him greatly with yards after he is first hit. Certainly his health and Hue Jackson’s scheme are helping him. He even had a couple nice blitz pickups.

Bruce Gradkowski

He came in and ignited the offense. He got the ball out quick, was very accurate and got his team a win. A lot of what Bruce was able to do was just having confidence his receivers would get to the open spot. Throwing to spots was allowing for a better rhythm and tempo. The quick designed plays were helping out the offensive line. The offense changed in the second half with shorter timing routes and Gradkowski executed perfectly almost the entire time he played.


Duds

Jason Campbell

He didn’t have many opportunities to make plays with the defensive line in his face. When he did he couldn’t manage to make the play. He had a couple of overthrows of wide-open receivers and just missed on a couple others. He was never able to get his timing down. The offensive line woes appear to be getting into his head. He looks scared out there behind this porous line. In contrast, Gradkowski is fearless. Given time, Campbell is still the superior quarterback, but if the Raiders can’t block for him he won’t produce.

Langston Walker

Worst player on the field on Sunday. His run blocking and pass blocking were terrible. Lineman routinely dominate him physically and speed rushers just go around him. He makes poor decisions on who to block on running plays. The second straight terrible performance from him. If he isn’t benched soon he better improve, because he could be on this list all season.

Rolando McClain

He graded him out basically neutral, but he should be the one making plays in the middle of the defense. McClain struggled in the first half, particularly in the first quarter. It is no surprise his play coincided with the defense as a whole. He had an above average second half. No better test for a rookie than Chris Johnson and Steven Jackson, so he had a steep learning curve. McClain can only get better from here, but he still needs to get better. He makes too many mistakes in coverage and arm tackles aren’t going to get the job done.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Oakland Raiders Swing for the Fences in 2016 NFL Draft

[embed align="center"]http://gty.im/153039819[/embed]
These aren't your daddy's Oakland Raiders or even your younger self's Raiders. If anything, these are your newborn's Raiders or your puppy's Raiders. These are the Raiders we've never seen before.

Indicative of the freshness of the franchise was their 2016 NFL Draft. No longer slave to a high draft pick and desperate needs, the theme of the draft for the Raiders was upside.

It's as if general manager Reggie McKenzie got so used to hitting his draft picks out of the park that he started swinging for the fences. We'll have to wait a couple of years before we know if he struck out or if he'll continue his Ruthian ways.

First, McKenzie boldly went with a safety at No. 14 overall. Kyle Joseph is coming off a torn ACL and fills a major need, but safety isn't a premium position. Only a handful of safeties have been drafted in the first 14 picks in the last 15 years and include names like Earl …

Final 53-Man Roster Prediction

The Oakland Raiders will trim their roster to 53 players today. Expect them to make at least two waiver claims Sunday to address needs at defensive back and on the offensive line. As such, there are a couple guys on this final roster who could be waived on Sunday and could subsequently find their way onto the team's practice squad.

As is, I've included a list of players who are candidates for the practice squad. There is some positional imbalance on the 53-man roster as I expect the Raiders to balance it out with a few waiver claims.

[table id=8 /]

The Raiders aren't who we thought they were....they're better

The Oakland Raiders are tired of being the team that will be good in a year or two. The team expects to win now and it is winning now.

We thought the Raiders needed more talent. We thought that being in the playoff hunt was a year away for this team, but we were wrong. This isn't the team we thought they were, they're better.

On Sunday, they moved to 3-3 on Sunday with a 37-29 win over the San Diego Chargers that wasn't close until the final minute. It was also the Raiders second road win of the season. The last time the Raiders had two road wins by their sixth game was 2011. Before that, a five-year streak from 1998-2002.

The Raiders went 8-8 in 1998, 1999 and 2011 and narrowly missed the playoffs each year.  They made the playoffs in 2000, 2001 and 2002. They didn't have a losing record in any of those seasons because teams that can win on the road are usually pretty good.

As the season matures, there is more and more evidence that some of the "best-case scenarios&q…