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Showing posts from October, 2010

Raiders Roast Seahawks, 33-3

92-17. That's the Raiders combined score the last two weeks against the Broncos and Seahawks. The Raiders also have 500+ yards of offense in back-to-back victories. Darren McFadden continues his resurgence and had 135 total yards against the Seahawks. This actually lowers his per game average. Bush added 51 yards and a late touchdown. In a game in which the Raiders needed a receiver to step up in the absence of Louis Murphy, Darrius Heyward-Bey hauled in five balls for 105 yards including a 69-yard touchdown. Fullback Marcel Reece added three receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. Jason Campbell completed 15 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns and his performance has begged the question as to who the Raiders starting quarterback will be once Bruce Gradkowski is healthy. The Raiders defense combined for eight sacks and held the Seahawks to 47 yards rushing. If there was any concerns that came out of the win, it was Nnamdi Asomugha injuring his ankle and Zach Miller only having

Bye Bye Bust Label: Draft Picks Shining For The Raiders

People line up to declare the next Al Davis draft selection a bust because the Raiders are well known for draft blunders. These people point to a lack of football instincts in the players Al Davis drafts. They say things like, “He’s just a track star, he’s not a football player.” Let me know if you can figure out what a saying like that means. It sounds good but means nothing. Can a track star not be good at football also? You don’t hear people say, “He’s a wrestler, he’s not a football player.” Those same people turn around and say, “Speed kills.” What? So now speed is good in the NFL player? Yes, there is much more to being a good player than speed, but much of it depends on how smart the player is, how much they can learn and if they are dedicated. Are these traits not also desirable in a track star? Why does running track have to be a negative stereotype? Some guys have more smarts, have learned more or have been more dedicated to football when they enter the NFL. This is the re

Special Teams Battle: Brian Schneider vs. John Fassel

Remember Brian Schneider? I bet most of the Raider Nation does, because Schneider coached the Raiders special teams in 2007 and 2008. Schneider was considered by many to be a great special teams coordinator for the Raiders. What was so special about Schneider’s special teams units? Was it kick coverage or return yardage? Is John Fassel worse? He’s certainly hasn’t received the praise like Schneider did during his time with the Raiders. Both punting and kicking seem to be more dependent on the kicker and punter. Obviously, the Raiders have two of the best. One thing you can get from punting and kicking is blocks and return touchdowns which is more indicative of coverage and coaching. In 2007, Brian Schneider’s first season as a coach for the Raiders, the return units were near the bottom in return yardage and had no return touchdowns. The Raiders allowed punt return touchdowns, but were middle of the pack in regards to kick coverage. Schneider’s fortunes turned in 2008, with five re

Studs and Duds From Week 7

Hard to find a dud, but I did manage to find a couple. Studs were equally hard because of the multitude of good performances, so you can really make a case for several players. STUDS Chris Johnson He has taken tongue lashes from fans in recent weeks. People were saying how Walter McFadden should play more than Johnson. Boy did he prove us all wrong. Johnson routinely takes chances and he took a chance and jumping in front of a Kyle Orton pass and returned it for six points. The play started the snow ball down the hill and the Raiders never looked back. Getting beat a few times can be lived with if he makes just as many plays. Let’s hope the Raiders can keep it up. Darren McFadden AFC Offensive Player of the Week. He deserved it. He dominated the Broncos all day. Four touchdowns and 165 yards is a good day and you can’t take that away from him. Honorable mention to the Raiders offensive line, who had a great day against a soft Broncos run defense. He’s averaging 150 total yards

Raiders Buck Broncos, 59-14

Now the hard part; recovering from the win. The Raiders have had the uncanny ability to recover from losses, but a marked inability to recover from a win. Back-to-back wins would be a marker for this team. The concept is simple. Take one game at a time. Win a game, the next week you are 0-0 and looking to go 1-0. Lose a game, the next week you are 0-0 and looking to go 1-0. It’s cliché, but that doesn’t reduce it to rubble. Each team must be able to do both, focus on the next week instead of the prior week. Next week Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks come into Oakland on Halloween. The Raider Nation doesn’t need a holiday as an excuse to dress up, but on Halloween you will get more than your fair share of crazy costumes and the FOX broadcast will love it. A win next week means the Raiders could be playing for the division lead when the Kansas City Chiefs visit Oakland in week nine before a bye in week 10. The Raiders sit at 3-4 and have yet another chance to get back to .500 for the

Raiders To Renew Mile-High Membership

Last season, the Raiders went into Denver and got a win on the back of JaMarcus Russell. Charlie Frye started the game and Russell came in when Frye was injured to lead the Raiders to victory. Michael Bush had 144 total yards and a touchdown. Darren McFadden had 74 yards rushing. Chaz Schilens made the game-winning catch. Brandon Marshall had seven receptions and a touchdown and Kyle Orton went 19/34 for 278 yards. The Broncos couldn’t run the ball that day and haven’t been able to run the ball much this season. The worst rushing offense in the league happens to be doing very well passing. The addition of receiver Brandon Lloyd and subtraction of Brandon Marshall has the Broncos ranked third, behind San Diego and Indianapolis in the NFL. Offense The Raiders may not be able to run the ball on Denver like they did last season. The Broncos added nose tackle Jamal Williams to help with their woes stopping the run and have held five of six opposing rushers under 100 yards. Maurice Jo

Studs and Duds From Week 6

The Raiders scored nine points on offense and gave up 196 yards passing to Alex Smith and 149 yards rushing to Frank Gore. Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis caught touchdown passes. I’d call that a complete failure to execute any goals. I’m sure every single game plan against the 49ers consists of scoring a couple touchdowns, forcing Alex Smith to make a mistake and stopping Gore, Davis and Crabtree. The Raiders only managed to get two sacks of Smith and there was never enough pressure to force a turnover. Despite Smith’s terrible days early, he easily carved up the Raiders defense. STUDS Matt Shaughnessy Why did Trevor Scott start in front of him at defensive end again? He either never regressed or he’s turned it back around. He applied the most consistent pressure on Alex Smith, working against their best offensive lineman, Joe Staley. He also forced Staley to commit a couple of penalties. He also did a good job stopping the run. Former Raiders defensive end Jay Richardson ca

By The Numbers: Mile-High Matchup

Defense: YPG Allowed Broncos: 337.5 (19) Raiders: 346.3 (22) YPP Allowed Broncos: 5.6 (22) Raiders: 5.7 (24) Total Points Allowed Broncos: 140 (27) Raiders 151 (29) Sacks Broncos: 10 (13) Raiders: 7 (27) Turnovers Broncos: 5 INT, 4 Fumbles, Raiders: 2 INT, 6 Fumbles, 2 Blocks, 1 TD, 1 Safety Offense YPG Broncos: 378.3 (6) Raiders: 312.5 (21) YPP Broncos: 5.5 (10) Raiders: 4.7 (29) Total Points Broncos:124 (13) Raiders: 120 (14) Sacks Allowed: Broncos: 13 (20) Raiders: 18 (28) QB Hits Broncos: 26 (13) Raiders: 28 (19) Turnovers Broncos: 3 INT, 5 Fumbles Raiders: 8 INT, 2 Fumbles Special Teams Field Goals Broncos: 11 of 12 (92%) (7) Raiders: 14 of 19 (74%) (1) Punting Avg Broncos: 45.2 (7) Raiders: 50.1 (1) Punting Net Broncos: 37.1 (21) Raiders: 45.6 (1) Kick Return Broncos: 27.1 (8) Raiders: 20.1 (28) Punt Return Broncos: 10.1 (10) Raiders: 9.4 (15) Overall: Turnover Ratio Broncos: -8/+9 = +1 (11) Raiders: -10/+8 = -2 (19) Net Points Broncos: -16 Raiders: -31 Broncos: 1-2 at home Raid

Fishing For Answers

After a dismal game in San Francisco and six games into the 2010 season the fans and media are starting to smell rotten fish carcasses. Below in no particular order are players that are floating belly up at the surface. Chris Johnson – He’s also been filleted and barbequed. Tyvon Branch – Filleted and grilled Stanford Routt – Filleted and baked Trevor Scott – Tail has been chopped off. Tommy Kelly – Slimmed down, but just as bad at swimming. Jason Campbell – Cheapest fish on the fish counter, tastes funny. Mario Henderson – Fins malfunctioned. Cooper Carlisle – Pet fish of Tom Cable, but it died and he can’t bring himself to remove it from the tank. Langston Walker – Only swims upside down. Darrius Heyward-Bey – Torpedo! Wait, it missed the boat. Louis Murphy – Discount fish, marked down because it is sometimes good and sometimes not so good. Johnnie Lee-Higgins – A fisherman hit him on the head with a bat and he hasn’t been the same since.

Battle of the Bay: Raiders @ 49ers Preview

The Raiders have a chance to do something they haven't done since 2002; get back to .500. While bragging rights are always icing on the cake, the Raiders may be as desperate for a win as the 0-5 49ers. The 49ers season is on the line. It is hard enough to believe the 49ers can still win the division after starting 0-5, but 0-6 is season-ending no matter how soft the division or weak the schedule. The 49ers are still a tough team, with plenty of talent to win. Their problem has been beating themselves with turnovers and the inability to create them. With a turnover margin of -10, the 49ers are last in the league and it isn't close. The next closest team has a -6 turnover margin. Offense: Jason Campbell will get the start for the injured Bruce Gradkowski. He lead the Raiders to a win at home last weak to snap a 13-game losing streak to the rival Chargers. The key for Campbell is the protection. Given time to make his reads he will find the open receivers. The 49ers will test the

Studs and Duds From Week 5

Watching the game a second time and grading players is quite a task. It also set my readers up for a disappointment this week. I didn’t watch the game a second time. There I said it and it was like ripping off a bandage. The good news is I played closer attention to certain things during the game this week. I guess after four weeks of watching the game a second time for analysis I had a hard time turning off that part of my brain. STUDS Michael Huff, Tyvon Branch & Chris Johnson Huff was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. Doesn’t that say it all? Not quite. In fact, Huff was headed for the duds list until he forced the Philip Rivers fumble to seal the win. Tyvon Branch returned the fumble for a touchdown. Chris Johnson was being used like a cheap hooker in the passing game, until he crushed an offensive lineman attempting to recover the game-deciding fumble. His play was what enabled Branch to scoop and score. Three duds became studs on one play. Amazing. John Fassel, Ro

Beyond The Numbers: The Battle of the Bay

The Raiders are notoriously the bay area’s most dysfunctional team. The 49ers are breaking that stereotype. Mike Singletary’s motivational speeches aren’t motivating his players any longer. There is talk that Singletary was set up for failure, because he wasn’t really qualified to be the head coach. This is only natural considering a 0-5 start. Jed York threw some fuel on the fire this week when he predicted the 49ers would still win the NFC west. Translation: Singletary is gone if he doesn’t win the division. According to some fans present at the time, Al Davis called last week’s game a “must-win” and used profanity while doing it. This is how we know Tom Cable’s job always hangs in the balance. The win last week likely saved him for at least a couple more weeks. A 1-4 start, virtually insurmountable. A 2-3 start, a bit behind the curve, but only a missed short field goal shy of 3-2. The battle of the bay is a big game in the bay area. Unlike the Giants and A’s that trade regular

By The Numbers: The Battle of The Bay

Defense: YPG Allowed 49ers: 339.0 (17) Raiders: 345.8 (23) YPP Allowed 49ers: 5.4 (18) Raiders: 5.8 (29) Total Points Allowed 49ers: 130 (27) Raiders 134 (28) Sacks 49ers: 10 (13) Raiders: 10 (13) Turnovers 49ers: 4 INT, 1 Fumble Raiders: 2 INT, 6 Fumbles, 2 Blocks, 1 TD, 1 Safety Offense YPG 49ers: 311.4 (23) Raiders: 339.2 (14) YPP 49ers: 5.1 (19) Raiders: 5.0 (26) Total Points 49ers: 76 (27) Raiders: 111 (11) Sacks Allowed: 49ers: 10 (18) Raiders: 16 (28) QB Hits 49ers: 32 (5) Raiders: 24 (13) Turnovers 49ers: 9 INT, 6 Fumbles Raiders: 6 INT, 2 Fumbles Special Teams Field Goals 49ers: 4 for 5 (80%) Raiders: 11 of 16 (69%) Punting Avg 49ers: 45.8 (5) Raiders: 49.2 (1) Punting Net 49ers: 36.2 (23) Raiders: 45.1 (1) Kick Return 49ers: 22.2 (19) Raiders: 22.0 (20) Punt Return 49ers: 7.2 (23) Raiders: 10.3 (11) Overall: Turnover Ratio 49ers: -15/+5 = -10 (32) Raiders: -6/+6 = 0 (13)

MMML: Raiders Shock The Bolts

MMML: Monday Morning Middle Linebacker Were the embellished words of Marty Schottenheimer pinned to the bulletin board motivating? The Raiders did exactly as the famous Raider-killing coach said they couldn't; they finished. They finished off plays, they finished off the game and now the streak of 13 consecutive losses against the Chargers is finished. The Raiders defeated Norv Turner's Chargers, 35-27. The Raiders scored nine points on special teams and seven on defense to overcome the Chargers passing parade. Philip Rivers passed for 431 yards and two touchdowns. Malcom Floyd had eight receptions for 213 yards and one touchdown. Antonio Gates added five receptions for 92 yards and one touchdown. Bruce Gradkowsk injured his shoulder and was replaced by Jason Campbell who went on to go 13 of 18 for 159 yards and a touchdown. Michael Bush rumbled for 135 total yards and one touchdown. The Raiders blocked Mike Scifres first two punt attempts, the first by Rock Cartwright went thr

Desperation: Chargers @ Raiders Preview

The Raiders are 1-3 and face a division foe they haven't beaten in 13 straight games. The Chargers reign as AFC West favorites may now be over despite preseason predictions. With the Chargers and Broncos at 2-2 and the Chiefs at 3-0, the Raiders have little margin for error. Lose and the season is lost. The Raiders had pivotal games week three and four and couldn't muster a win to cement themselves in the middle of the AFC West race. Now the Raiders must climb up hill and get a key home win against a team they haven't beaten since 2003. A win today against the Chargers could catapult the Raiders to a 4-5 record by the week 10 bye week with games upcoming against San Francisco, Denver, Seattle and Kansas City. Offense The Chargers have allowed just 238 yards per game on defense with 15 total sacks and 7 interceptions which all rank second in the league. The Raiders passing offense failed to take advantage of a terrible Texans secondary last week and now will face its toughes

Studs and Duds From Week 4

The dog ate my homework. Yes, even the grown adult can have his homework eaten and shredded apart like confetti. I figured I'd finish watching the game for a second time and write my weekly game review on Wednesday night. As I settled into my spot on the sofa and fell asleep, tired from an exhausting day, my four-month-old Border Collie Maximus decided my notes looked like a good jaw workout. Thirty minutes later the notepad was barely intact and the first two few pages were missing. I finished watching the game, so I submit to you the studs and duds from week four, without the added benefit of grades for good and bad plays. STUDS Darren McFadden Before he pulled up lame with another hamstring injury, he was the only offensive player producing for the Raiders. McFadden had more yards himself than the rest of the offense and the Texans were having fits trying to stop him. When healthy, Darren McFadden is exactly what the Raiders hoped he would be when they drafted him. The only chal

Monday Morning Middle Linebacker (MMML)

Are these losses getting any easier to swallow? The Raiders are 1-3 and well on their way to an eighth consecutive losing season. Different players, different coaches, same result. At some point the finger pointing will begin, if it hasn't already. Tom Cable's seat is hot and a fire is burning under it. How many losses before Al Davis pulls the plug? Who would even take the job? Still, the loss had a different feel on Sunday. What was the feeling? Was it hope? The Raiders didn't give up. The Raiders kept fighting. The Raiders lost by 7, but were charging down the field to score before Louis Murphy dropped and tipped a Bruce Gradkowski pass into the hands of the Texans. Is this growth or a mirage created to distract us from yet another failure? It could be growth, the offense scored 24 points. Bruce Gradkowski looked decent. Zach Miller and Darren McFadden were weapons. It could be a mirage, the offensive line still can't pass block, the run defense was bad, the safeties

Rebound: Texans @ Raiders Preview

The Raiders wasted an opportunity an opportunity to get to 2-1 last week, while the Houston Texans fell to 2-1 after a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams will try to rebound in week four and put tough losses behind them on the 100% grass surface at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this Sunday. These teams are familiar foes, having traded blows each of the past four seasons. The Texans defeated the Raiders 29-6 almost exactly one year ago in Houston. The previous three games were in Oakland with the Raiders winning 27-16 in 2008 and the Texans defeated the Raiders in 2007 and 2006. Offense The Texans pass defense has surrendered 369 yards per game through the air in the first three weeks, having played Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo. Bruce Gradkowski has the opportunity to expose the Texans young secondary with a big day. The Texans have surrendered pass plays of 60 yards or more in each game this season. It is possible the quality of quarterbacks had something to do wi

Cable Offers Protection Plan

Tom Cable was the offensive line coach for a bad Raiders team not too long ago. Cable lead a resurgent group of offensive lineman in 2007 behind three different quarterbacks and came out smelling like roses in the media. Robert Gallery turned into a solid guard and a group of no name lineman played well under Cable's tutelage. In many ways, Cable's work with the offensive line in 2007 was the only reason the fans even recognized his name when he was hired to replace "Lance" Kiffin. When JaMarcus Russell took over the starting job full-time, the line took a small step backwards. Of course, this was lost in the fiasco that is and was Lane Kiffin. Al Davis gave Cable a cup of coffee as head coach at the end of 2008 citing he had earned the respect of the players. Al Davis was no doubt skeptical, announcing the hire as if Cable was only coach until Davis could find someone better. Al Davis didn't have much choice but to stick with Cable in 2009 after the famous overhe