Skip to main content

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 challenge is keeping him healthy. Perhaps it would be wise for the Raiders to spell McFadden with Michael Bush to reduce his load.


Zach Miller

He nearly tied a Raiders record for receptions and the Texans were powerless to stop him. Once McFadden exited the game Gradkowski kept finding Zach Miller open on five to ten yard out routes. Linebackers couldn't cover him and neither could the cornerbacks.

He's a stud and the Raiders need to keep using him like they did. Either he will kill defenses or they will have to adjust to him, which will hopefully free up the young receivers and lead to a more productive passing game.


Nnamdi Asomugha

Not difficult to call Asomugha a stud on any given Sunday. Last Sunday he allowed one reception, although he was blatantly picked. He recovered to make the tackle.

Even Matt Schaub doesn't attack Asomugha and Andre Johnson is probably glad he didn't have to deal with this guy and his team still got the win.


DUDS


Langston Walker

It is amazing how long the Raiders have stuck with the current offensive line given its struggles. Obviously the other options are no better. Walker had to deal with Mario Williams most of the day and was playing so bad I wanted to close my eyes. Didn't I tell you? You probably already knew.


Trevor Scott

He is providing little pass rush from the defensive end position and is getting pushed around in the run game. He will likely start at weak-side linebacker this week with Quentin Groves and Thomas Howard hurt. It's there he should remain.

He may be a liability in pass coverage, but he had more impact on the game last season as a rush linebacker and did pretty well against the run. He's versatile, but the Raiders need to put him in a position where he can impact games.


Louis Murphy

The receivers were horrible last Sunday. If Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey can't get open against the Texans secondary they have serious issues. The pass rush obviously limited what the Raiders could do in the passing game, but when given opportunities the receivers need to make the play.

Murphy dropped and tipped a pass as the Raiders were attempting to march down the field to tie the game. Not only must he catch catchable balls, but he can't be hanging the quarterback out to dry by tipping it in the air.


Michael Huff

Huff makes this list because of the impact of his mistakes. He made a few plays, but the missed tackles and poor angles are killing him. Last season he played relatively well, like his partner in crime Tyvon Branch, but has been so bad this season fans are clamoring for rookie Stevie Brown or even Hiram Eugene.

The Raiders are carrying five safeties and the time is now, the Raiders can't afford to go 1-4. Cable insisted the right players were on the field last week, but perhaps a symbolic benching would kick Huff and Branch into gear.

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…