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Pick Up the Pieces and Play

Hue Jackson said it right when discussing the Patriot game, “We got beat by a team and an organization that’s a little bit better than us at this point.” For the Raiders to beat a team like the Patriots they need to be near perfect and they weren’t, so they lost. The Raiders played undisciplined and made “bonehead” mistakes. The Raiders did not beat themselves or give the Patriots the game, the Patriots took it right from the Raiders open hand. The Patriots played a better game.

Anytime Jason Campbell throws for over 300 yards it’s a clear sign that the Raiders defense to being taken school. It was also evident in the Buffalo game two weeks ago. It is clear that the Raiders need to play their style of football to win. That is a physical running, smash mouth type of game. Campbell, as consistent as he has been this year, is not a quarterback the Raiders can relay on to win in a shoot out. The Raiders will win with a creative and balanced offensive attack not one averaging 300 passing yards per game.

The Raiders pass defense did not get too embarrassed. They did let Welker put up 158 yards on them. But, they forced some errant throws by Brady, tipped some balls, held NFL leading tight end Rob  to only one catch and the Patriots to a season low 226 yards. But the Raiders touted front seven got only one sack on Brady and made Stevan Ridley look like Emmitt Smith. The Raiders defense failed on two major issues, run defense and pressure on the quarterback, two things that are needed to win any football game. As a result, the Raiders are dead last in the league in run defense.

Next Sunday the Raiders will be in Houston facing the physical Texans. Andre Johnson is out this week so expect the Texans to run a lot to set up the play action pass. If the Raiders front seven does not improve its play quickly, a healthy Arian Foster who had 30 carries and 155 yards last week against the Steelers, will run all over them. Next week, could get ugly.

In the next four games Raiders go to Houston, then come home to face Cleveland, Kansas City and Denver. The Raiders can easily be a respectful 5-3 at the halfway point of the season. This is the NFL, games change on single plays and momentum is everything. Each team has professional playmakers so it is time for the Raiders to show some disciple, get their head right and pick up the pieces and play.

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