The Raider experiment for 2012 is working—hard to believe, but it is working. With that said, the formula for success needs some tuning. We are into the third week of the young season and parts of the equation for victories are out of sequence. Let’s look at the methodology and timing for the 2012 season so far.
The ZONE scheme has had some success, it is a new blocking technique and we have been one step, one man, one shoelace away from breaking the long run to six points on several occasions in the first two weeks.
I believe that Darren McFadden is running hard into the line but is just off the open hole by a half a man. In time that half a man will disappear and the running lane will become transparent and we will see run DMC slash and burn future opponents.
The offensive line is making headway in the zone package and pass protection. You can always improve and for the offensive line at this time, holding a block for a second longer, staying between the defender and Palmer for that extra second, may give added confidence to the veteran QB and allow him to step up in the pocket and make those laser like throws to the stable of receivers the Raiders have surrounded him with. A game of inches can be determined by milliseconds on a run, block or pass protection!
I’m being a little facetious about the stable of receivers surrounding Carson Palmer. Darius Heyward-Bey displayed some high end skills in the loss to the fish. David Ausburry, I thought, was a man possessed. He looked good running with the ball. Denarius Moore did some things, but they didn’t do enough. You have to get YAC (yards after contact); it’s not enough to catch the ball. The Raider receivers have to do a lot more!
Defensively, it was a hit or miss for the Silver and Black, feast of famine. Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill was sacked and dropped early in the game, pressure inside and outside gave him trouble. The Dolphins went five straight series 3 and out. The push by the front gave the secondary time to lock into coverage. It was what the doctor ordered.
Play action and the active running of Reggie Bush opened up the game for the orange clad Dolphins, allowing Tannehill the opportunity to roll one way and toss a strike. Then on the next series boot, and escape the pressure of the Raiders front seven to complete another laser pass. Pressure from Shaughnessy, Seymour,Kelly, and Burris proves we can get to the QB.
Contain seemed to be a word only described in practice, poor angles gave Bush an easy running lane to the outside. Time and time again he was able to break contain, and gather up real estate. There is a force player, an alley player as well as a contain player—looked like everyone wanted to be the alley player.
Penalties were at a low for the second week in a row. Critical penalties were up. Penalties on third down or that keep a drive alive, or inside the Red Zone are amateurish, and display the trials and tribulations of the Raiders of the past eight years.
There are no excuses just get it done, you are professionals in your trade and you are expected to produce positive results. As a player in the NFL, you have a higher standard of performance that separates you from other football players. As a member of the Oakland Raiders you have a responsibility to carry on the tradition of those that came before you- A commitment to Excellence. How do you want to be remembered as a Raider?