Watching a non-inspiring four quarters of football, which was supposed to be an opportunity for the Raiders to defeat the Denver Broncos. The Raiders had to feel like Jerry Quarry who just went five rounds with Joe Frazier. The game looked like it should have been stopped due to the all the in-completions and mis-tackles and yardage gained by the Orange. The real NFL officials let this one go the distance instead of calling it on a TKO.
Since the Raiders have fielded a professional football team (1960) in the AFL or NFL, have we seen the Raiders been dominated in so many phases of the game?
Let’s start with the offense (have to start somewhere). Carson Palmer, who was 17 of 32, was a man on the run Sunday. He was sacked three times, and hurried, or knocked down at least ten times. He rarely saw a pass completed or fall to the earth safely.
What was it? The defensive front of the Broncos had gained super powers this week, and used them on the Raiders? Or was the blocking scheme too difficult for the Raiders offensive line? Pass protection was never evident in Sunday’s clash of AFC West opponents. We may never know, but what we do know is the Raiders offensive line was dominated, out manned, and out played in the trenches in many ways. Old and young coaches will tell you: the game is won or lost in the pit! The play of the offensive line today was not a positive step in the right direction.
A division loss is like losing two games, and rarely do you recover from being two games down.
The Raider defense, for all the work that it did last week, fell short of last weeks effort and took several steps back.
All week, discussion of how fast Manning gets the ball out of his hand led you to believe the secondary would play press coverage to disrupt the rhythm of the Broncos signal caller. That didn’t happen. You thought with Willis McGahee, the Raiders would play a minimum of six in the box with a pull down safety or seven in the box on running downs, play bail coverage’s from a press position. That did not happen either. The Silver and Black overloaded to one side allowing a cutback lane. So for the third year in a row, McGahee has a game of the year vs. the Raiders. Poor tackling, secondary slow on filling running lanes, and poor to pitiful coverage. Not to mention backside contain never showed up for the dance.
Watching and knowing that Eric Decker is Manning’s go-to receiver, a fan would think the secondary would know where he was and maybe the defensive linebackers could cover him to reduce his touches on the day. Just like Jerry Quarry going the distance in second fight with Joe Fraizer, that did not happen either. Decker had seven receptions for 79 yards and one touchdown.
Let’s find some positives to point out. Look hard, you can find something. Taiwan Jones made some excellent cover plays on special teams. Sebastian Janikowski went two for two on field goals. Penalties were at a minimum 6/35 yards. Denarius Moore had four catches for 71 yards and Marcel Reece had five grabs for 51 yards. No interceptions. Palmer spread the ball around to eight different receivers. These are thing you can build on.
The Oakland Raiders did not win (understatement of the year). They lost it on poor play, poor time management, and poor ball control. Consistency and continuity will win games. The good news is that they can only get better!
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”-Mary Anne Radmacher