"Just win baby" was never so relevant than Sunday’s game with the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was l..."/>  "Just win baby" was never so relevant than Sunday’s game with the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was l..."/>

Just Win Baby: Analysis of the Raiders’ Ugly Win Against the Jaguars


Oct 21, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) attempts to elude Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman C.J. Mosley (99) at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jaguars in overtime 26-23. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

“Just win baby” was never so relevant than Sunday’s game with the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was like watching two teams self-destruct on every down. The       statistical numbers were lopsided in favor of the Raiders, while injuries were in favor of the Jaguars.  It was an epic battle of failures, flops, fumbles, miscues, and missed opportunities.  No matter what, luck, fate, or fortune, the Raiders won. That’s the bottom line, and all that matters in the NFL. You are graded by how many wins you have and how many losses. Your performance is looked at in the past, by your last quarter played, and the future is the first quarter of your next game.

Even as we count this game as a win, there are fundamentals that need to be fixed and repaired before they head to Kansas City for the Brawl in the Fall.

The running game, or lack thereof, is in need of a major repair. Someday, Darren McFadden will figure the zone scheme out and excel in it. Until that date, things have got to change. Having a premium running back in the NFL is like having a gold mine inAlaska. It’s priceless, you don’t get the opportunity to have a skiledl player like Darren McFadden every day; and when you do, you use his skills to your advantage. The Raiders have not exploited the running game, and it is the key ingredient for any future success.

The game is won or lost by the offensive line. Say what you will, but this is true for every football team, from high school football, to college football to arena     football, and to the NFL. Every coach will tell you this is where the battles take place and victories are secured. The Raiders have good offensive lineman; they play hard and want to win. They watch film, they practice, they lift weights, they stay in shape, which is part of the winning formula for success.

Despite that, it’s time to throw someone under the bus. Greg Knapp was with the Raiders in 2007-2008 as offensive coordinator. During that time the Raiders were 9-23 under head coach Lane Kiffin. The Raiders ranked 23 and 24 in rushing during that period. The more things change the more they stay the same! The Black and Silver rank 31st in rushing currently with 76.8 yards per game this season. It seems Knapp is fitting the offensive line to his scheme and it’s not working. You would believe an acclaimed run guru would find the best fit for the offensive line and then develop a scheme around their strengths. No, we’re going to do it the Greg Knapp way – round hole square peg, here’s your sign.

Raider faithful should be excited about the receivers that have been a pleasant surprise. The stable of fleet footed sure handed wide outs has been decimated to young upstarts trying to make a name for themselves. Denarius Moore, Brandon Myers, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Derek Hagan continue to contribute to the offensive effort. Nine different receivers made grabs from Carson Palmer.

Palmer was consistent – 26/46 for 282 yards, as well as his one interception per game limit.  He threw for one touchdown, rumbled, and bumbled, and stumbled  from the one-yard line for the other. He has been bashed, beat down, stomped, and nearly broke in half, yet he comes to play every Sunday. He’s not flashy; he’s steady and gives you a positive performance. He was quoted after the win over the Jags,” You would rather win ugly, than lose pretty.” Carson Palmer plays ugly, but gets the job done.

Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler were both very impressive on Sunday afternoon. Lechler had six punts for a 44 yard average. Seabass was four out of five on the day, including a game winning field goal attempt from Jupiter that was just short to win the game in regulation. Gus the mule would have been impressed!

On the defensive side of the ball, Lamarr Houston had a excellent day making eight tackles. Phillip Wheeler, Miles Burris, Tyvon Branch are gradually working to be a legitimate part of the defense. Richard Seymour is still making his presence known on the field and in the opponent’s backfield.

The secondary is still disharmonious. Miscue means misfortunes when assignments are missed. The secondary is a challenging aspect of the defense.            At this point it looks as if there is still confusion, and chaos. The simpler it is, the more confident players play. Confusion brings hesitation, and error. Simplify the package and let your players run!

You have to keep telling yourself it was a WIN. Don’t dwell on it, move on,and prepare for the KC Chefs.

“In conflict, straightforward actions generally lead to engagement, surprising actions generally lead to victory.” -Sun Tzu