Oakland Raiders: The Blame Cannot Be Placed on One Individual


Sep 29, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn (15) talks in a huddle against the Washington Redskins during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Redskins defeated the Raiders 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

So far this NFL season, there are words coming out of the mouths of fans that you just don’t hear everyday. People have not said these following phrases for many years, and they are very disturbing to listen to.

For example, “The Kansas City Chiefs are 4-0”. When was the last time you heard that?  “The New York Giants are 0-4” — you don’t hear that often. Finally, the Miami Dolphins…The MIAMI DOLPHINS ARE 3-0. What a surprising year!

The Raider Nation had its share of nasty things to say after Sunday’s loss to the 0-3 Washington Redskins. Fans wanting to put the blame on one player are ludicrous. Echoes were loudly heard from the stands: trade Matt Flynn, fire Dennis Allen. “Darren McFadden, you’re washed up”, a few bellowed. There were also bring back Carson Palmer-type comments, but the loudest chant was “we want Pryor”.

Rightfully so. Terrelle Pryor has done a very good job, making better decisions of when to run or throw, showing his leadership qualities and control of the Raider playbook. His ability to run would have given the Raiders another dimension in their depleted playbook.

But the fans are very fickle. In Pryor’s first start against the Colts, he threw two interceptions, including a very costly one late in the game that was a poor decision. The Raiders had a chance to win the game — they were behind by four with very little time on the clock.

Sure, you can blame Flynn — he was 21/32 for 227 yards with one TD, and one very costly interception that was very, very Palmer-ish. He was sacked seven times and fumbled once. Flynn is as fast as…well, he’s not fast at all; he is a pocket passer that has to have time to throw. He’s not a scrambler; his process is 1,2,3, throw, not 1,2,3, “oh my god here they come,” down goes Flynn.

Flynn was able to distribute the ball to nine different receivers – a very good day for a backup QB. He got into the act as well with an impressive 81-yard drive that featured a 34-yard pass to Denarius Moore, and was capped by the 18-yard TD to rookie Mychal Rivera.

The running game was once again absent from the playbook thanks to McFadden going down with yet another injury. When your running game is non-existent, your throwing game goes out the window.

Marcel Reece was a non-factor, having one reception for -2 yards before also succumbing to an injury. Reece has been a great surprise for the Raiders in catching passes out of the backfield and running the ball.

The offensive line for the Raiders has been abysmal. The stick ‘em and glue theory hasn’t worked yet. Trades, injuries, and bad luck have not helped the offensive line gain some consistency. Without the big men in the pit, the Raiders cannot generate a running game or protect their quarterback — whoever it is.

It looked like the Raider defense was on the field for most of the game, It became apparent they became tired in the second half and played uninspired. The Raiders had one sack on Robert Griffin III thanks to Charles Woodson on a secondary blitz.

The Nation is upset about a 1-3 record; it is not what they envisioned. You can’t correct a team by assessing blame to individuals. For the Raiders to get better, they have to commit to solving the problem.