Friday, August 25, 2006

Raiders vs. Lions

Pre-Game Questions & Post Game Analysis:

It is about 15 minutes before kickoff for exhibition game #4. I'm excited to see the Raiders take the field in Oaktown. These are some of the questions that need to be answered in the game vs. Detroit: (Post-game analysis to follow)

How will the O-line perform? The 1st unit O-line was excellent in pass protection and adequate in run blocking. The delayed draw plays were very effectively used to slow down the Lions pass rush and gain big chunks of yardage.

Can Corey Hulsey step up and take over at center for injured Grove? Hulsey didn't miss a beat playing center. Hulsey's communication on the line was good. Hulsey has shown his value to the team the last 2 weeks by playing well at both LG and C.

Will Sims play well in his return to LG? Sims was inactive. Big (350 lbs) Kelvin Garmon started at LG and had a solid game especially in his pass protection techniques.

Can our D-Line create a better pass rush and notch a few sacks? The D-line provided steady pass pressure on QB Kitna netting 2 sacks (Burgess, Sands). Sapp's interior pressure (and getting in the face of Kitna) led to an interception by LB Morrison.

Will our D continue to create turnovers? The D had 2 interceptions (Morrison, Carr) and 1 fumble recovery. The fumble was caused by DE Brayton's big hit on Kitna. The ball was recovered by SS Gibson.

Can our special teams continue to play solid football? The special teams coverage units had an outstanding game. Takedown tackles by Howard, Cooper, Lee, and Carr negated returns by the Lions. Sea-Bass had 2 deep kickoffs. Lechler had 1 booming punt pinned inside the 20 and another high, coverage punt.

Will the secondary miss a beat without Huff? How well will Gibson perform at SS? The secondary's coverage was inconsistent and tackling poor. Routt took a step back with a poor outing. Gibson and Cooper played the run and screens well.

Will the offensive unit build off of the performance against SF? The 1st unit offense put up touchdowns (3) instead of field goals. There was a good mix of pass and run plays and enough big plays to put up a comfortable 21-0 half-time lead.

Can Brooks take another positive step in running the offense? Without question, Brooks cemented his standing as the clear cut #1 QB. He ran the offense smoothly and had supreme confidence on the field. Brooks fired a perfect 63 yard rainbow to Moss for the opening possession TD. He was able to step up in the pocket to find secondary receivers.

Is there a concerted effort to develop the chemistry between Brooks and Moss? The Brooks and Moss connection was electric. Brooks and Moss hooked-up for 3 completions, 102 yards and 2 spectacular TDs. Moss' 2nd TD grab was a bullet thread through a key hole by Brooks in the back of the end zone.

Post Game Summary:
The Raiders 21-3 win over the Lions was another positive step in the growth of the team. All 3 units contributed to a dominant team victory and 4-0 exhibition record.

Next Up: Raiders at Seahawks on Thursday, August 31st (last exhibition game)


Blogger Stick'em said...

Yes, I sound like Porky Pig stuttering, "BB-bbb-but this ttt-tt-team will only go as f-fff-far as the bdduh-bduba-bduuuhbada-O-line will ttt-tt-take it."

Kevin Garmon got his lunch money stolen by Shaun Cody for two sacks. It looked like Gallery gave up one of 'em to Cody, but really it was a stunt that Garmon and Gallery together failed to pick up.

Bottom line: last season this team was miserable at picking up blitzes, stunts, and twists. Things must improve in this area.

We need Sims and Grove and ALL the starters to be healthy and manning ONE position all season for this O-line thing (and every thing that follows O-line success, like the ENTIRE offense) to work...

Jake Grove will be integral, as he makes the calls for assignments to pick up the D-lineman. How well Grove can read, communicate, and stay healthy while everyone else adjusts to the O-line musical chairs will be the keystone to power football and the vertical game.

Believe me, if the O-line doesn't stay healthy and get their teamwork thing together, D-lines are gonna eat the QB like Skittles. Our O-linemen HAVE to have a cohesive ability to handle zone blitzes and stunts - or else -

If my sticky brain can make this observation, ya gotta believe HOF LTs Shell and Slater see it as clear as an unmuddied lake.

At least Brooks can get outta de way, whereas KFC just looked like he was stoned out there.

On another pass pro note, there was one play in the 2nd quarter where McQuistan's man was momentarily free and chasing Brooks around the pocket like Benny Hill... and Quiz just levelled 'em.

Nastiness indeed!

I like that Slater is preaching an attacking line philosophy (e.g., now Grove is firing out of his stance, 'cept for his shoulder), instead of that weak @$$, take a step backwards, bull$!+, zone-blocking scheme that was run last season.

If we are patient, perhaps we will see the G-men - Grove and Gallery - start reminding us more of Barret Robbins and Lincoln Kennedy. In the past, they have reminded us more of Greg Skrepenak, fabulously mediocre.

I know the games don't count, but 4-0 is exactly what this team needs right now.

Winning begets more winning. Losing begets more whining.

Mehinks Art is going to bring back the Ws, especially at Black Bottom.

5:40 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The O-line played well in the 1st half ... the portion of the game that really counted with 1st unit members from both sides squared up.

Yes, Cody got 1 sack in the 1st half but for the most part, Brooks had good protection. I was pleased with Hulsey & Garmon's overall performances.

It would be ideal to have everyone healthy, playing one position, and gelling together.

However, the reality of the NFL is that you can count on players getting dinged up throughout the year. We need to be able to count on back-ups to fill in and play well. Depth & versatility is vital.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Kerry Collins "stoned" in the pocket! Love it. That would actually explain a lot.

It's certainly good to know that the o-line need not be totally perfect, as Brooks is so adept at eluding trouble, as demonstrated last night. Drives that would have been killed last year will be kept alive by this mobility.

It's very refreshing after last year's "stoner ball" quarterbacking.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

If you have the past 2 games on tape, rewind and watch the 1st half of each game. Check and count how many times AB2 eludes the pass rush/sack.

His mobility and pocket awarenenss is even better than I expected. I count (by conservative estimation)at least 8 times in the 2 games (SF, Det) where AB2's evasive skills avoided a sack. All of these instances KFC would have been sacked for a drive ending loss.

AB2's elusiveness is an X factor skill that can keep drives alive and the chains moving. It is also a skill that the O-Line really appreciates.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agrew tih your analysis for the most part if anything the team's attitude has turned completely around from last year. Shell is a leader.

Two issues

1. O-Line still looked mediocre to weak and that was going against the Lions minus Shaun Rogers. Hopefully tjhey just need some seasoning and consistency

2. What would you say to a starting D-line of Burgess, Sapp, Sands and Kelly. Brayton looks useless aside from chasing plays from behind were at least he hussles

Take care

Florida Raider

5:54 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Florida Raider - Thanks for the feedback. Regarding your 2 points or issues:

1. I thought the O-Line performed well in the 1st half in terms of pass protection especially when you consider Hulsey was starting at center and Garmon at LG. The run blocking and the O-line's overall consistency is a work in progress. First, we need to get Sims and Grove healthy. Second, we need for the O-Line to keep working on run blocking techniques. This new style of run blocking (power run blocking vs. lateral zone blocking)is brand new for these guys. It will take time for the O-line to gel and develop this new technique.

In the meantime, I would hope that Hulsey can step in and play well for Grove the next 3-4 weeks and the unit can make steady strides in progress.

2. I really like your idea of a D-line unit of Burgess, Sapp, Sands, and Kelly. Sands is the Raiders best run stuffer, lane clogger. Kelly had success at DE last year. The problem we face with Brayton at DE is that the other teams we face will run it right at him. He gets eaten up at the point of attack. I love Brayton's motor, hustle, and team attitude but he looks to be too big of a liability for our run defense. One problem with your idea is that by moving Kelly to DE, our DT depth would become paper thin which could be a problem in the 4th quarter.

It would be great if we picked up another DT off the waiver wire in the next few weeks.

10:00 PM  
Blogger frkyraider said...

in my humble opinion our O-line has taken huge steps forward week by week this preseason. they stunk it up in game one and are doing a passable job at this point. 4-0. they did enuff to win the games. i didn't expect that the progress and gelling would happen over night, so as long as we keep stepping forward more than we step backward i'll remain happy about the O-line.

did anyone else see McNasty decleat the dude on brooks' improve roll to the leftside? wow!! like this kid. he just keeps comin!!!! shades of wiz. i know thats high praise, but the similarities are uncanny.

my optimism for our o-line is at a high right now because the HOF boys we got coaching them have got them progressing regaurdless of situation. this week they looked better than last week. and they did this without two of the 5 regular starters. thats progress my friends. and i for one am ONBOARD!!!!!

10:46 AM  

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