Monday, September 18, 2006

Hut, Hut ... Fumble

The Raiders flew into the Crow's Nest with the deck stacked against them. With the offensive unit compiling the following atrocious numbers, it is remarkable that the deficit was only 28-6.
5 fumbles (3 lost); 3 interceptions, 6 sacks (45 yards lost); 1 safety; 2-12 on 3rd down coversion rate; 0-3 red zone efficiency; 39 net rushing yards.

The Raiders turned over the ball carelessly, were unable to protect the QB, and had an impotent rushing attack. Similar to the Chargers' slaughter, the offensive unit put their compadres on the other side of the ball in a very difficult predicament. The 1st 5 possessions tells the storyline: Fumble, Fumble, 3-out, 3-out, 3-out. That's zero 1st downs in your 1st 5 possessions. Pathetic. The Ravens started their 1st 3 possessions in Raiders' territory. Thanks to the spirited performance of the Raiders' defense, the Ravens came away with only 3 field goals.

Here's a quick list of observations.

Negatives (Despair):
- 4 fumbled snaps (2 from Brooks, 2 from Walter); this is totally inexcusable considering this is the most basic "play" in football.

- 6 turnovers; ball security/turnover ratio is one of the most telling indicators of wins and losses.

- 6 sacks; the Raiders pass protection is a glaring weakness that needs to be shored up very quickly for the offense to be able to sustain drives.

- Offensive tempo; Walter needs to get the offensive unit in and out of the huddle quickly and have enough time to survey the field, read the defense, change the play or protection scheme if necessary, and avoid burning needless time outs.

- Tippy-Toe Jordan; #34 seems very tentative hitting the hole. He needs to decisively pick a seam and blast through the line. (19 carries, 35 yards, 1.8 avg)

- Play calling; Moss is your #1 weapon. How is it possible that he ends up with only 2 receptions for 32 yards? The Raiders offense ran 61 plays. There wasn't 1 pass thrown to a RB the entire game.

- Capitalizing on your opportunities; Walter threw an uncatchable ball to Moss who was wide open in the end zone.

Positives (Hope):
- A round of beers for the D; The defensive unit can hold their heads up high. This unit played with a lot of heart and pride throughout the game no matter how many times the offensive unit shafted them. Besides being left on the field forever, having to take a short field to defend, bouncing off the bench after 6 turnovers and a safety, the D responded.

- Star performers; Sapp (2 sacks), Sands (2 batted balls), Morrison (1 int), Howard (7 tackles), Poole (3 passes defended) in particular played exceptionally well under adverse conditions.

- The future of our franchise QB is now; it is now time to usher in the Walter era and see whether or not he is the QB to build around. With Brooks getting injured chasing down one of his fumbles, Walter was thrown into the fire. Walter's statline was ugly (10-27, 162 yards, 3 ints, 1 fumble) but he demonstrated some of the intangibles (leadership, chemistry, pocket awareness) and passing abilities when protected that the organizations has been high on.

- We like A-Dub; The players seems to respond to Walter. There were a number of instances where teammates (Sapp, Moss) actively sought out Walter to show their support for him.

- Special Teams; Carr ran back the kick offs and punts with a reckless abandon. Shane Lechler (4 punts, 53.5 avg) and Sea-Bass (2-2 FG including a 51 yarder) were sharp.

- An extra week to re-group; The bye week couldn't come at a better time for the Raiders. The 2 weeks of practice, especially for Walter, and adjustments are critical to get on the right track.

Up Next: Oct. 1st at home vs. the Cleveland Browns

AFC WestRecordNext Opponent
San Diego(2-0)Bye Week
Denver(1-1)at New England
Kansas City(0-2)Bye Week


Bye Week


Blogger x said...

Keep Hope alive.

I agree with you on most of your points, but maybe Jordan runs tentatively because he, and the rest of the team, has totally lost confidence in his offensive line. They are very, very bad.

And wasn't he considered a good receiver out of the backfield when he came over from the NY Jets? Where did that go? Oh yeah, "The Mayor" doesn't have that play in the playbook.

I also liked the interaction between Walter and the team on the sidelines. It shows me something - teammates like him and he cares. Hate it when QBs (KFC) go and sit alone at the end of the bench. Wish he had hit Moss in the end zone though.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that four snaps were fumbled (two Brooks and two Walter) to me implies the center caused them. The exchange starts with the center. Bottom line, this team is running out of excuses. Time for the coaches and players (mostly offensive of course) to put up or shut up. There is no excuse for zero play-action passes, zero passes to a RB out of the backfield (aside from one ineffective screen), etc. You think the Raider Nation is down now? What will the state of the nation be if Raiders don't pull together against the Browns and 49ers?????

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Face it Raider's going to be a long, long season. I watched the Jags on MNF... now that's how to play D. This team and organization is unprofessional and the laughing stock of the NFL and it feels hopeless. So, being one of the largest fan bases in the NFL, what can we do to get the attention of the Raider hierarchy?Anything? Bleeding Silver and Black.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Damn, CJ, you nailed it! No sugar coating the negatives, and they are numerous right now. The playcalling is dicey, yet we can't blame the playcalling for dropped snaps, dropped passes and tentative running. It's hard to know where one begins and the other ends right now.

That said, I'm pleased with our defensive effort and our special teams, and there is genuine excitement in seeing what Andrew Walter can bring to the table. We can't expect too much, too fast. Alas, patience may be the theme of this season.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

X - Hope is ALWAYS a good thing.

Anon 1 - The Raider Nation will indeed be seriously deflated if they lay an egg vs. the Brownies and Whiners. However, it is also time for the fans to either put up or shut up. Put up by supporting the team or shut up by finding another team/hobby. Free will is a beautiful thing.

Anon 2 - The Jags D was very impressive particularly the DTs.

RT - There are countless problems on the offensive side of the ball but what it really boils down to is poor execution and ineffective play calling.

I watched the game again tonight. Yes. I'm a glutton for punishment. The 2nd viewing reconfirmed my initial thoughts on our D. There was a real "can-do" spirit despite the circumstances. One of the real "quiet" standouts on D was Tyrone Poole. I also was impressed with Thomas Howard's instinctual play (which was suppose to be the knock on him) and solid tackling of backs and tight ends in coverage.

I share your excitement and anticipation of A-Dub's 1st start.

Early Calico Jack Special Pick:

Raiders 20 - Brownies 13
(Hey Peter King...put that in your pipe and smoke it!)

9:33 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Calico, perhaps you have some insight into the reason why Jonnie Morant can't get on the field.

The kid sure looked to have some talent during preseason. With Gabriel traded, Porter in the doghouse, & Whitted looking soft, why not give Morant a long look.

I know WR is the least of the problems, but it just seems like they lock Morant in the hotel before each game. What gives ???

10:50 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider 00 - I like Morant too. One of the biggest reasons he isn't getting on the field very much is that the Raiders are using a very limited number of 3 WR sets. Against the Ravens, there were a lot of 2 TE formations to try to help out with pass protection.

If Porter continues to stay in the Shellhouse, I would like the WR depth chart to be as follows;

1 - Moss
2 - Curry
3 - Morant
4 - Whitted

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The offensive play calling is the worst I’ve ever seen, boys. A ten year-old knows how to call a better game than Walsh. Pop quiz for you: What do you do when your O-line is getting absolutely overrun in the pass rush?
A. Run the ball
B. Throw a screen pass
C. Take a short 3-step drop and throw a short crossing pattern to Randy
D. Any of those options A – C
E. Call another 7-step drop and see if they kill your QB this time

It’s not hard folks. Why not give A through C a try? But no, our idiot for an offensive coordinator calls yet another deep drop. What happened to Shell’s commitment to pound the ball? Hypocrite.

I love the Raids. Always will. So I am desperately hoping they go 0-16 this year. Hear me out. It’s not because they’ll get the 1st overall pick. We all know Al will pick a bust anyway. I’m hoping that the Raiders have the absolute worst season in NFL history so Al Davis finally gets it through his senile head that HE NO LONGER KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL AND NEEDS TO HAND THE REINS OF THE RAIDER ORGANIZATION OVER TO SOMEONE ELSE. This way a quality coach will finally work for the Raiders. This way confidence can be restored. The only hope the Raiders have is without Al at the wheel.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody who thinks Jonnie Morant looks like a legit NFL reciever is a complete moron. He looks stiff as a board when he runs and has no football skills whatsoever. Ask yourself this question..... Ever hear anyone even mention Jonnie Morants name? Thats what I thought.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...


Over the yrs, many so called football "experts", have claimed that Players such as, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Marcus Allen, Howie Long, and Rich Gannon, would never make it in the NFL. This is just to name a few.

Only a fool would trash a young player before he even has a chance to get on the field.

I will wait until Jonnie Morant gets on the field, in a real game, and shows what he can do, before I judge him.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider00 - I agree with your point about allowing a player to get on the field before making an evaluation of their worth. I also agree with some of the players you listed as not knowing whether or not they would be successful in the NFL.

However, I would leave Marcus Allen off that list considering he was a 1st round draft choice from a big time program(USC) and coming off of a Heisman Trophy season. The expectations of players is partly attributed to what round they are drafted.

Clearly Morant has shown enough ability the past 2 exhibition seasons to get an opportunity to play especially since he is more suited to be a possession type, complimentary receiver than Whitted. At 6'4" Morant would be able to handle the tough catches in traffic over the middle of the field.

9:08 PM  

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