Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Coffee Is For Closers

Blake: “We're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.” (quote from the movie Glenngary Glen Ross)

The Raiders were finally able to close the deal. Below are a few observations and notes from the Raiders 22-9 victory over the Cardinals.

Sigh of Relief: Prior to Sunday's victory, the last time the Silver and Black squad was able to finish off an opponent dates back to November 20th of 2005 against the Washington Redskins. After enduring an agonizing 11 game losing streak, this “W” couldn't come any sooner.

"Oh No. Here we go again": On the Raiders opening drive, Zach Crockett fumbled a pitch play. With Cardinals Kicker Neil Rackers missing a 49 yard field goal on the ensuing drive, the Raiders started the next drive on the 39 yard line. The key play to this eventual TD drive was a play where QB Walter scrambled to his left to avoid the pass rush and fired a 32 yard strike to Randy Moss. RB Lee finished off the drive with a 1 yard leap over the pile. Fumble, missed FG, TD. Oh no, yes, YES! The whole vibe of the game seemed to switch on a dime.

Rumbling, Stumbling Sands: On the Cardinals 2nd series, DE Derrick Burgess tipped Leinart’s pass at the line of scrimmage and the ball somehow found its way into the very large arms of DT Terdell Sands. On the 1st play after the turnover, Walter hooked up with Moss for a 33 yard TD pass. Walter made a nice throw where he allowed Moss to use his height and jumping ability to make a play. I had that warm, fuzzy feeling today was our day. The defense created a turnover and BOOM the offense capitalized for a quick strike TD. Raiders 14, Cards 0

Give Credit Where Credit is Due: Offensive Coordinator Tom Walsh called a much better game against the Cardinals. He had a much better mix of plays and the Raiders offense wasn’t as predictable as evidenced by the first 20 1st down calls (13 run, 7 pass). What I really liked about the Raiders first 4 drives was the variety of short and long passes. On 5 of the 7 1st down pass plays, short pass plays were called for Whitted, Anderson, Curry, and Moss.

#16, One Step Forward: Andrew Walter took a big step in his development. In particular, A-Dub was outstanding on 3rd downs. Check out these stats:

8-11 for 137 yards on 3rd down plays ... all of his completions were for 1st downs. What makes these statistics remarkable is the fact that most of these came on 3rd and long situations. Here is a breakdown on A-Dub's 3rd down and long completions:

3-11: Walter completes a 19 yard pass to Curry
3-21: Walter completes a 32 yard pass to Moss
3-13: Walter hits Curry for 16 yards
3-11: Walter passes to Moss for 14 yards
3-9: Walter hits Moss for 10 yards
3-17: Walter completes a 19 yard pass to Moss

For the game, the Raiders converted 13 of 20 on 3rd downs.

Walter was 17-30 (56.6%), 1 TD, 1 Interception for a QB Rating of 83.1. His number would have been significantly better when you factor in the 6 dropped passes. There were 2 TD passes that were dropped (Whitted & Moss). Give this kid good pass protection and he will only get better.

Tough Guy: RB Justin Fargas is one tough hombre. Last week he suffered a separated shoulder and was doubtful for the game against the Cardinals. With starting RB Lamont Jordan out with an ailing back, Fargas sucked it up to the tune of 23 carries for 66 hard earned yards. Out of necessity, Head Coach Art Shell used a running back by committee approach. Fargas, Zach Crockett, and ReShard Lee combined for 31 carries and 131 yards. Crockett had a robust 5.5 average on 8 carries while Lee was used as a lead blocker, tailback, and goal line back.

Dogs of War:
The Raiders defense played exceptionally well the entire game. With the Raiders building up a 17-0 lead, the defenders were in full attack mode. Ryan definitely cranked up the Defensive pressure! The Tyrone Poole corner blitz was a beautifully designed and executed play. He blitzed behind Burgess to Leinart's blind spot. The defense made plays all day. 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 safety, and making plays on 3rd downs (Cards 1-11 on 3rd downs for a 9% conversion rate). The Raiders rush defense was stout in holding the Cards to a meager 50 total yards.

Head Coach Art Shell has been preaching all season long that the team needs to continue to work hard, play as a team, and learn how to finish an opponent off.
“I’m most happy for the guys in the locker room. It’s not about me. It’s about those guys in the locker room. They’ve worked very hard to get some taste of success.” Art Shell


1st Downs921
3rd Down Conversion1-11 (9%)13-20 (65%)
Time of Possession22:5937:01
Total Net Yards224395
Total Plays5577
Net Yards Rushing50137
Net Yards Passing174258
Sacks-Yards Lost5-213-29


Blogger Whitey said...

Nice to see the faithful rewarded with a victory.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I loved Alec Baldwin's character int hat movie too. How about this exchange

Dave Moss: What's your name?
Blake: Fuck you. That's my name.
[Moss laughs]
Blake: You know why, mister? 'Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, I drove an eighty thousand dollar BMW. *That's* my name.

regarding the game it was sweet relief. I am really warming to Walter.

What are your thoughts on Gallery and Brayton---both look weak.

I think Gallery is suffering because he practices against Brayton who can absoutley generate no pash rush.

I am travelling to Cali for my annual Raider pilgrimage this week for the Steelers game---a win would be sweet


Florida Raider

10:10 AM  
Blogger R-8-er Mike said...

The win was critical for morale and confidence building... (talking about the team, but true for the fans too!) - if they can ride that momentum into the next game....
On Gallery, I still have faith in Shell's ability to judge the potential of O-Linemen, plus I dont understand how such an aggressive and dominating guy can lose everything coming to the nfl, yes, its way faster and more challenging, but he still must have his inate strenghts - same goes for McNasty....
Bryton is just too small, slow and not strong enough; he's proven too big (and slow) for LB and too weak for DL... sorry bro!
I would like to see them keep the rushing by committee: LJ, Fargas and Crocket. I have never been convinced that LJ is the guy - and the change up in size and speed and style helps compensate for the deficiency in our not having an "A" caliber RB (something I hope we draft next year, ala bush).

all that sh*t aside, I am get ready to saddle up for this week.... cuz by 11/12 I am hopin we got all cylinders going so that we can WOOOP the donkeys!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Florida Raider -

Glenngary Gary Ross has a ton of classic lines. I agree with R-8-er Mike's overall assessment of Gallery & Brayton.

I would like to see Brayton used a situational player who gets maybe 12-15 snaps a game. This is what the front four should look like:

DE - Burgess
DT - Sapp
DT - Sands
DE - Kelly

Kelly was awesome last year at DE and Sands deserves to start. Use Hawthorne, Brayton, and Johnstone as subs to keep the starters fresh.

I haven't given up hope on Gallery but clearly he needs to pick it up.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Excellent breakdown! Overall, this game just had so much more texture than previous outings. The playcalling was more interesting, the tempo more uplifting, the running game more unpredictable, the defense more aggressive. It was like seeing this team in 3-D for the first time this year after so many one-dimensional outings.

8:37 PM  
Blogger R-8-er Mike said...

Your name is so fitting, your take is right on. It felt like 3-D. I'll just say this, now that porter is off suspension, i would love to see him out on the field. with him and moss... it will make that 3-D much 'deeper'.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Bucky O'Grog said...

I love my Raiders, but at 1-5 they ain't earned any coffee. I don't want them even thinking about coffee until they get back to .500. Like my pal Jimmie says in Pulp Fiction: "I don't need you to tell me how fucking good my coffee is, okay? I'm the one who buys it. I know how good it is. When Bonnie goes shopping she buys SHIT. Me, I buy the gourmet expensive stuff because when I drink it I want to taste it. But you know what's on my mind right now? It AIN'T the coffee in my kitchen, it's the dead nigger in my garage."

3:46 PM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

CJ: I do agree the "D" is improved from recent years. They have done a great job of holding teams to field goals after being put in terrible short field situations.

The thing is, the pass defense is overrated because Rob Ryan plays the nickel so much. Opposing teams have only attempted to pass on the Raiders 145 times, the lowest number in the league. They just run on us instead.

The nickel philosophy presupposes that the offense is going to be explosive, get an early lead, and all you have to do is keep the other team's point total down to a moderate level.

Unfortunately, Oakland's offense cannot do this right now. They just don't score much. Therefore, I humbly submit this "D" won't take the team very far; it certainly can't carry it the way the Bears "D" does at times.

I think because James ran 36 times for a measly 55 yards (this has to be some sort of record for futility) against the Bears, Green blew a gasket, fired the O-coordinator...

and Rob Ryan knew the Cards were going to pass. The new O-coordinator had to try to establish a more balanced attack than the James Show just to keep Green from having a conniption. Ryan waited for 'em with the nickel, pass prevent "D".

The thing is, Burgess played out of his mind against a left-handed QB this time. That is not going to happen every week and opposing offenses are going to exploit the lack of a pass rush unless it improves.

I see reasons for optimism with the "D". I would like to remind folks that his is not the "D" of '66 that lead us to our first SB appearance with 666 yards in sack losses achieved. This is vanilla prevent, not dominance.

Just my two cent opinion.
Sack record is here.

2:23 PM  
Blogger R-8-er Mike said...

Hey Stickem
It aint like some of our d-fenses of the past, but by golly, its half time with the steelers, and our D is looking pretty damn good against the SB champs. Stopping the run (like last week), tackling hard, Burgess IS again playing out of his head, and our young dbs are rocking them! I think this can be a dominating defense, and if the offense can catch up some, (Art predicted by midseason), we will be a tough, feared team. I love that porter is playing, and love fargas and the rb committee... that's my 1/2 time 2 cents.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

Lemme be the first to say, "I wuz wrong..."

And d@mmit it's good to be wrong!

This "D" carried the team in a way I can't remember seeing from the Raiders in a lonnnng time. Were we channeling Da Bears?

The Squeeler "O" genius Whiz everyone hyped then griped about not being our new HC gets outscored by our "D"?!?

Chris Carr gains more yardage on a single INT return than our whole entire f'ing offense for whole entire game?!?

And we win? Unbelievable!!!

7:08 PM  

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