Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Raiders Odds N Ends

"We made more mistakes than we could overcome" - Barry Sims

The Raiders continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Critical mistakes at inopportune times was the formula for defeat. Here is a list of some of the more costly, game changing errors in the Raiders 20-34 loss to the Niners.

- Mistake #1: (Oak 3 - SF 7) - Dropped TD Pass
QB Walter passes to Moss in the back of the end zone. Moss dropped the ball. Instead of going up 10-7, the Raiders settled for a FG.

- Mistake #2: (Oak 13 - SF 7) - Blocked punt
Shane Lechler's punt is blocked by Manny Lawson. Raider Reshard Lee allowed Lawson a clean release to the inside. SF takes over on the 9 yard line and punches it into the end zone.

- Mistake #3: (Oak 13 - SF 14) - Interception
QB Walter's pass to WR Whitted is intercepted by Walt Harris in the end zone for a touch back. Walter made a bad read by throwing into double coverage. At the very minimum, the Raiders should have come away with a FG.

- Mistake #4: (Oak 13 - SF 21) - Interception
QB Walter is intercepted by CB Williams. Walter threw an inaccurate pass that was a few feet behind WR Curry.

- Mistake #5: (Oak 13 - SF 24) - Fumble
Walter's lateral pass to RB Jordan is picked up by DT Oliver who runs 12 yards for a TD. Walter's pass was off the mark. Jordan didn't make the catch and then quit on the ball after dropping it. A totally inexcusable "brain freeze" by Jordan.

At this point in the game, Shell made the biggest mistake of the game by benching Walter and bringing in Tui. Walter had played well in the 1st half and is being groomed to be the franchise QB. It is important at this stage in Walter's career to continue to develop, work through his mistakes, and gain valuable experience ... Both good and bad experience. Bringing in Tui didn't serve any short or long term purpose.

The Raiders had 8 possessions in the 2nd half (blocked punt, interception, interception, fumble/incomplete lateral, interception, TD, interception, game over).

12 Pack of Notes:
1. Rush Defense is leaking: SF ran for 165 yards on the day. It is never a good sign when your free safety (Schweigert) is your second leading tackler on the team. Schweigert has 32 tackles for the year.

2. 9-6-4-1: The pass protection has been steadily improving from week to week. The numbers 9-6-4-1 is the number of sacks allowed from game 1 through game 4.

3. 100th TD: WR Randy Moss made a spectacular catch to record his 100th career TD reception. No one in the history of the NFL has recorded 100 TD receptions faster than Moss besides Jerry Rice. Moss' 100th TD reception came in his 129th game of his career.

4. D Needs a Breather: Through 4 games, the defense has been on the field an average of 35:02. Both 2nd half collapses against the Browns and Niners can be partly attributed to the defense getting worn down.

5. Huggy Bear Jr: RB Justin Fargas has been running like a man possessed. Against the Niners Fargas had 8 carries for 63 yards. In limited carries, Fargas has shown a great burst of speed and decisive, north south running style. He is doing a good job of fighting through tackles to gain additional yardage. For the season Fargas has 153 yards on 17 carries for a 9.0 average. It will be important for Shell to get Fargas at least 8-10 carries per game (or more if he is hot).

6. Sacks R Not Us: The Raiders D has recorded only 4 sacks in 4 games. Defensive Coordinator Ryan needs to unleash the dogs of war and start aggressively incorporating more bltiz packages into the defensive play calls. Rookies Huff and Howard are prime candidates to be cut loose on the blitz.

7. Jordan on Track: RB Lamont Jordan is starting to get in a better groove. For the year Jordan has 254 yards on 61 carries for a 4.2 average. Unfortunately with the score of the game dictating the play call selections, Jordan's carries have been limited. Ideally Jordan should be getting about 20-25 carries per game and Fargas an additional 8-10 carries.

8. Curry is a QB's best friend: Curry has 10 receptions for 173 yards on the season for a 17.3 average per catch. "He knows how to get open, he knows how to run a good route, he knows how to feel a defender on him," Walter said. "Ron is definitely a QB's best friend"
In my view, it is time to take the shackles off of Curry and put him in the starting lineup. Across the board, Curry is a better, more productive receiver than current starter Alvis Whitted.

9. Good news, Bad news: Currently the Raiders rushing attack is #2 in the league in yards per attempt (5.1) but #29 in the league in attempts per game (232). In other words, we are running the ball well but not enough.

10. Trade Deadline is Lurking: October 17th is the trade deadline. Will Jerry Porter or Randy Moss be packing their bags? Unless Al Davis gets a really juicy package of draft picks and/or players waved in front of him, my best guess is that no trade will be consummated.

11. Turnover Differential - The root of all evil: The Raiders are ranked #31 in TO differential (-8). Takeaways (5); 4 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery. Giveaways (13); 8 interceptions and 5 fumbles.

12. Up Next: Raiders go to blustery Denver to face their hated rivals, affectionately known as the Donkeys. Denver has the #2 ranked defense in the league and has given up only 1 TD in 4 games.

"Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand." - Saint Thomas Aquinas

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

CJ,

Tough times in Raider land---my attitude is at least expectations have been correctly modified and we can just sit back and enjoy the games without the usual stress. How sad is that?

Thinking about the future.

1. What about Porter for Hanysworth. Our DTs look awful re Frank Gore last game. Only Sands seems to make impact plays

2. Slaughter at right tackle, Booth stays at RG and last let's think about the red head guy--McQuis replacing Sims at LG next year. Gallery is beginning to make improvements from what I can see.

3. Schweigart has got to go

4. Chris Sims for our quarter back. Don't get me wrong at least Walter has some balls and does not get happy feet but the jury is out on whether he will be anything more that Marc Wilson Redux

Keep up the great blogs

Florida Raider

5. Oh yeah Tom Walsh throw him in the Bay, and put Art upstairs as some sort of Football Raider ambassador in upper management

1:09 PM  
Anonymous AllyOop said...

Calico, my only concern is that we rush Curry. We have been sparing with him, and in my opinion, rightfully so. He is truly a medical miracle - let's keep him that way and give him plenty of time....

Excellent blog!

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Bucky O'Grog said...

I can't help thinking that the Raiders would never have been allowed to sink this low back when Al Davis was still alive. They might be the worst team in the NFL,and it's a shame that they don't play Detroit this year so that they could settle that question on the field. I'm with CJ, no more stress, just watching to see what signs of life emerge from the rubble that they have made of this season.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Calico,

Tough maybe not intended, I think the title of your take, "Odds N Ends", says it all.

The Raiders are a strange, collection of odds n ends, thrown together with no ryhme, or reason.

That's how they play to.

A nice sign of life would be, well, I don't know, maybe winning a game.
How's that for starters.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Florida Raider - I too have changed my expectations. I'm no longer as concerned with wins or losses but seeing steady improvement. The new benchmark for me is seeing the Raiders start to play sound, competitive football. How sad is that? On to your points.
1. We definitely need to make a DT by trade, draft, or free agency a major priority although I'm not in favor of aquiring Haynesworth. Haynesworth is a despicable, scumbag who shouldn't be allowed the privilege of ever suiting up in a NFL uniform. What he did to the Cowboy center was a disgrace. One DT on the market to consider with lesser baggage is former Chief Lionel Dalton.
2. The O-line is starting to gel. Boothe has been a very pleasant suprise. I would be more in favor of McNasty taking over RT as opposed to Slaughter.
3. I'm on the fence with Stu. If he doesn't pick up his play, I could see Huff sliding over to FS and Darnell Bing starting at SS in 07.
4. Ideally I would like to see Walter become our franchise QB. I think we will have a better sense of our QB situation by the end of this year. I'm not sure if Simms due to his severe injury would be a good back up plan. If Walter plays well, I would be fine with Brooks as the #2. He is a relatively cheap insurance policy and would serve the purpose of a #2.
5. I might be in the minority but I think Walsh's offensive game planning and play calling has been fine the last 2 games. I stand 100% behind Shell. Some of the things he talked about in February are starting to develop and come true. He said early on that it would take until mid-season for the O-line and running attack to hit their stride. If anything, the running game has already hit their stride and the O-line is in fact starting to perform much better. Most of the criticism about Walsh is that he doesn't make half time adjustments, calls too many 7 step drops, is too predictable, doesn't call a good game. Now. Rewind the last 2 games. The cause for the 2nd half collapse to the Browns can be directly attributed to major special teams breakdowns on coverage. Against the Niners, the 2nd half collapse is due to a blocked punt and 5 turnovers. I think it is unfair to point the finger at Walsh. The offensive game plan and play calling were good in both games. There was a steady dose of 3 and 5 step drops, short and intermediate passes, and a solid rushing attack.

Ally - I love Curry. He is such a talented, hard working, humble man. He is everything you would hope for in a Raider. Everything I have read and seen regarding Curry's health is that he is at 100%. I think the Raiders have been smart to slowly but surely increase his reps and minimize the risk of further injury. He is now ready to be a starter.

Bucky O Grog: Al Davis could very well live to 100. His mother Rose lived to 103. The Raiders might very well be one of the worst teams in the league right now but I haven't given up hope. There is a very good nucleus of young guns who will lead us to a brighter future.

Raider00 - A win would definitely lift all of our spirits. It is time to start weeding out the dead wood and having a plan for a solid foundation for the future.

6:21 PM  
Blogger x said...

That is so sad.

Whatever happened to "Just Win, Baby"?

Maybe I'm delusional, but I'm still looking for a W when I watch them play each week. In the back of my mind though, I'm seriously doubting it when I see things like "Alvis Whitted = starting WR".

Anon: Why so down on Schweigert? It's not his fault the other 7 guys in front of him can't make a tackle. And he's one of the few that shows some passion and cares. You don't see him smiling and laughing on the sidelines during a loss.

And the Marc Wilson-Andrew Walter comparison is really unfair. Wilson had a (much) better team around him and Walter has still barely logged any PT, for pete's sake.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Bucky O Grog,

Don't know if it'll make you feel any better but, back in 2003, Raiders did travel to the Motor City to battle the Lions.

Of course, they lost, 23-13, and since three yrs later, both teams still can't get out of their own way, I doubt the results would be any different today.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

"X" - I'm always looking for a W each and every week no matter how bleak it has looked. I'm waiting for that magical moment when the team turns the corner and puts together a solid 60 minutes of football. Hope is eternal, my friend.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

Your Odds'n'Ends are right on target in their analysis of things, such as they are.

Art Shell has the Raider spirit in 'em, but do the players on this team?

I had hoped that when Pinetime Buchanan, KFC, and their underachieving friends were shipped out the attitude in Oakland would improve by their subtraction...

Jordan talked the talk last season about how there was no excuse for this team not being in the playoffs...

then we find out he didn't bother to learn the blocking schemes...

then he drops an obvious lateral and pretends it didn't happen...

When is LaMont going to walk the walk?

When will Moss and Sapp and all the other talkers show up on the field?

Randy and Warren, I'm not really all that impressed your jerseys have been the highest selling in the NFL since you came to the Raiders. We are embarrassed to wear them right now, and you two certainly should be!

The time for talk is over. It is time to perform. If the Raiders are going to lose, at least lose with heart. We can live with that.

Leave your blood and soul out on the field and we'll hold our heads with dignity walking out the tunnel no matter what the scoreboard says.

But consistently stand around and watch as the likes of Kelly Gregg and Melvin Oliver scoop up fumbles and rumble down the field?

I, for one, can't live with that type of play. It is embarrassing to see these collective clowns sporting Silver'n'Black.

Are they just here to collect a check?

"All that is true, by whomsoever it has been said, has its origin in the spirit."

~Aquinas

2:57 PM  

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