Monday, October 15, 2007

Chargers 28 - Raiders 14

Slow Start For Raiders:
The Chargers opening 2 drives of the game led to touchdowns and a quick 14 to 0 lead. On the opening series of the game, the Chargers marched down the field with an impressive 11 play, 5:36 minute scoring drive culminated with an LT 3 yard scoring plunge. LT had a key 3rd & 7 yard run of 7 yards for a 1st down, a 23 yard run into Raider territory, and scored on a 3rd & goal to go from the 3 yard line for a TD.

The Chargers 2nd series was set up by a Culpepper interception. The Chargers took over at the Raider 39 yard line and quickly scored on the 3rd play of the series on a cutback run up the middle by LT for 27 yards. Just like that … the Raiders dug a BIG 14 to 0 hole With 6:51 left in the 1 quarter. In all 3 losses this year, the Raiders have been stuck in neutral to open the games. Detroit up 17 to 0; Denver up 17 to 3; San Diego up 14 to 0. See an ugly pattern here?

Stop & Go:
Going into this game with the Chargers, there was a very straight forward strategy for the defensive & offensive units that needed to be executed in order to be successful. The defense needed to contain LT by limiting his 10+ yard carries. The offense needed to run the ball effectively. Stop the run & run the ball. It can’t be more basic.

LT gashed the Raiders D on 24 carries, 198 yards for 4 TDs. The Raiders D did a poor job with filling & maintaining gap control. LT was able to exploit the Raiders D by using cutback lanes and bouncing some long runs to the outside. With Michael Huff busy most of the day tracking TE Antonio Gates, the strong safety position wasn’t a factor in run support.


Being a diehard Raider fan, it is not always easy to toot the horn of an opposing player. However, LT is truly a remarkable player. I looked up his career stats and was completely blown away by his ability to create touchdowns. In the 101 games that LT has played, he has racked up 106 rushing TDs, 12 receiving TDs, and has passed for 8 TDs. That is a grand total of 126 TDs in 101 games played. Amazing.

The Raiders rushing attack was sporadic and inconsistent on Sunday. There wasn’t a “pound the ball” mentality. This can be attributed to a number of factors; falling behind 14 to 0, a high number of penalties dictating long distance & down playcalling situations, and overall poor results when rushing the ball. For the day the Raiders had only 23 carries for 53 yards (2.3 per carry).

1 More Yard ... End of 1st half:
After climbing back into the game on a 66 yard TD INT by Thomas Howard, the Raiders settled down. With 4:46 on the clock in the 2nd quarter, the Raiders seemed to hit their stride. The offensive unit rushed the ball 5 consecutive plays for 2 first downs. On 3rd and 1 from the SD 32 yard line and :27 left in the half, Curry made a nice finger tip catch of a Culpepper pass in stride and was on his way for a game tying TD. Unfortunately, Curry was hit out of bounds by CB Jammer at the 1 yard line. 1st and goal from the 1 yard line and :20 to go. The next 2 plays were UGLY. Culpepper was sacked for a 6 yard loss. The next play Culpepper was sacked and fumbled. Instead of coming away with a TD or a FG at worst, the Raiders momentum was DOA with ZERO points tacked on to the scoreboard. The blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Pepper who needed to simply throw the ball out of the back of the end zone.

Penalties, Turnovers, Sacks:
This game had all the ear markings of last year’s disastrous season. Boneheaded penalties (8 penalties for 69 yards), silly turnovers (2 INTs, 1 fumble), and weak pass protection (6 sacks). This is definitely not the formula for success.

BMW shows up:
Big Mike Williams finally earned his paycheck. BMW had his best game of the season. (3 receptions, 35 yards, 2 first downs; no drops) He made 2 spectacular sideline catches & has the potential to be a productive 3rd WR for the Raiders.

Up Next:
The ketchup & mustard colored Chiefs aka “The Condiments” visit Oakland. The Condiments offense is similar to the Chargers. Both teams' offenses revolve around their primary weapons combination of RB/TE (LJ & Tony Gonzales; LT & Antonio Gates). I will be in attendance in Oakland with my nephew expecting a “W” in this bitter rivalry game. Onwards & upwards!

8 Comments:

Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Very disappointing game, Calico. But I'm prepared to believe this was just a slight set back.

And in spite of terrible statistics, we did stay in the game until the end. That is improvement in and of itself.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

BR:

It was a very disappointing game. In spite of LT gouging our run D, a high number of penalties (8), turnovers (3), and sacks allowed (6), the Raiders were a play or 2 away from being in reach of a victory. The bumbling of the 1st and goal from the 1 yard line at the end of the half was crushing.

I will agree with you that it is a 'slight' set back IF and only IF the Raiders respond vs. the Chiefs. It will be interesting to see how the team handles this setback. When I say 'team' I am obviously including the coaching staff. Ryan needs to tailor a defensive game plan to shut down LJ & Gonzo which was not executed vs. LT & Gates.

Kiffin needs to stay committed to the run from the opening series to the end of the game. The players must get off to a quicker start. These 14+ point holes we have dug ourselves in vs. Det, Den, and SD is unacceptable.

I would love to see the Raiders get back on track with a no holds barred ass whippin' of the Chiefs.

Resorting to the basics of good run D (committing 8 in the box), rush the ball effectively (32+ carries), protect the QB (2 or less sacks), and minimize the turnovers (no more than 2) is the ticket to success.

Onwards & Upwards!

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CJ,

Your response to BR is dead on. The Raiders looked exactly the same Sunday as they did under Art Shell it was truley distressing.

If they can break through against the Chief I think it could really open up the door for improvement this year. It is a huge game for the team and fans psyche

I too am hopeful this was a temporary setback however the difference in terms of talent can not be denied. The Chargers are stacked compared to the Raiders at the o-line and d-line it makes me nauseous. The Raiders need to make some wise choices at those positions in the next few drafts

Some things that stood out to me I would be interested in your thoughts

1. Why did Kiffin call those quasi wr screen/parallel pass twenty times, it was almost as if the Raiders were afraid to run

2. At this point would you settle for Eddie Anderson over Schwag?

3.On a positive note Howard is a Pro Bowler and Morrison rock solid same could be said for our corners

Enjoy the game, Go Raiders

Florida Raider

8:21 PM  
Blogger x said...

Calico,

Thanks for re-linking me at Raidertopia.

Interesting to see that "Mr. 53" has his own web site now. Cool site, but don't think I like the high-stepping from the 30 to the end zone. Especially after the offense is having its way with you for a quarter and a half.

An what's up with Mr.27? He finally breaks up a couple of passes and he's thumping his chest like steroid-fueled, San Diego LB Sean Meriman. Dude, make a few more plays and get an interception or two under your belt before you get cocky.

Love "The Condiments"! I knew their unis reminded me of something - it's those red and yellow plastic, squeeze bottles you see in diners. That's beautiful. Hope you don't mind if I steal the term?

8:49 PM  
Blogger Leighraider said...

Hi jack, nice to see you too are keeping the faith, terrible performance against SD, but this is definitely a year where we will have bad games.Even if we were not in a transitional phase under Kiffin, a loss on the road to SD is not a reason to be suicidal.I have belief in what Kiffin is doing, and didn't expect miracles this year, a win against the Chiefs would change the momentum around the Nation again.Thanks for the positive comments over at the blog too.Cheers from acroos the Silver and Black pond.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Florida Raider:

My take on your 2 points/questions:

(1) Kiffin uses the WRs on the quick 1 step passes at the LOS as an effective, safe way to pick up an easy 5 yards. This was a staple play at USC with Mike Williams & Dwayne Jarrett. I'm not sure why he used it so much in the SD game. I suspect it was an alternative to a running play.

(2) The play of Stu has been atrocious. I would gladly move Cooper to SS and slide Huff to FS or use Carr or Eugene at FS with Huff remaining at SS. At this point, Stu brings nothing to the table. He is a poor tackler, has bad ball skills, makes poor reads, takes bad angles, is not a hitter, is not a playmaker. Am I missing something in the job description of a starting safety in the NFL. This is one area that will need to be shored up in free agency or the draft. The one glaring weakness of the Raiders D is that we have no intimidating, knock out, lights out hitters. None of our safeties cause WRs to get alligator arms or hear footsteps.

3. Howard & Morrison are terrific, young LBs who excel in coverage but need to step it up in run support. The INTs are nice but I'm more concerned with the run support. Howard often times runs himself right out of the play by not maintaining his lane assignment. He overpersues the play. I'm confident that both Howard & Morrison will continue to improve with more experience.

X:

I love your Raidertopia site. Keep up the good work. Feel free to use "condiments" in your future blogging. I personally don't have any problem with Howard high stepping or Washington thumping his chest. In Howard's case getting an opporutunity to score a TD is a special ocassion that should be celebrated. In Washinton's case, I suspect he is so animated in order to get himself pumped up for combat. Being a CB in the NFL is not for the faint of heart or for someone without supreme confidence. I can see why you might be annoyed with his antics considering his inconsistent play. I view it #27 getting jacked up for combat. To each his own.

LeighRaider: Cheers to you for being a dedicated Raider fan and blogger all the way from the UK.

** Anyone reading this page should drop by 'Raidertopia' & 'Across the Silver and Black Pond'. Good stuff. Both blogs are listed in my links section.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Raider Greg said...

My Brutha..........
Great Take. it was so great, I used it in my last Podcast. You tell it like it is Bro, keep it up........Great Blog!

We need at least two drafts of "O" and "D" linemen to get to the next level. It should be easier to watch as we continue to improve.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous tooz 72 said...

How about taking Huff off the TE's for awhile and letting him become a factor in the defense? He's a high caliber guy doing low caliber work.

Beat the ketchup and mustard!

9:26 AM  

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