Monday, November 05, 2007

Run Over Again

Once again, the Raiders Defense has tread marks soiling their uniform from being run over by an opponent. The Texans were one of the worst teams in the NFL (ranked #30) going into this game in terms of their ability to run the ball. It was clear as day that after the Texans coaching staff reviewed film of the Raiders 1st 7 games that the offensive game plan was to run up, down, and through the Raiders defensive front 7. When Ron Dayne racks up 122 yards on 21 carries for almost 6 yards per carry, you know this defense has some major problems to rectify.

As a team, the Texans used a heavy dosage of run plays (39 attempts) to accrue 178 yards for 4.6 yards per carry. In the last 5 games, the Raiders defense has allowed an opponent's feature back to tally 100+ yards.

Game 8 vs. Texans: Ron Dayne (21 carries, 122 yards, long of 39)
Game 7 at Titans: Lendale White (25 carries, 133 yards, long of 27)
Game 6 vs. Chiefs: Larry Johnson (24 carries, 112 yards, long of 54)
Game 5 at Chargers: LT (24 carries, 198 yards, long of 41)
Game 4 at Dolphins: Ron Brown (15 carries, 134 yards, long of 60)

The Raiders are currently the 30th ranked team in defense against the run. The numbers are pitiful. Average yards allowed per game = 152.5; Average yards per carry = 5.1. Yikes!

The lack of depth on the DLine has reared it's ugly with DT Gerrard Warren missing his 4th consecutive game and Tommy Kelly out for the season. In this game vs. the Texans, DT Josh Shaw (#95 in your program) and DT/DE Tyler Brayton were used as the primary subs for Sapp and Sands. The fact that Josh Shaw was unable to make the 53 man roster during training camp is not a comforting thought for the remaining 8 games of the season. I had issues with Tyler Brayton even making this year's final squad based on his lack of production the last 3 years. The Raiders experimented (once again) with Brayton playing a new position, DT. At DT, Brayton is not big enough or strong enough at the point of attack.

It is quite obvious that one of the main priorities in the off season will be to bolster the run defense. It is absolutely paramount for the organization to identify & acquire a true SS for run support (slide Huff to FS), upgrade the SLB position, and most importantly, add quality talent on the DLine via the draft and free agency.


Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

Calico, I'm with you bro. Thanks for dedicating this one to the D, but we need help on both sides of the ball. At 2-6 and 1/2 way through the season it is bleak. Here is my prediction for the remainder of the season:

Chicago - No chance

Minnesota - Let's see, we're bad at stopping the run, so...

Kansas City - Maybe the rookie finds his game by now, maybe not

Denver - only legitimate remaining shot at a win but don't count it just yet

Green Bay - vs. Favre? Are you f'ing kidding me?

Indianapolis - Is it legal to forfeit in the NFL?

Jacksonville - see KC above

San Diego - see Minnesota above

With this season now officially in tatters, it's time to start preparing for next year. It starts with playing the rookie. I think he should at least play one full half in the next two games, then maybe up to full blown starts and games after that. I'd love to see him start right away, but even playing the second half would be OK for some good practice.

Let's not let this season be a total waste. Getting the rookie some reps and real game time will prepare him for what I hope will be a cupcake schedule next year.

Beyond that, I'd like to have some faith in the team's ability to recruit and trade well for next season, but am taking a wait and see attitude.

Till then, I'll continue to watch when the NFL will let me, or tune in to one of the best radio teams in the league. Pappa and Flores are great.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From re poor talent evaluation...

"Over the past five years, Oakland has used only five of 51 draft choices on defensive linemen. Of the five, just one was a defensive tackle (Anttaj Hawthorne), and a meager two (Brayton and Richardson) are still on the roster.

Until Davis and the Raiders realize that NFL games are won up front on both sides of the ball, they'll continue to struggle to win games.

Sometimes that means going after the slow, unexciting players with discipline and a knack for the game.

Is that something Al Davis will do? Probably not."

7:35 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

OMG! minnesota on the schedule?

peterson's gonna set a new world record against us. too bad. we coulda had him!

11:52 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Calico you said that the main goal for Oakland will be to shore up their run defense. That should hav been the goal prior to the 2005, 2006 or even this season. The team did little to do this. I think that the problem is that your defensive linemen aren't moble enough or gifted enough to shed the blocks and run down the plays. It is getting on my nerves.

On the offense side of the ball is an issue too because we lack a #1 WR. Take our quarterback and offensive line problems aside our lack of a god reciever is killing our offense. People campare Kiffin to Gruden and I am not going to argue for or against that. I will state that Gruden had Tim Brown and the recievers that we have now cannot compare to Timmy. I love Curry, I loath Porter but I don't think that anyone can argue that they are a #1 reciever in this league. At least I don't see that ability in them. They can be a #2 or a #3 but not a #1. I've been a Raiders fan since 1985 and thats my take on this. There are more problems on the team but our lack of a #1 reciever and a defensive line is an issue and its killing us.

12:26 PM  
Blogger x said...


You're right on. Even when the D allowed just 12 and 13 points, they folded like a cheap suit when they were really needed.

I think the fact that there are no "game-changing" or big-play players on either side of the ball is huge. No one on defense like Hayes or Lott that could change a game with one play. No one on offense like Cliff Branch or Marcus Allen. One play by a player like that in these close games could have spelled the difference between 2-6 and 5-3 this year.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we need to bite the bullet and go back to a 3-4 and get rid of Sapp Next year. DT=Sands and DE's = Warren & Kelly. OLB's = Burgess & Howard, ILB's = Morrison and a high draft pick next year. All the good run stuffing teams are running a 3-4. Also, this would allow for some more exotic Blitzing (with the Raiders 2ndary we should be Blitzing more!)
Can you name a good 4-3 team against the run this year? I Can't...the only stretch is Burgess at OLB, but I think he has the athletic ability to do a Shawn Merriman type role...

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart Schweigert kills the Raiders!

9:27 AM  

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