Monday, November 24, 2008

Night & Day

Raiders 31 - Broncos 10

While watching this game in Denver, 2 things really jumped out to me. First and foremost was the efficiency, productivity, and creativity of the Raiders offense. The 2nd revelation was the difference between these 2 teams in terms of desire and spirit going into the final third of the season. Which team seemed more hungry for a win? Denver was playing at home. Denver was playing for a playoff berth hanging in the balance. The Raiders have had a dismal season yet the energy & passion displayed by the silver and black was a sight to behold.

Here is a summary of the Raiders Offensive Breakthrough:

(1) Touchdown ... Raiiiiiders! Going into this contest with Denver, the Raiders had a meager 9 offensive TDs in 10 games. Against the Broncos, the Raiders tallied 3 TDs ringing up 21 unanswered points.

(2) 3rd Down Conversion: The Raiders were the worst team in the NFL prior to the Denver game. In this game, the Raiders converted 8 of 13 3rd down attempts.

(3) Time of Possession: The Raiders offense was able to sustain drives on 6 of 8 possessions winning the TOP battle 32:04 to 27:56.

(4) Turnovers: The Raiders offense committed 0 turnovers to Denver's 2.

(5) Pass Protection: The OLine did an admirable job of protecting JaMarcus Russell who suffered 0 sacks.

(6) Offensive Balance: 158 yards rushing + 160 yards passing

(7) Red Zone Efficiency: The Raiders converted 3 of 4 red zone opportunities for TDs.

(8) Passing Attack: JaMarcus Russell completed 11 of 12 pass attempts for 160 yards and a 13.3 yards per pass average.

(9) JaMarcus Russell: #2 had his best, most complete game of his young career completing 91% of his pass attempts. His 4 yard TD pass to WR Lelie between 2 defenders was rifled into a very tight window.

(10) Darren McFadden: McFadden, 100% healthy, is a game changer. Unfortunately, #20 has been out or used sparingly for 8 of the 11 games played due to his turf toe injuries. With McFadden in the lineup, the Raiders offense has some very important elements to a successful offensive unit; a dynamic, big play back who has a nose for the end zone. In McFadden's career at Arkansas, he was able to score 41 TDs in 38 games. Raider fans got a taste of McFadden's dynamic playmaking ability in game 2 at KC when he ran for 164 yards on 21 carries and 1 TD. Against Denver, McFadden capitalized on 2 red zone opportunities with 2 TDs.

(11) Creative Playcalling: Finally, Cable took the shackles off of the offensive unit and dialed up some "PLAY TO WIN" calls.

* Direct snaps to Curry and McFadden
* Deep passes to Lelie, Miller, and McFadden
* End around to Higgins
* Misdirection pitch to McFadden
* Option pass from Bush to Miller

It will be very interesting to see if this one game was merely a "highlight" to a rather grim 2008 season or if the offensive unit can sustain a level of execution for the remaining 5 games. The one two punch of Russell and McFadden should give all Raider fans a sense of hope that better days are ahead of us.


Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Although it was a much needed win, and it truly made my day; it is a bittersweet win for me too.
Bittersweet in the fact that this is what the Raiders are capable of, and have been capable of for the last 6 seasons; and we have only seen glimpses of it and not consistency.
I can't help but think that we need to do this with consistency. This is where a solid Head Coach comes into play; but it is something we won't have until we get a GM.
The Darren McFadden call shows that Tom Cable doesn't know how to "change it up" on play-calling. Which is why he ran Fargas up the middle two plays, and why we've seen very simplistic plays.
Now that we've shown the world how we are capable of playing; will we be consistent? That is what I'm asking myself the rest of the season, and that is what I look more to in the seasons to come.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Leighraider said...

It was just good to see the Raiders playing bonafide NFL football on both sides of the ball.The coaching staff take a lot of flakk when things go badly, so we should give them a pat on the back this week.The players are actually responding too.Confidence has got to be sky high for the visit of the Chiefs too, just imagine, back to back wins.Maybe I wish for too much.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Great point about achieving a level of consistency. The Bronco win is only significant if the Raiders follow it up with continued good play. We all know about the snowy MNF win vs. Denver a few years back. It was merely a highlight to a season filled with lowlights. Until the Raiders string together multiple wins it will be 1 step forward and 2 back. The mark of an improved team is solid, consistent play on a week to week basis.

It was great seeing the effort and execution come together from all 3 units. The Chiefs game is important to keep on building on the success displayed vs. KC. By all accounts, the Raiders should destroy KC. How they respond to the back slapping enjoyed this week will be vital. BTW, when was the last time the Raiders enjoyed back to back wins? Was it in 2002?

6:49 PM  
Blogger kigleigh said...

Nice piece CJ,i too think the combination of Russell & McFadden gives us plenty hope of good things to come in the future.
The beginning of something good?Or another false dawn?We'll see soon.By the way,the last time we got back to back wins was wk3 & wk4 last season...though it DOES feel like 2002 to me and probably every other long suffering RAIDER fan after all the recent torment.
Anyway,bring on the Chefs..GO RAIDERS !!

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

Just watched the Silver & Black Report on Comcast. It had good postgame footage of the locker room in Denver. These guys were very happy but they weren't happy idiots. They were pros, smiles all around, but pros in the way they carried themselves. Maybe, just maybe, they turned a small corner. We'll see more against KC tomorrow. Looking forward to CJ's recap.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

Guess not.

4:52 PM  

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