Sunday, December 06, 2009

DHB Scratch, Passing Game Reborn

The Raiders passing attack throughout this season has been impotent for a myriad of reasons. Poor QB play, inconsistent pass protection, and paltry production from the WR corps. In the 1st 11 games, 1 of our starting WRs, DHB, had a whopping total of 9 catches and 1 TD.

Lo and behold, DHB was a late scratch from the game today vs. Pittsburgh. In DHB's place, JLH started and Murphy received more reps. JLH (4 receptions, 63 yards) & Murph (4 receptions, 128 yards, 2 TDs), while splitting snaps, produced more in 1 game than DHB has in 11 games as a starter.

In this thrilling last second 27-24 victory, the Raiders 3 primary WRs (Schilens, JLH, Murphy) combined for 11 receptions, 236 yards, and 3 TDs. Is it a coincidence that the passing attack got on track with DHB in street clothes? Many Raiders fans have been upset with the stubbornness that Raiders management (Cable & Davis) have shown in the bad decision to give DHB so many unearned snaps.

The other key component to a productive day in the air was Ski's ability to improvise and adapt to a stiff pass rush by using his feet, legs, and head. For the day, Ski was 20-33, 61%, 308 yards, 3 TDs, 0 Ints. There were numerous plays in this contest where Ski was able to buy time, go to his 2nd and 3rd read, and deliver an accurate pass.

This game made it crystal clear to all the Raider arm chair QBs. In order to field the most competitive team, DHB & Russell need to earn their way back on to the field. How high you were drafted or the size of your paycheck should not determine your playing status. Playing time should be earned by the performance on the field.


Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

Buddy, it was Stabler vs. Bradshaw all over again. For the first time in his 18 years, my son got to see classic Raider football. Smash mouth runs mixed with beautiful airmail. (taking nothing away from Gannon & co., but that was West Coast stuff). I told him that's how all the games used to go. When asked about his favorite part of a Raiders game back in the day, Snake responded "the last two minutes." Nice to relive that glory today.

They beat a good team. Grad just may have legs. Murphy definitely does. Fargas too. And Miller. The D-line. And the O-line. Now that the two expensive pieces of crap are out of the way (JaMRuss and DHB), do we actually see some talent developing and learning how to play together?

We'll see, but God that was nice today.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think we won because DHB was out. DHB is getting better. I do believe JaMarcus Russell will never be able to do what Gradkowski had done today. Bruce Almighty was a beast on Heinz Field! I think we found a QB Raider Nation!!!

7:15 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


It wasn't an accident that the Raiders for the 1st time this season had more than 300 yards passing and more than 2 TDs.

It was the combination of Gradkowski (more mobile, decisive, and accurate than Rusell) plus a MUCH more productive WR corps.

With DHB out, JLH started.
With DHB out, Murphy got more snaps.

These 2 WRs combined for 8 receptions and close to 200 yards.

When DHB was the starting WR and Gradkowski the starting QB, DHB had a total of only 3 receptions in 2 games for a total of less than 40 yards.

If you think DHB is "improving", I don't know what games you've been watching. The guy averages less than 1 reception per game.

Bottom Line:
The Raiders are a better, more competitive team without DHB on the field. DHB needs to earn his way back on to the field. At this stage in his career develoment, he simply is not a starting level WR.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great win following your train of thought if we can sit McFadden and get Busch more carries they can really roll

8:32 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Productivity is what counts. Through 11 games, DHB has been a bust.

JLH caught 4 passes for 63 yards today. That’s more yards and twice as many passes as DHB has caught in a single game through 11 starts.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Joaquin said...

How good a win was that?!!!!!
I was very surprised at the little play of M. Bush.

4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good gawd! It feels like that's the first time I've seen RAIDERS FOOTBALL in 30 years ... damn!

6:50 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I would feel better if DHB's benching was the coaches' (Al's) decision instead of an injury. Unfortunately, he'll probably soon be back out there under-performing again.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

NY Raider... I agree, and there is an unusual movement afoot out here. It is the awakening of the independent-minded Raider fan. They didn't used to exist, but they're at least 25,000 strong now -- see the billboard on I-880 asking Al to get a GM. None of us intends any disrespect to Al Davis, at least the Al Davis we used to know, but none of us wants the dementia-ridden skeleton that Al has become making any more football decisions. It is possible to be a rabid and avid Raider fan and still want Davis far removed from the business. The next year will tell us a lot. He'll either see the light or will continue to choke his ever-distant glory years to death. After the Steelers win, I'm willing to hope he sees the light.

How about this pipe dream: A Madden-led investment team (highest % ownership), including Plunkett, Long, Brown, and maybe Gannon and/or Flores buy this bitch, install a real football structure including GM, coach, etc.

Whoa. Sorry CJ, got carried away on your blog. The win still feels good.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


#1: If Davis allows the coaching staff to put the best players on the field irregardless of drafting status, contract size, or personal favorites, then the team will be infinitely better. Russell & DHB are perfect examples.

#2: The real "pipe dream" is for Davis to hire a GM and give this GM the full authority to make the majority of all football decisions. I don't see Davis cashing out his chips to a ownership group. The Raiders is what keeps him alive. It is his primary interest. Just keepin' it real.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Leighraider said...

Its great to watch the Raiders play like Raiders, and to be able to look forward to a game again.It was actually fun to watch.Those receivers minus DHB actually looked a threat.The biggest difference at QB is leadership, oh and being able to complete passes.Heres to four more remaining games of proper grown up football.

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...


I love my son. Now 18 years old. He declared today: No one will watch this team or listen on the radio if they start JaMarcus Russell over Charlie Frye next week. On the one hand, I agree totally. Since it is physically impossible to be WORSE than JaMRuss, then it is only possible to be "as bad as" or "no worse than." Hence, start the guy you're paying two baloney sandwiches and cab fare, not the $20+ zillion goofball. We can trade that guy to the CFL or NFL Europe. Hail, Frye. I'm probably spelling his name wrong, as if it matters. The Bruce Almightly era was two games long -- here's to CF lasting twice that long, buddy.

49ers won tonight. Never thought I'd celebrate that.

Tooz 72

9:02 PM  

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