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.