Raiders Don't Blink
Raiders 24 - Brownies 17
It was a bitter sweet game yesterday. It was sweet to honor Al in the 1st home game since his passing by finding the resiliency to come out victorious largely by parlaying 2 big special teams plays. It was bitter knowing that starting QB Campbell is likely out for the season with a fractured clavicle.
Special Team's Unit:
Jacoby Ford's electrifying 101 yard kickoff return TD and a deft fake FG 35 yard TD pass from Lechler to Boss was the engine that got the Raiders to the finish line.
For the 2nd week in a row, the Raiders' defensive unit put the clamps on the opponent's rushing attack. Last week in Houston, the Texans had 70 yards on 25 carries for a 2.8 average. This week, the Raiders D gave up only 65 yards on 21 carries for a 3.1 average. Rookie Van Dyke held up fairly well in pass coverage, FS Giordano was a terror on the blitz (1 sack + 1 QB hit), and newly signed LB Curry fit seamlessly in as WLB. For the entire game, the Raiders D gave up only 1 "big play" (rushing attempt for 15+ yards or pass completion of 20+ yards) to WR Cribbs on a 23 yard pass play.
Next Man Up:
When Campbell was injured in the 2nd quarter, back-up QB Kyle Boller took over. Boller looked shaky and was inaccurate with his throws in his 1st few series. By the 4th quarter though, Boller seemed to settle down.
Head Coach has been stressing the team aspect of "next man up" throughout the season. When a player has gone down to injury (Murphy, Boss, Johnson, Chekwa, Shaughnessy, Satele, Huff) another Raider is expected to step up to the challenge. This will be put to the ultimate test with the QB position.
My expectation is that the Raiders will sign a back-up QB in the next 24-48 hours (Trent Edwards, Charlie Frye, or Josh McCown). Boller, who worked with Hue Jackson in Baltimore, is an experienced QB (66 games played) with a live arm and good mobility. The key will be for Jackson and Saunders to customize the offensive game plan to allow Boller to manage the game.
Hue Jackson Quote:
“I keep telling everybody this team is becoming something,” Raiders coach Hue Jackson said. “We don’t blink when things happens. Obviously, we lost our quarterback early. Very unfortunate. But that’s part of the game, part of the business."
Raiders (4-2) at home vs. the KC Ketchup & Mustard Men (2-3)