Brutalizing the Broncos. A sloppy win for the Raiders, but when it comes to hated division rival Broncos, WINNING is everything. I saw much the same team the dominated the Chiefs in week 17 of 2010. But now they are more experienced, stronger and better managed. There was some rust from a short offseason, but I am certain Hue will have them ready for next week.
What I liked in this game:
Offensive line looked good. They kept Campbell upright and led the way for McFadden to run.
Jason Campbell had solid ball security on a rainy day. No drops, no fumbles given up. No stupid passes at the wrong time. Just solid ball handling, and handing off. All by the books, and that’s worth a huge amount to this team.
Running game rocked. What can I say RUNDMC is looking awesome. When I first saw him in 2009 he scared me with all the fumbles and drops. Since then he has become one of the NFL’s premier running backs, and all Oakland fans are proud of him and his progress.
Defensive front dominant. Nonstop pressure on the QB led to big sacks later in the game. Keeping Orton on the run, scared and desperate. Probably led to his slip and drop of the ball which saved the game for Oakland.
Secondary was solid. The entire media was saying our secondary was doomed without #21. We saw otherwise. Against a better QB it might be harder, but our guys got the job done, I’m not worried about them whatsoever.
Kickers awesome. No more to say, these guys are the best ever.
What I worry about:
Offense still relying on Jano. Last year one weakness was reliance on a brilliant kicker. Enough already. I would rather see us blow it on 4th down than get another 3 point for free. Because if we don’t take chances on 4th we’ll never learn how to win when the chips are down. In the long run, Raiders HAVE to learn to make clutch plays, and that only comes with trial and error.
Defense on the field too long equals injury. Defense was lights out, DEMOLISHING the Bronco offense. Whether stuffing every run or breaking their QB on the ground, our D was spectacular. But depending on them over and over is another Raider weakness. Offense needs to get their job done, and stop relying on the defense to do it for them. If we keep our D on the field for most of the game, they will get injured. And a defense with no #92 will be a problem…
Staying Healthy is the Key!
Penalties are a problem. But a bully is going to get into trouble at times, that’s the price you pay for physical dominance. And as we know, Raiders have won 8/10 games when they have 10+ penalties. When you play with passion and everything you’ve got, penalties are part of it. I think we all agree though, the false starts and other “dumb” penalties are the problem. From here on out all I want to see are Personal Fouls, and Roughing the Passer. I only want 15 yard penalties. Because for each one of those, you got 5 more that weren’t called. Raider ball is rough and tough. Follow Steelers and Ravens lead, fight, play hard but don’t let the refs catch you.