In 2010 the Raiders were tested by the Steelers, and they failed that test miserably. In 2011 the Raiders were tested by the Patriots. And although they lost, the Raiders showed that they have grown in the last year and were able to stay competitive against an extremely good, battle-tested, superbowl worthy opponent. That’s not something we could say last year, so in my mind, the Raiders have come a long ways.
However, in this year of testing, there is so much more to be done. Others have well reviewed the ups and downs of the game. It’s clear that Jason Campbell is a dam good QB, but not above making mistakes at times. The defense needs to make stops on 3rd down instead of penalties. Tacklers need to hit the man and take him down. And I see too much of the “dumb” Raiders of pre 2010 – biting on fakes, overpursuing the QB allowing the runner to break through, and giving up big plays in the secondary when linebackers fail to make tackles. This defense has to get smarter, but I don’t know how or who can make that happen.
Thoughts I have from this game:
Hue Jackson has yet to go for it on 4th down this season. In the 3rd quarter we were 15 yards away from the goal, with 3 yards for a first down and we kicked it? Going for the TD at that point in the game could have changed the momentum, and brought back the energy we needed to stay in this game. If not then, WHEN do we go for it on 4th? Jackson has a killer instinct, in that case I feel we should have used it.
Offensive line kept our QB clean the entire game without a sack! Amazing work. However, our run game just didn’t catch fire as it has in the past. We lost some steam in this game and that concerns me.
Seeing Hall of Fame Raider Jim Otto in the owners box with Coach Davis was a reminder that the Raiders franchise has glory beyond measure and that this years team has a HUGE standard to live up to. They aren’t there yet.
Seems like Seymour’s personal fouls used up a lot of his energy for the game. After that he just slowed down. The D line kept pressure, but never got to Brady, despite getting hands on him, he was able to squirm away. How can our D line put reliable pressure on the QB?
Raiders entered this season as an average team. Each game they are growing toward becoming good. So far they’ve survived each test. Texans are next, and this will be another opportunity for Raiders to grow. This team is talented, and they play hard. The final ingredient is to play smart, and that is what we need for the playoffs to come.