Oh that was painful. As painful as it was to watch the game two weeks ago against the Giants, this one may have been even more painful. The Jets took advantage of three early turnovers to go up 21-0 and then ran the ball the rest of the game to great success. The most depressing thing was that the Raiders knew it was coming and they still couldn't stop it.<
As is too often the case, this game was so horrible overall, that my mission becomes to simply point out those players that should be excluded from blame. Those players that, had they been playing for any other team, their efforts would have translated into success.
And on that note, let's get the Ballers out of the way and get on to the nitty gritty.
His punts were even more breathtaking in this game than they usually are. He had just five punts on the day. Mainly because the Raiders turned the ball over four times and the Jets ran the clock out the entire second half. But on those five punts he averaged over 52 yards per punt with two being downed inside the 20 yard line. His first punt went for 49 yards but the hang time caused fair catch at the 25 yard line. His next punt, the Jets stayed away from and it was downed at the 7 yard line. After that he had his biggest punt of the day of 61 yards that was downed at the 6 yard line. The Jets were called for Holding and started their drive on the 3 yard line. Then he matched his biggest punt by booting another 61 yarder. This one was returned just 4 yards to the 22. It was the ONLY punt the Jets even attempted a return on all day. His final punt of the day went for 51 yards and was fair caught at the 21 yard line. His shortest punt (43 yards) was one of his best as it was downed by the Raiders at the 7 yard line. If you take that punt yardage out, he averaged almost 56 yards per punt. The one time the Jets fair caught a punt at the 25 yard line was their best field position of the day off of punts.
He had his second straight really nice game for the Raiders. He seems perfectly fit for the zone blocking scheme. His ability to find the hole and shoot through it with such quickness is astounding. He had two especially nice runs on the day. One for 35 yards and the other for 17 yards. Again, to compare these to what Darren McFadden had in the first 5 games of the season, in which McFadden's biggest runs were 15 and 13 yards. Fargas is far superior in this system and to say he has better balance is to point out the obvious. He finished the day with 67 yards on just 8 carries to average over 8 yards a carry. He also had 3 catches for 23 yards.
He led the Raiders in tackles on the day with 7 solo tackles and 1 assist. He also had a forced fumble. Unfortunately, the ball bounced out of bounds or it could have been a nice play for the Raiders. Many of his tackles were when he came up to stuff the run. A duty he performed better than the linebackers on many occasions. Especially considering he was cleaning up their mess half the time by plugging holes that they neglected. It is hard for any team to rely on a safety to be their run stopper. Most teams that do, already have a solid enough team to be ok with it (Colts: Bob Sanders, Steelers: Troy Polamalu).
Aside from his usual lockdown duties, he can play the running backs quite well also. He had a tackle on a short catch to the Jets running back in the first quarter and had two other run stuff tackles. He even had a QB pressure in which he pulled defensive end style swim move on the blocker which caused Sanchez to try to scramble where he was tackled for a very short gain. Aso did give up a short catch on the day that he could have stopped short of the first down marker but the receiver slipped his grasp and made the first down anyway. The Jets punted three plays later and he made up for that one hickup with his overall play.
He was the primary blocker on both of Fargas' big runs of 17 and 35 yards. He also layed some key blocks throughout the rest of the game. He continues to be the most consistent run blocker on the Raiders offensive line this season.
After the game, Russell seemed convinced that none of what happened in the game was his fault. He said "I don't think this is personal, I really don't. It's a bad combination of: one guy doesn't do something right one time and he doesn't do [something right]. You know, it all plays [into] the play. But I personally don't think it's me. Do you?" Well, since you asked, I will try and answer that question. First play of the game, he is holding the ball at his chest looking to throw. The defender comes in and swipes at the ball and it easily slips his grasps and he fumbles it at the four yard line. The Jets have an easy TD. Fault: Russell. Third down of the next drive he throws slightly behind Louis Murphy who drops the ball for a three and out. Fault: Murphy and Russell. Next Raider drive Russell is pressured, he panics and throws the ball off his backfoot right to a Jets defender who returns the interception to the 4 yard line. The Jets score easily again. Fault: Russell. Next drive, Russell throws a long pass to a well covered Todd Watkins in the end zone where it is intercepted by Darell Revis for a touchback and no points on the drive for the Raiders. Fault: Russell and Watkins. Next drive Russell rolls out of the pocket to his right looking for a receiver. When he is about to be sacked or go out of bounds, he throws the ball across his body to the middle of the field to no one where he is lucky it was not intercepted again. Drive over. Fault: Russell. That was when Cable had seen enough and took Russell out of the game in favor of Bruce Gradkowski. Fault: Russell 3, others 1. Gradkowski didn't look great but he still outperformed Russell with 10 catches for 97 yards and a fumble to Russell's 8 catches for 61 yards two interceptions and a fumble.
Another guy who takes no responsibility for his mistakes. He keeps insisting that he is doing his job out there and we keep saying that a receiver's most important job is to CATCH THE BALL!! After it was announced that Michael Crabtree was going to start this week for the 49ers, I posed the question if Crabtree will eclipse DHB's season numbers (2 catches) in the first half or if it will take him the entire game? Well, Crabtree had 3 catches in the first half so that answers that question. And even though DHB had two catches in this game, Crabtree had 2 more catches in the second half so Crabtree was able to eclipse DHB's catches through 6 games in a half and 7 games in one game. As if that wasn't enough, DHB completely and totally dropped the best chance the Raiders had of scoring on Sunday. It was a perfect, soft (you might say balloon-like) ball place right in his hands and then through them to the ground. Maybe you need to take the gloves off so you can feel the ball Darrius. Or get your eyes checked. Or give your money back and go learn how to catch. You sorry, waste of space. I digress.
You are a buster because you blew it Khalif. Although, I don't completely fault you. You had said you didn't have enough practice to make the transition to right tackle yet. I agreed with you and yet Cable didn't listen to either of us and stuck you there anyway. That said, you were completely manhandled and literally thrown aside like a rag doll on the first play of the game. Your man then knocked the ball out of JaMarcus' delicate hands and the Jets took posession. To add to that, you were called for tripping (very unsuccessful tripping) and the Jets got the ball at the 4 yard line and quickly scored. You later gave up a run stuff and then gave up another sack. Why is it so hard to find a decent right tackle for this team? Which reminds me...
You make it here because you were so bad in the games you started, that Cable was forced to put Barnes in before he was ready. You were put in late in the game and gave up a tackle for loss on a run at the goal line.
Congratulations again on surprising the Eagles last week with all the great blitzes (sarcastic applause). But I told said last week that if the Raiders didn't diguise their packages, they would be abused by the Jets who would have all week to prepare for it. And WOW did they ever abuse the Raiders defensive line. They played the game that the Raiders always talk about "Run it right at them and then throw it over their heads." In this case the Jets ran it down the Raiders' throats and just when they would overpersue, a nice play action dump off or screen would work like a dream. Again, there is no discipline on this defense and they are predictable. You are mainly to blame for this next big Buster.
The Entire defensive line and line backing corps
The Jets had two running backs over 100 yards rushing and this was with Leon Washington going out on his first run from scrimmage. They gave up over 300 yards rushing on the day and couldn't stop anything. The Jets do have a great offensive line but if it were this good against every team, they would never lose, EVER. There is no point in going through the individual stats because this collapse was a team effort (or lack thereof). Here is the list of offenders though:
Jon Alston, Kirk Morrison, Thomas Howard, Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, Gerard Warren, Desmond Bryant, Matt Shaughnessy, Greg Ellis, Trevor Scott
The usual reason mostly. Almost every kick return didn't even make it to the 20 yard line. Sure, Jonathan Holland is not right for the return duties but he is clearly getting no blocking. There was negative one yard on one punt return from Jonnie Lee Higgins as well. And what the HELL was the deal with that blooper reel worthy fake punt in which the Jets punter was running right along with the return team? Ever heard of keep someone at home just in case the Jets do that? I have never seen anything like it. The dude was 20 yards down the field before ONE GUY (Ekejiuba) finally noticed that he was running with the ball and stopped him. You should be fired right now. Seriously.
Gave up quite a few catches again. The first went for 14 yards mainly because after he gave up the catch, he promptly missed the tackle. Then in the third quarter he gave up a long touchdown in which he turned around too late as the receiver came back for the ball to put the Jets up 31-0. On the Jets final scoring drive, he gave up a 19 yard catch and on the very next play he missed a tackle on a 21 yard run.