Last week, prior to the game in Houston, I pointed out that the Raiders could turn their season around and I detailed several ways that it could happen. Well, the Raiders lost badly to the Texans and are setting out on one of the toughest four game stretches by any team at any time (Giants 4-0, Eagles 3-1, Jets 3-1, Chargers 2-2). So let's check in on how many of those suggestions are being followed.
Start Michael Bush
It took an injury to do it but with Darren McFadden being hurt, he will be out for 2-4 weeks which means that Michael Bush will very likely be the starter for the next few games. If he proves he is worthy, perhaps he will keep the starting job. The shame of this is that McFadden and his three fumbles weren't enough. His negative three yards in the Houston game would probably not have been enough either. He has to be physically unable to get on the field for Cable not to start him. Good teams start their best players and sit those that fumble three times and can get past the line. Which is why the Raiders are not a good team.
Utillize McFadden's versatility
McFadden registered ONE catch in Sunday's game and had one other ball thrown to him that was wide and he couldn't pull in. So NO his versatility was not utilized in the game. And now the Raiders will be without him so his versatility will not even be an option. For a guy who has never had any success in the NFL, McFadden sure gets hurt a lot.
Activate Javon Walker
NOPE. Despite another terrible game by the rookie receivers, Cable insists on starting (is he TRYING to get fired?), Javon Walker was still inactive. Despite them dropping more passes than they caught (5 drops to 4 catches), the only former Pro-Bowl receiver on the roster is still in sweat pants watching. Seriously, what the F--K is going on here?
Start Jonnie Lee Higgins
As if not activating Javon Walker isn't bad enough, Cable doesn't start the number one wide receiver from last season? No secret surgeries here. He is healthy. He knows the offense. HE CAN CATCH. So what gives?
Run, Russell, Run!
NADA. I was watching for the times in which the middle opened up and Russell had a chance to tuck it and run. There were several occasions in which this was an option. But he never did it. He prefers to try and fit the ball into double and triple coverage and throw the ball to players who can't catch.
Stop dumbing down the playbook
I am pretty sure these are the words that keep going through Cable's head: "Just when I thought you couldn't get any dumber. You go an do something like this...and totally redeem yourself!" He acts like if he just keeps doing things the same way, eventually we will see that he was right all along. At this point it looks like he may be trying to say "I told you so" from the unemployment line. There was ONE play all day that was the right play for the right personnel. It was the end around to Darrius Heyward-Bey that went for 20 yards. That is the only time we should see DHB handling the ball for the Raiders. Louis Murphy should not be doing this because he isn't fast enough. He was given one in this game and lost seven yards. It never worked before so why would it work now?
Start Samson Satele at center
Finally, we saw Satele at center in this game. It seems he listened to me on...wait, I'm being told that it was an injury to Cornell Green that caused the move. Oh, ok, never mind. So we may see Satele at center next week but it will only be because Cornell Green was hurt which caused Chris Morris to move to left guard and Erik Pears to move to right tackle. Pears was a disaster at right tackle so hopefully we see some Paul McQuistan at some point? I wouldn't count on it though.
They are saying there is a good chance he will play this week. Previously the thought was that he would likely fill in for Gallery at left guard. This would mean that Morris would move back to center (so much for Satele starting) and the team would still have a considerable weak spot at right tackle. But who knows, maybe he will start at right tackle afterall. Although without Barnes having ample practice on the right side, that could be disastrous too. Either way, having him healthy is a good thing.
He was listed as questionable last week even though he didn't practice at all. He was more accurately doubtfull at very least and he didn't play in the game (obviously). He will be questionable again. He is said to be day-to-day so we will keep an eye on that. I personally don't expect to see him this coming week. Afterall Cable is so happy with DHB's progress!
What was thought to be a shin splint was later discovered to be a broken ankle. He will be out for a while. I think injured reserved would be the best bet for the undrafted free agent rookie at this point. The Raiders need the roster spot. Not to say they would utilize it properly.