The Raiders came into their third preseason game with a lot of young defensive backs and uncertainty at linebacker. This was a sore spot before the game, and Drew Brees came to town and ripped that wound wide open.
This was a game of pick and pop up and down the field for the Saints. Brees had his choice of receivers on the Saints' first three drives, scoring on each of them with relative ease. On the first two drives, his favorite prey was rookie Demarcus Van Dyke. DVD gave up 73 of the 80 yards as the Saints marched down the field for a touchdown. The other seven yards were rushing -- including the last one yard plunge for the score.
"There's no doubt, he's got to learn from this," said Hue Jackson after the game. "He's a rookie, he's a very talented young man, and he's learning the NFL game... And until he makes them consistently and he's out there, he's going to get targeted. That's the way this league is. Wherever you're bleeding, they're going to keep scratching that area."
The Raiders responded with a touchdown on their own first drive. Those yards were shared by Michael Bush and Derek Hagan mostly, with Hagan scoring the touchdown on a catch and run 35 yards to the endzone.
But the celebration was short lived as the Saints went back to work on that gaping wound they had torn open. This time they decided to leave DVD alone and test the rest of the Raider secondary. The results were similar. Stanford Routt, Michael Huff, and Tyvon Branch were abused for the bulk of the yards with an even share of the blame. It was to be a second consecutive touchdown to begin the game, and it put the Raiders down 14-7.
This time the Raider offense was unable to respond but when the Saints got the ball back, they had continued success. They would play pitch and catch down the field again with a few timely plays coming at the end of the drive only to give up a field goal.
That would be Drew Brees' last series and he left the game having dominated the battle of first teamers 17-7 midway through the second quarter. He finished 15 for 23 for 189 yards on three drives.
Hue Jackson acknowledged the play of his team against Brees after the game.
"We have good players and our good players need to play great," said Jackson. "[The Saints] were going up and down the field. And we need to make some plays. We got to get people off the field. There was some opportunities on third down and we didn't get them off the field. Obviously they are a very good offense and I take my hat off to their offensive football team and Sean [Payton] and what they do but you know what, we got some good defensive players and we got to make those plays."
On the ensuing possession, the Raiders' first team offense would get a decent drive against the Saints' first team defense to set up Janikowski for a long 57 yard field goal which would allow the team to lick their wounds a little bit.
The defense then came ack on the field and forced a three and out, but the Saints' quarterback was backup Chase Daniel, so there wasn't much to celebrate.
After the Raiders had moved the ball down the field in one final attempt to pull even, Campbell ended their chances by throwing into double coverage for an interception to conclude the first half down 17-10. You couldn't help but wonder how bad it would have been if Brees had remained in the game.
The story of the first half, outside of the drubbing the Raiders took at the hands of Brees, was the play of Derek Hagan. He was given the number 80 earlier this week and he played like a certain number 80 who donned the Silver and Black in the early 2000's. He finished the game with 6 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown.
The Raiders were only able to put together 10 more points in the second half while giving up another 23 points. But the story in the second half was the play of Taiwan Jones.
As much as has been said about Jones by his coaches and by the media from practice, he was even better. Every cliché attribute you can place on a brilliant runner he had on full display in this game. He broke tackles, and ran by and around tacklers making all the right moves along the way. He finished with 99 yards from scrimmage on 13 carries and 2 catches.
Outside of the performance of Jones, the Raiders continued to take a pounding on defense. They gave up two huge catches on drives that both resulted in touchdowns. As bad as the first team secondary was, the second and third team were equally horrific. They allowed Chase Daniel to rack up 191 yards passing and two touchdowns with a 125.0 passer rating.
With the possible exception of undrafted rookie Sterling Moore, the Raiders defensive backs were terrible across the board. In the post game press conference, the one area that appeared to frustrate Hue Jackson the most was the play of his secondary.
"It's an issue," Jackson seethed. "I couldn't tell you if it's scheme or assignment. I mean, obviously on that side of the ball we have some work to do. But we'll do it, we'll do the work and we'll get it done. As I said a week ago, thank gosh this is not the regular season. We got some fixing to do and I understand that and we'll get it done."
The Raiders managed a 22 yard touchdown run by Taiwan Jones and a field goal by Sebastian Janikowski, and the Raiders were double up for the loss at 40-20.
The Raiders are now 0-3 this preseason, with one more preseason game next week versus the Seattle Seahawks. If they lose that game, they will go 0-4 in the preseason for the first time since 1989 when Mike Shanahan did it. That team began that season 1-3 and Shanahan was fired in favor of Art Shell who finished the season 8-8.
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I think you need to look at the bigger picture.
Sure, some aspects of the team seem to be not performing that highly. But at the same time, I see vast improvements in other areas.
Our Quarterback situation seems significantly stronger. As does our passing game. As does our receiving corps.
Quarterbacks really win and lose you games. Our passing game was terrible last year. It looks greatly improved this year.
Rolando McClain is looking like a top 10 pick. He could dominate in 2011.
Our run defense looks improved if you ask me. Our first team players have dominated against the run.
I think the running game, looks, in one word, awesome. I don't think any other team in the league has many weapons as Oakland now, on the ground. McFadden, Bush, and now Jones...............!?
Our offensive line, funnily, looks improved, if you ask me. Even with the loss of Gallery. Bruce Campbell, Veldheer both look to have taken a step up, with Campbell in particular looking like a valid starter in 2011. Heyer looks good. Satale has taken a step up. Wiz looks good.
In general, I think our offense could be crazy good. In fact, I don't think I've seen Oakland with more offensive weapons since the Rich Gannon days.
It's just speculation of course in pre season, but Oakland have a lot of scary speed, and a lot of scary weapons on Offense. It could be a special unit in 2011.
What I'm saying is, sure, Oakland are getting bullied in the pass. But we got bullied on the run all of last season, had no QB, no receivers, and still won 8.
The Pass D will improve. Just like QB play improved last season.
What I'm saying is, quote me on this, but I suspect the improved offensive play, will more than compensate for any backwards steps the team has made on pass D, and Oakland will be a better overall team in 2011.
Being 2nd in Pass D is all well and good. But it quite obviously doesn't win you games on it's own, otherwise Oakland would have been to the playoffs in the last 5 years...............
What I'm saying is, a lot of good teams have real weaknesses somewhere in their lineup. Pass Defense is quite often the case.
However, when you're putting up 40 points yourself, people tend to forget about it.................
Oakland, are probably weaker on Pass D this year. But I rate them stronger allround.
Offense wins games. And Oakland have one for the first time in about 10 years...................
its whatever LD. you mentioned Brees' name 20 times in one paragraph. would CJ been victimized 4 times in a row? doubtful. how about an in shape Sheppard? hardly. this was about getting his feet wet .. that's all. 17-10 even though Brees lit us up ... not all that bad. yes, they need improvement, like MANY other NFL teams, but it's preseason.
the defensive line was giving those New Orleans QB's way too much time to throw. With the way our secondary is looking I hope the D-line can put more pressure on opposing QB's
man, cut satele and sign gurode from dallas. satele must have taught michael jackson how to moon walk, cause he's always going backwards! hagan and moore are two guys who took advantage of a situation to perform while guys are injured. hopefully hagan stays, and he should. bey has the same problem dvd has, he cant locate the ball in the air! that bomb should have ended up a nice gain for us, but he failed to locate it till thew last second! man if moore had his overall size and speed, we would be easily have a #1 receiver, instead of a bunch of 2 - 4. guys are getting the axe around the league, mostly to save pennies, we need a OLB bad and i its hard to judge the secondary since johnson aint playing, but they dont look good!
Gotta sign another veteran corner and OLB. Obviously, there is no depth in our secondary or linebacking corps. I thought that Brandon Meyers was disappointing. He looked weak while blocking and didn't attack the ball as a receiver. We need Boss to get healthy. O-line showed signs of life. They blocked well on running and passing plays. DMAC will have a great year if they continue to open holes like they did last night. This season has to be DHB's last chance right? The rookie D. Moore already looks far better than DHB. He's a better route runner with better hands. Hagan proved his worth and should be our #3 guy. It'll be nice to see Murphy and Ford back in the mix with Hagan and Moore. Schillens can tell them all how great they played, while in street clothes on the sideline!
In little league football in high school football and every where else the ball goes in the air and the whole team yells ball then the db's can turn and look for it.Why are DB'S dont ever turn around and look for the ball is bs.If this continues we will be looking for a D coordinator before the first 4 games are done.The only time are pass D looks good is when the other team has 300 yards on the ground and doesn't have to pass.Please uncle Al get us some experienced DB'S and LB'S and keep Lito and Strling Moore.Also start Hagan and Ford not DHB.Before i go I got to say Taiwan Jones you are truly a Bad Ass.
W-Mac really displayed serious lack of talent - getting burned, outmuscled, overrun all second half!
DVD is nowhere near starter quality as it is, which is undetstandable, but also a bit alarming as he will most def see a lot of snaps! Gotta step up big time!
Chekwa needs to rehab and get back as he is a step behind - and he needs to wrap up, really hated when he was left hugging grass after he went too low! Will need a lot of work to contribute regularly and is only a backup quality player right now (again, understandable but could have hoped for more)!
Huff lacks awareness as well as Branch, and they were mostly a step or two late!
Even Routt had issues (confirming he is no 21, although he is clearly our #1 CB)..
... And however well Moore played against backups (hope he makes the 53), he is not the savior for this season at hand!
The DB group has many issues and only a few answers - someone needs to step up big time, as CJ and Routt will not be able to do it all for an entire game alone!
Also, both Groves and Boyd was awful in coverage, really alarming to see those two battle it out as they both have clear issues and neither seems to be a worthy starter (or even backup on most teams)..
Death Ro looked great though, imo, as he seems a lot faster, better to get off blocks and always around the ball! He will be important this year, hope he continues to improve, as his nasty streak and solid play would be a welcomed addition to build around!
Got an answer here for you Hue: IT'S SCHEME!!!!!
We've had one genuine INT (discounting the 49ers botched FG pass) in 3 games and that's come from a DE. And which way was he facing? At the QB. Which is exactly what Woodson said that's what he wanted the Raiders to do more of this year. Our CB's and safeties aren't all that bad that NONE of them can make a play in 3 games. Yet we're still playing the same old man 2 man with the CB's right up on the line of scrimmage nearly every single play. To do the same thing over and over again and expect different results is the definition of madness. You've just cant be that predictable. Until Hue starts listening to Woodson our secondary is always going to up against it. There just aren't that many elite guys who can do what Aso can. I think we have talent in our secondary but they're just being asked to do too much. How can they be expected too consistently stop completions when they're backs are facing the QB and they cant see the ball coming?
@DARKKUSH It's a recap. Do you suggest I just say "Saints QB"? And I guess saying Brees..er.. I mean the Saints QB's name the five times I did in the entirety of the article is close enough to the 20 in one paragraph you claimed. In the same vein as your favorite "it's preseason" statement, i will say "it's a recap". I present it, you can interpret it how you like. I am not a big fan of excuses so I try not to make them. But you can feel free.
@lambda84 uhhhh.... maybe because of no Seymour? yes i think so. he garners double and sometimes triple teams. its clear they aren't going full boar either, much like any other defenses around the NFL. Hell, even Urlacher doesn't look so hot in preseason. who cares about exhibition games? the Bills and Lions are going to be world beaters because of preseason play?
@massillonraider Gurode is under contract. he isn't going anywhere. Wis will be ready in due time. hopefully not forever
@R8rdave they'll get another OLB when cuts come around. they have to! depth in that position is very much needed. Groves will be okay i think. he's definitely improving(again, in preseason) hopefully it carries over and he uses that speed and power to drive the play inside on a regular basis. his coverage skills have improved too ... from what i saw.
@rocker43 calm down sonny... it's preseason. dont get yer panties in a wad.
If an nfl corner needs his teammates to yell"ball", then he probably shouldn't be in the pros. It is their job, not their teammates, to get in position and locate the ball. But yes I feel you on this issue.
@Harder2000 that's the WORST PART about preseason! players that aren't even going to make the team making us look bad. Walter McFadden being that guy. he just doesn't belong in bump and run coverage, period. he won't be here long enough to make us look bad in the regular season.
@Harder2000 Last night sort of proved what we all know, our main weakness is that once you get out of the 1st string we are very suspect! I completely understand why DVD is finding it hard to adapt. and lining up against Brees and experienced WR is no contest! Amazing learning experience, I hope he has a strong head and is able to pick himself up as he is taking some knocks.
I am going to take a few positives from the game.. We looked good on offence! Quite impressive at some points. Hagan is the perfect tonic for our speedy WR. He runs his routes, her gets where he needs to be, he confuses CB with his runs and makes catches! The difference in DHB and Hagan was massive, truly massive but luckily we get to keep Hagan!
I also thought, there was a forgotten man yesterday, despite everyone wowing at Drew Brees everyone seemed to forget that Jason Campbell was playing 12/17 (70.5% comp to Brees 65.2%). He had what Brees couldnt manage against our extremely dodgy secondary a TD. Ok I know he had a INT but with 10 seconds to go, last play he was going to make before the Denver game I am pleased he went for it.. He was playing some very clever screen passes and looked extremely comfortable and assured! The 1st string OL, despite all the questions we have, gave him some superb protection and certainly deserves some credit. Lil Wiz was particularly good yesterday.
Also when Dmac is back, fully fit and ready to go! That 3 running back combination is going to be, I believe the best in the league. We were 2nd behind KC last year but I do think we can go to #1.
A possible positive, Jackson is going to have a lot of easy decisions to make about who he cuts! As Levi says, only Sterling Moore is making any kind of a case for being in the final 53 man roster out of the players back in the depths of the squad. In fact it is probably harder to pick 53 men that are worthy of wearing the S&B. Is it unheard of to cut over leaving us with 42/45 men and then seeing if any possible diamonds are cut from other teams??
@DevonRaiderUK it is the simple reason why our run D has sucked over the years as well. when the DBs have their backs turned to the play, dump offs and late hand offs turn from what should be a short gain to a 30 yarder on the ground. it's shameful. MTM all day long doesn't help anything. if they can't mix in zone at any given point(they should with the rookies), then we can never stop the run consistently(except against our own division apparently)
The scheme doesn't say "keep your back to the qb" that's the cb's fault, not getting turned around, not the scheme's.
@DARKKUSH with who? the cowboys cut him yesterday!
@DARKKUSH Hope your right - he really just isn't physical or aggressive enough to fit the scheme! Hope he's out and some of the others step up!
@ukraider78 True enough, hope someone steps up and make some plays, his really lacks some intensity and fight from backups trying to win a spot! I mean, do something ! Hagan looks good though!
Your comments about "the forgotten man" are spot on. Jason played just exactly the way we need him to. He made great adjustments at the line of scrimmage and made good decisions. I dont hold the interception before half against him. I like the call, but i wish he would have went someone other than Brandon Meyers. e.g. Moore, Hagan. That deep throw to Denarius Moore was just barely too high, a touch lower and he makes that grab. Even though he didnt catch it, he still looked impressive in his attempt to grab it (if that is possible). He out-jumped both defenders by a mile to attack the ball at its highest point, just happened to be too high.
As for the OLine, I agree that the first string played pretty well. There were a couple of times they got pushed back a bit,but we attempted over 20 passes with the first team line in there and didnt give up a sack. Wiz II looked damn good i thought. He did have a penalty, but he made a great seal block all the way on the other side of the line in front of the line of scrimmage. He finished his man and drove him to the ground. He also had a great help-block with Samson that probably saved a sack. I like him at LG!!!
The scheme is the problem, playing man 2 man does require your back turned to the QB most of the time because your focus is on the WR. In zone the goal is to play an area and focus on the QB, therefore it makes it a lot easier to make plays in a zone. In fact, when we did get that INT last week, it was due to us doing a Zone blitz which allowed our lineman to drop back in coverage, facing the QB.
@DylanAlexander@OHIORAIDER i made that point near the top. Seymour wasn't playing, so that's much less pressure... and DVD was playing instead of a seasoned vet that will make plays on the ball in CJ ... 2 players make a difference. now the fact that our depth chart looks like Sheppard and DVD is disturbing. we must hope CJ can stay healthy until one gets in shape and one learns to turn his head around.
@OHIORAIDER JINX! sorry didnt read your comment.
@OHIORAIDER I think a point that is being overlooked is that Seymour didn't play. We werent getting any pressure on Brees with our front four, so we blitzed and got eaten up even worse. As far as the schem goes I agree you can't play man in the NFL because of the pass interference rules, but you can get your head around and find the ball. You put your hand on the receivers hip, turn your head and attack the ball. Ask DeAngelo it's easier in zone but it can be done.