The Raiders have been the talk of the NFL all week after they made the blockbuster trade that brought Carson Palmer to Oakland. The question of the week was who would get the start at quarterback for this game: Kyle Boller, the backup who knows the offense? Or Carson Palmer, the new franchise quarterback on just five days of preparation? The real question should have been: Would it even matter?
The Raiders entered this game on a high after back to back emotional wins since the passing of Al Davis. But last week's win was tainted by the loss of Jason Campbell who had helped lead them to four wins this season.
Kyle Boller came into the game last week and kept the Raiders on track to come away with the win, but there were a lot of questions as to how well he could run the Raider offense. In the limited action Boller had last season and in the preseason this year, he struggled. Just the thought that Palmer could be the choice to start after five days with the team is proof of the lack of faith the coaches have in Boller.
But the obvious choice was Boller to start because of his familiarity with the offense. Early on it seemed that decision backfired on Hue Jackson and the Raiders.
After three drives, Boller had thrown two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The Chiefs took advantage of the other Boller interception as well to take the short field and score another touchdown.
The Raiders were down 14-0 before they could blink. After the Chiefs' second score of the day, the Raiders had a sustained drive. Most of the drive came on the ground with a 35 yard run by Michael Bush, putting the Raiders at the five yard line. But when the Raiders needed the final yard to get in the end zone, Boller was taken out of the game in favor of a Michael Bush direct snap. The run was stuffed at the line and so went the best chance the Raiders had to score in the game.
Boller would have one more interception before the half was over and the crowd was chanting for Carson Palmer and booing loudly before halftime.
"I'm just extremely frustrated," said Boller. "I had an opportunity to go there. It just didn't go as planned. Definitely not my best outing. I feel bad for my teammates. I feel like I let my teammates down. There's not much to say. The play speaks for itself."
The fans would not get their wish immediately after halftime as Boller trotted onto the field yet again. But three incomplete passes on a three and out would have Carson Palmer donning a helmet for the first time as he began warming up to come in the game.
"I thought [Palmer] could give us a spark," said Hue Jackson. "I don't know if I'd tell you he could go win the game, but I thought he could give this team a spark. And that's what we needed at that particular time. Like I said, that's the decision I made, and that's where we went. And we're probably going to be better for it as we go down the road, because now he's been in a game, you know? The next time he plays it won't be like he hasn't been under center and seen a fast rush coming at him."
Hue didn't waste any plays with Palmer in the game. He immediately called for Palmer to go to the air and Palmer completed his first pass as a Raider to Darrius Heyward-Bey for 18 yards. But the Raiders would get just one more first down on two rushing plays as the drive stalled and they were forced to punt.
Soon Palmer's rust and lack of familiarity with the Raider offense showed. After a three and out, he was intercepted on three straight possessions including an interception return for a touchdown to give the Chiefs a 28-0 lead which they would ride through the remainder of the game for a shutout victory.
Carson Palmer spoke of his experience after the game:
"I was excited to be playing again, but there was such a limited playbook with little to no experience with the receivers, it definitely is an uncomfortable position to be in. But it's a good situation to get your feet wet; it's been a while since I played football. To get the few reps that I got in live action, with the bullets flying, will definitely benefit me when we have Denver coming in in two weeks.
"I don't know if there is a word to describe it. It was just an awful feeling walking off the field to be beat like that, in the fashion we were beat. We need a chance to regroup and do a self-diagnosis of this game. We need to get better, because that's the only choice we have. There's not a guy in the locker room that liked this feeling--to be beat period, but to be beat like that, in the end, will be something that really propels us through the second half of the season and hopefully into the postseason. We have a lot of work to do."
Also worth noting are the injuries the Raiders suffered in this game. They were already without Jason Campbell and Sebastian Janikowski. But throughout the game, Raider players were dropping like flies. They lost Darren McFadden to a foot injury, Matt Giordano to neck spasms, Kevin Boss to a concussion, and Rolando McClain to a lower leg injury.
That effectively meant the Raiders were without their leading passer, leading rusher, leading scorer and starting middle linebacker. With those injuries and a rusty, ill-prepared quarterback in the game, they had little chance of even getting back into this game.
This loss drops the Raiders to 4-3 on the season. With the Chargers also losing today, Oakland remains tied for first in the AFC West. The Chiefs win brings them to 3-3 and a half game behind first in the division. They have won three games in a row after starting 0-3 this season.
The loss ends the Raiders' AFC West winning streak. They beat the Broncos in the season opener and went undefeated in the division last season. The last time the Raiders had lost a game in the AFC West was at home against the Chiefs on November 15, 2009.
The Raiders have their bye week coming up and they need it more than ever. The two weeks are always good for getting over injuries but the two weeks for Palmer to learn the Raiders playbook and his teammates should prove invaluable.
They will face off against the Broncos at home after the bye week.
|Kansas City Chiefs (3-3-0)||Oakland Raiders (4-3-0)|
|D. Van Dyke||4-0||0.0||1||0|
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once again, why did we ever let Grabowski go? He was a solid back up and with Hue now in charge there wouldn't be that threat to Campbell of being benched like there was last year.
I know we'll be fine though once Palmer and Prior get more comfortable with the playbook and into game shape.
This game was not as bad as the score would indicate. When you think about it, three scores came on interceptions. If you cut that out, it was a one score game
I wasn't expecting much from Boller, but I didn't think he would be tha tbad. I thnk it proved the need to bring someone like Palmer in if we want to have any chance this year.
As for Palmer, had Boller not stunk it up so much, then he would never have been in this game, as it should have been. He's only had a few days of pracitce with these guys. If he can pull it together by the Denver game I think we still have a shot at contending for the AFC West division.
I usually tend to be more on the pessimistic side, as the the last decade has brought about a "I will believe it when I see it" attitude. Still, this game was an anomoly. I do not believe it will be indicative of the the season.
I heard the mention of the Raiders hiring Robert London as their GM mentioned last week. This London dude seems to be somewhat in demand.... Check this out - > [url=http://thexlog.com/201110240957/xtra-point-football/nfl/nfl-front-office-blitz-on-robert-london/]NFL Front Office Blitz on Robert London? : The XLog[/url]
On a brighter note, I thought Palmer did pretty damn well, considering the circumstances.
Only 1 pick was really his fault. He made a few really great passes – the types of throws we haven’t seen in Oakland since Gannon.
The main positive though – DHB. Without a doubt.
I’m very happy for Al Davis’s legacy. As now McFadden and Heyward Bey (two guys he got destroyed over) are starting to prove how right he probably was.
Heyward –Bey has missed 1 game this season, and is still well on his way to 70 catches, and 1000 yards this season.
In YPG he leads both Maclin and Crabtree this year (the two guys everyone thought we were nuts to pick him over).
In YPC he is smoking both of these guys as well.
You’ve got to give the guy (and the coaches) credit, as he was nothing but raw potential when we picked him. But AL always thought he had too much potential to pass on, and he may well be proven right.
He now needs to make the next step up.
He’s running quality routes. And making tough catches, in tight coverage. That’s a good WR.
To become a great WR, he needs to start using his physical gifts, and start dominating smaller receivers.
What I mean is, DHB generally gets the ball when he is open. Which is fine. But the top receivers, get the ball when they’re covered as well.
The next step for DHB is to basically start matching what Dez Bryant does. Which is beat out corners for the ball in the red zone, and on single coverage.
You know, Hue has to be smart enough to diagnose where he is at QB pretty darn quickly after Campbell went down, and have the ability to create a conservative game plan to protect his back up QB.
You know, Boller was throwing the ball 30-40 yards, from the start. Slinging it around like he was Aaron Rodgers…….
I get he’s a “high risk” guy, you know, but there’s nothing macho, or smart about losing 28-0………….
The person I was annoyed most with was Hue Jackson.
This whole week was just shambolic.
Playing games with the media about who are starting QB was – putting pressure on Carson Palmer and Boller, essentially.
Seriously, Hue should have known within 2 days of Campbell going down, what he was going to do in the next game. And he should have been game-planning to win it.
Instead, he’s splitting reps with 3 guys all week, having no idea, even on Sunday who was playing. They said that even on Sunday, they hadn’t made a decision, and said Palmer would “play if he feels he’s ready”.
You know, if this was Bill Belicik, he’d have said, on Monday “this is our starting QB”, and he’d be spending the next 6 days working out a game plan to help this guy win the game.
The annoying thing is, if Boller was announced starting QB on Monday, and got all the reps, and they built a run heavy game plan around him, to protect the guy, he may well have won that game.
You know, anyone with a brain knows that if you’re weak at QB, you just run, run, run, and run some more. And let your D make plays. That may not win you the game, outright, but it will sure as hell keep you in it, and keep it tight.
Instead, we have 2 guys, who have played probably 2 quarter between them in the last year, slinging it around, like we were in a strong QB position.
You know, the way to win that game, was to play conservative. Hue should have diagnosed that Palmer wasn’t ready within days, and made a tight, conservative game plan, around Boller.
this was HORRIBLE.
and the worst thing of all was Hue Jackson:
1. That first drive. You got your backup QB starting. You got a very short yardage play, you run the ball. Basic. Get the 1st Down. Build some momentum and confidence. Protect your QB. Make it easy for him.
What you DONT do is use a green rookie on his 1st NFL play to run a ridiculous gadget play, that EVEN IF SUCCESSFUL, was going to net a yard. That play costs us 5 yards, which means 3rd and medium ... forces the QB to throw. BOOM ! Pick 6.
2. 4th and short at the GL. and HJ calls for a direct snap to Bush ?? WHAT ?? Dumb. Was that meant to fool someone?
Sure the Offense played bad .... but with different play calling on those two plays, it could have been very different. Football is like any other sport ... (and life) its all built on confidence, and HJ killed the team's confidence with these bonehead calls.
I think he is "living the dream" a bit too much right now ... and believing his own press.
He is a rookie HC ... and he is trying to do too much. Someone needs to take him in hand ... but who ?
We need a Football-minded GM, and fast.
Lets hope we can heal up in the bye ... physically and mentally.
Dont get caught up in who started at QB blah, blah, blah .... thats for the media. We have a bigger issue right now and that issue is Hue Jackson.
1. Only 2 of 3 ints weren't Palmer's fault
2. Palmer made some tight throws that I havent seen a qb for us do since Gannon
3. For the most part our offense beat us and not our defense. (this is only good because it means we have one main thing to correct over the bye instead of 2).
4. DHB had another good stat line
1. Play calling - usually Hue puts people in the best position to succeed so why was he throwing so much with Boller. I mean play action continuously is as vanilla as just running i form too much.
2. DMC got hurt but we still shouldve committed more to the run (even with the goal line stand)
3. Drops! I swear Jacoby Ford seems to be regressing a bit on catches and moore didnt help either.
4. Penalties as usual. I felt like Veldheer (like its been said before) really struggled because of a really good pass rusher led him to too many penalties early.
For the most part I understand Palmer not having perfect timing but at the end of the day, how many plays did ford, murphy and moore combine to botch for Palmer. When Palmer came in the game was already over but it would have been nice to see a sustained drive or too. Honestly, I felt like the game ended on the goal line stand. If DMC is indeed hurt then we better utilized the hell out of Taiwan Jones on sweeps because I was hope when we were in the goal line that we would have done a sweep. All in all the good thing is that we really couldn't have done worse from an offensive stand point. It was just so much bad offense that led to our depleted defense to get tired. Hopefully, the bye week will help our receivers and Palmer get it together. Boller looks like garbage and its too bad he stayed and Gradkowski was let go.
Wow, what demoralizing loss this was. I hope Palmer clears the rust rather quickly because Boller showed he is no Campbell! The loss of McFadden I don't think would have been such a big deal had Campbell been on the field as Bush carried the rushing attack nicely.
On a positive note I think the defense played decent enough and DHB is really starting to emerge as a solid number one WR.
DHB has shown with hard work and determination you really can turn some athletic talent into a football player. It must have been hard to with the changing QBs he has had to deal with.
@ChristopherMooney you mad bro ! And rightly so ... me too ... and for the same reasons
Think about this. Either they DID practice shit like the Pryor and Bush plays this week or they didnt.
Either way, Hue is at fault:
Spending time on plays like that in practice in a week like this is criminal
Calling plays like that without having practiced them, is equally stupid.
Someone needs to sit with Hue and calm him down.
I propose John Madden. Not as a full-time GM or anything - more as a mentor. He has seen everything before.
@oaklandraider They practiced both plays several times in practice - guess Action Jackson has become a little fascinated with his own image as a gimmick-no-fear kind of HC and Playcaller!
I like that he is willing to do whatever is needed to win, as he is unpredictable and DCs need to factor all possibilities in - but he needs to learn when to go concervative! Too much of his gimmick offense will make the gimmicks predictable and will devaluate them as well as our possibilities on the regular plays! Gotta find the balance!