As 2012 begins, the Raiders' 2011 season is over. A win would have given them the AFC West division title, but they lost to the Chargers 38-26 to send them home for the playoffs with an 8-8 record. The defense couldn't stop the Chargers and the offense couldn't keep up.
By the time the game started, the Raiders already knew they would not be able to get in the playoffs as a wildcard. The only way they would get in would be a win over the Chargers combined with a Broncos loss. The Broncos did indeed lose, but by the time that game went final the Raiders' chances of winning were already slipping away.
The game started out well for the Raiders when safety Matt Giordano intercepted Philip Rivers and the Raiders responded with an opening drive touchdown. The drive looked like good things were to come for the Raiders. Michael Bush was picking up yards in good chunks and the Raiders got a big play from Louis Murphy on a 27 yard end around. The final play was a beautiful over-the-shoulder pass from Carson Palmer to Darrius Heyward-Bey in the corner of the end zone. But that was as good as it would get for the Raiders.
The Chargers would respond with a touchdown of their own, and before the Raiders knew it, the Chargers took the lead 14-7. The Raiders responded with a field goal but that wasn't going to be good enough as the Chargers took the kick return back 105 yards for a touchdown and a 21-10 lead.
Hue called that play the turning point of the game.
"When they got the ball and they scored on the kickoff return, to me that was a huge difference in the game, huge," said Jackson. "The momentum, it shifted. We went ahead. We were up. Then all of a sudden here comes the ball coming back at you again. Or it was 7-7 and now it's 14-7. It's not good. I just know that I felt that was a huge difference."
At the end of the half, the Raiders fittingly squandered an opportunity for one more field goal attempt and went to the locker room down 24-13.
The Raiders would get another field goal after the half to pull to within one score at 24-16, but yet again the Chargers would answer that with a touchdown. The Raider defense couldn't keep the Chargers out of the end zone and the Raider offense couldn't sustain drives.
The back breaker for the Raiders was when they had finally gotten in the end zone again and thought they had a safety on a bobbled kick return. But the ruling was that the return man was out of the end zone and the Chargers drove 99 yards for a touchdown. That swing essentially ended the game.
"That was the momentum changer," said Carson Palmer. "It's too bad [the return man] got out of there obviously, because then they punt to us and we got a short field, we get the two points and the game is reachable, we might have been able to tie it up if we score or make it a game there. The guy made a play, did a good job of getting out of the end zone."
From there it was just a Palmer interception to seal it. Game over, season over.
The elephant in the room after the game was the fate of Raiders' defensive coordinator, Chuck Bresnahan. He is expected to be fired following a season that saw the Raider defense squander several leads and give up long drives late in nearly every game this season. Jackson wouldn't comment on whether Bresnahan would be fired but his words suggested that might be the case.
When asked about the scheme, Jackson said: "There's going to be a lot of adjustments that we have to make. What we just did ain't good enough. It's not good enough in the NFL to be a very good defensive football team. It's not good enough."
When asked about how much falls on Bresnahan, Hue said: "We'll see. We'll see. I think Chuck knows how I feel. I'm disappointed over there. I have been. It's not like we haven't had conversations. Chuck knows what I feel and it's not good enough."
There were five milestones the Raiders were looking at coming into the game. The easiest were the records for penalties (4 away) and penalty yards (11 yards away). They got the penalty yardage record on the Chargers' first drive when Matt Giordano was flagged 15 yards for hitting a defenseless receiver. They got the penalties record when Rock Cartwright was called for holding on the opening kickoff of the second half.
The remaining milestones were good ones. Two of them were personal marks. Coming into the game Michael Bush was 89 yards from rushing for 1000 yards and Darrius Heyward-Bey was 155 yards from 1000 yards receiving. Neither player would get the yards necessary although unexpectedly Heyward-Bey would finish nearly as close to the mark as Bush. DHB finished with 9 catches for 130 yards (25 yards short) and Bush would finish with 66 yards rushing (23 yards short).
But in the end, the only milestone they really wanted was the end of a ten year playoff drought. And it eluded them. They finish the season 8-8 just as they did last year when they just missed the playoffs.
|San Diego Chargers (7-8-0)||Oakland Raiders (8-7-0)|
I love this Raider team in offensive Philosphy and see so much promise in the future. This season has been so much better then last four years and the future is bright. I am glad Hugh blasted the team they need that and hopefully they work hard and get prepared for next year.
Finally and most important get rid Bresnahan and bring a up and coming D coordinator give up on Del Rio he has been a head coach for how long and his defenses at the JAGs were decent but I just dont see him wanting to be a coordinator. Grudden, Billick, Mora and a host of others decide to go to the booth and say forget coaching. The Raiders are on the rise. The Raiders need to Hire Mike Babich from the bears linebacker coach who had one stint as bears defensive Coordinator and he coached them when they were injury prone defense and they were still formidable what I know about the bears is they force turnovers and they have always had great linebacker play. They need someone to get the best out of Mc Clain who better then someone who has coached Briggs and Urlacher. This way you get a defense Coordinator who will be there for a few years who will not get up and bolt like Del Rio or Spags if they get another chance at head coaching job. Every team that has a strong defense has to have a defense of philosophy. A new coordinator who up and coming will start to devolp that. That is how baltimore did it that is how tampa did it for years and how Pittsburg has done it. Raider Nation dont frett we are on our way we get right tackle one more running back and a decent back up and what I said on the defense we start the dynasty and adjust the pieces for the next ten years.
I think everyone is overreacting. I think Hue did a good job he made some rookie mistakes but that goes with the terroritory. The offense was pretty good through the year and looked way better with Carson he just has to limit his interceptions. I know everyone is upset this is the best the offense has looked in years. The Raiders played without a regular line up all season and kept producing and moving the ball. Someone went out someone came in and they kept moving. You saw what that offense looked like with boller who was there for two years HWB made tremendous strides this year and his upside looks good cause he works hard hopefully everyone else does the same. The defense last year was way better the move of houston to defensive end collosal failure. Last year when they moved to seymore and Houston around they got so much better pass rush. Mc Clain looked confused in bresnhan defense but he still had a lot of tips and covers pretty well . You can not ask a linebacker or corners to cover anyone without a pass rush. when bresnhan blitz any of the linebacker they got there. The Raiders need to address there safties huff mitchell and even branch can go start over none of them can hit Branch is a corner playing safety and he is to small to be a starting safety. Get zemokoski from baltimore or Landry and that will help considerably. NO recievers or tight end fear raiders safties.
the scariest thing of all was that in the 8 games we actually won, in 7 of them, we were VERY close to giving it away ... only in San Diego did we look remotely comfortable ... and even there they closed it to within 7.
I read today that we managed to give up 5.1 yds/carry on the ground this season too .. wow !
this game was such a disgusting display and i just wanted to steal a page from the old bill callahan book and say we root for the "dumbest team in america". a real sad bunch of losers, am i right fellas? they really didn't deserve to be in the playoffs with all the blown chances they gave up. they remind me of the yankees in the way the overpay for these semi/ okay/ decent players and get no production out of any stinking one of them. i keep hearing from all over the league "oh the raiders have so much talent, so much speed, and size. that apparently doesn't mean shit when you can't get pressure on opposing qb's or convert on a fucking third down or score when your in the damn red zone. now they have to take this shitty ass squad that they've had the main core of players for quite some time now and try to make them better? with little or no draft and no cap space to add new pieces to this fucked up puzzle. man i hope i'm wrong but i don't this getting better any time soon. look for the afc west to be up in the air next season with the three other teams getting healthy and getting better through the drfaft, what do we have to look forward to. i'm lost and pissed!
I don't quite agree with your assessment of the team. I understand the frustration, but this is a talented team. that is why this is so frustrating. I truly believe that if we just had a different defensive coordinator we would be in the playoffs now. Sure the offense could have scored more, but they did score 26. The probelm was in giving up 38. This had been a problem all year. And it was pretty easy to tell that it had to due with the defensive schemes. The defense did fine the first half all year, only to fold in the second half due to soft zone coverages. It is a trademark of Bresnahan's. Someone in here made a point before the season started that we are going to lose some games because of Bresnahan, and he was right.
@Jososi yeah i was a little frustrated the other day but i hope your right about it being the defensive scheme. we'll see how things go next season but i won't believe until i see it on a regular basis
Jososi - Agree this is on Bresnahan as much as just about anyone, but the more I think about it, the more Hue gets credit/blame too. His horrendous clock management kills us, and his play calling is not that smart. We eat us some clock from time to time and it's a heck of a lot harder for teams to put up 38. He abandons the run faster than lightning. Bush stank it up, don't get me wrong, but the way you use a bruiser is to wear down the D with him. Hue does the opposite. First drive, 6 runs. Second, 2, third, 1. Then 2, 0, 2, 4, 1, 1, 0. Only a third of our offensive plays were rushes. Even worse, we are unbelievably predictable... almost every Bush rush was on first down. And almost every first down was a Bush rush (with a short pass or two thrown in). Hard to get an RB going when the defense knows exactly what the play call is going to be. That is all on Hue. @Jososi @raider lifer
I do agree with you. And (as usual) I am hopeful that we are not far off. I think the hard part as an undying Raider fan is I've been saying that for nearly a decade now. You must admit, every year it looks like we may be about to turn the corner... 2010 was the only one where we actually made a touch of progress. Not much, but a little. All that said, you are absolutely right, if we get a real D, we could be pretty good. @Jososi
Still, I think we are in agreement that the lack of succcess this year had more to do with coaching issues than talent of the team.
The point I was trying to make is that the team itself is not in such dire straights. Sure there are a few gaps to fill. We don't have many picks next year, but we are supposed to get some complimentary picks for Gallery and Miller. With a good eye for talent some good players can be picked up in later rounds. Denarious Moore is a great example.
I think if we can get the coaching in line there is a bright future for this team.
I agree that Hue made some horrendous mistakes. I am willing to give him another shot (like I have any say in the matter) to see if this was just rookie coach mistakes. He definatley needs to figure out how to better work the clock. And you are right, the play calling was way to predictable. This too might have something to do with all of the persoannel shuffling due to injuries and not really having the offense fully on page with one another. If it goes on like this again, then yes its time to consider whether he really is head coach material.
Just the same, all of his mistakes did not really cost us the games . It was the defenses inability to stop opponents. The Buffallo game, not a single stop in the second half, the Denver game couldn't figure out to put someone in charge of keeping Tebow from running, the Lions Game, unable to stop them when they really need to. and the Bolts, not a single punt all game. If he had a decent DC that could have figured out this situaions, we would have been 12-4. Maybe the Chargers would have still beat us, as Rivers can be dangerous, and we didn't have an answer for there receivers. Even then we would have been 11-5.
Hues biggest mistake was in not doing something about Bresnahans scheming when it became obvious it was losing us games and we were barely holding on to the games we won.
Couldn't agree more. Callahan hit the nail on the head years ago. I must be honest, I am grateful to Davis for making the Raiders great, but he is also what broke us. It's sad but true. I know some fans don't like to hear it, but it is what it is. Sad to see the man go (on a human level), especially without being a winner (of late) but it was probably the first step in our recovery. There are no guarantees we will bring in the right people or get a good GM, but it's a first step. @raider lifer
Terrible way to end the season. Bresnahan has to go and we need some serious help with the special teams coaching imho. Hue will probably be around another year - but I'm not sold on him in any way. You give the rookie coach the benefit of the doubt for awhile, but how many times did we see him give up points like at half time yesterday because of clock management, timeout management or some other basic skill any Arena League coach would know? Get him some help - take the personnel decisions away from him (that NEVER works with ANY coach) and give him another year to make the playoffs with this team.
So far as Palmer? Folks - turn off the freaking "experts" at ESPN. We're lucky to have Carson. Don't get me wrong - I like Jason Campbell too, but we had a guy who never rose above the middle of the pack in the NFL after 8 years - a borderline back-up QB. Would Campbell maybe turn into something someday? Sure. And maybe the Packers will put Aaron Rogers in the Raiders' Christmas stocking next year. I prefer to deal with reality - there is no question Palmer is a top line QB. He had another near perfect game yesterday - it's not his fault Ford slips on the route and the ball is INT'd to end the game. I fully expect Palmer to be one of the top 5 QBs in the league next year.
dont know where to start, but what a disappointing end after a 7-4 start. with everything that happened this year, losing big al (rip), mcfadden hurt, campbell hurt, the palmer trade, the curry trade, ford hurt, moore hurt, and so on and so on, all we had to do was win our last game against one of our hated rivals at home to say the least and make the playoffs, thats it! i told my friend the detroit loss was gonna bite us in the behind in the end, but even with that, we still couldn't get it done. time to sit down, let it blow over and mark and amy make decisions on where this is going moving forward. first order of business is get rid of bresnahan. i have been wishy washy on him all year, but as i look back, besides the games our d blew, we barely hung on to win some games we were in control of, texans, browns, jets, first denver game, bears and so on. im not mad, just highly disappointed cause denver did everything to give us the division and we couldn't take it or didn't want it. which one is it? nonethless, happy new years raider nation!
That's actually cheered me up to hear Jackson's words about Chuck B! It's quite ironic that the reason that the Raiders beefed up their LB corps in attempt to stop the run is now biting them up them up the ass. Curry, Wimbley and McClain just aren't cover guys. We'd have been better off taking them out the game and putting three DB's in instead! I wouldn't mind if we were dominating against the run but that aint happening either. 5.1 yards a carry conceeded and dead last in the NFL.
There's a lot more fundamental issues than just Chuck B for the D. If you look at other Defenses you can say for example the 49ers stop the run with Bowman and Willis, the Bears dominate up front with Peppers and co, lots of teams have a legitimate speed rush threat eg Wake, Ware, Hali, JPP, Jared Allen etc. The point being we are throwing a lot of money at above average players at best on Defense. Is the likes of Giordano, Lito and Routt really worrying opposing QB's? Is McClain the run enforcer you need at MLB in comparison to a London Fletcher, Urlacher or Cushing? The pass rush started well but has been non existent down the stretch. Anybody dominating there? There are talent issues here which aren't going to be solved in one move - although it'll help. We still dont have any game changers on Defense.
Fire Bresnehan and hire a GM. I am willing to give Hue another chance as he was juggling too much to concentrate on just being a HC. I heard somewhere that Palmer was never really ever able to sit down and talk with him during hte week as he was too busy with other things. Hue just had too much on his plate.
Still, this last game, yet again was about a defense that did not force a single punt the whole game, even when the drive started on the half yard line. WTF!!! I just look back at all of the games we should have won if the defense did not collapse.
And it is not just about players, it is about scheme. Most of those games the defense did well enough in the first half only to completely collapse in the second half, usually because of some kind of soft zone coverage. And why would you have Rolando McClain covering some of the best receivers in the league. It was such an abysmal failure against Detroit. Why try it agin against SD.
just an awful way to end the season ... Bresenhan has to go of course. The game has passed him by. Simple as that. The final time that the misty eyed nostalgia of Al's last few years killed us.
In this game, Chuck showcased another of his deficiencies ... the total lack of adjustment. It was OBVIOUS to anyone watching the game from very early on that Chargers had decided to throw over Lito Sheppard .. who is way shorter than Floyd or VJax .... so do we try the taller DVD at all ?? No fricking way. We just watch the taller WRs abuse Sheppard all fricking day ... (thereby robbing DVD of some big game experience too, of course). Maybe it works, maybe it doesnt, but at least try to make a change, when you are getting embarrassed ffs.
Sheppard is horrible btw (do you remember him making a stop ever since we picked him up ? No, nor do I)
HJ has had too much on his plate this season to fairly judge him as HC. I read the prior posts and I agree that he has been disappointing and that he might be in over his head, but with no GM and no Al Davis, he has been asked to do too much. Mark Davis isnt interested in football and Amy Trask is not a football person. So, in the interests of continuity, Id give him a second season at HC, to see what he can do - but he has to have a GM in over him.
Personally, I dont think HJ has it as a HC, but lets see what he can do, given a fair crack of the whip. The first thing that the GM needs to do is give the play calling duties to Al Sanders btw.
So - thats it, a second consecutive season of promise that ends in disappointment. We are making progress following the dark years of unparallelled futility ... but that is little consolation right now. Indeed, the only crumbs of consolation that I can find right now are that Chargers and Broncos might get suckered into keeping Norv and Tebow for another season.
Roll on September.
What hurts most about Lito being abused is seeing the great game Sterling Moore had for the Patriots! Why he never made this team with the great camp and pre-season he had is beyond me. Looks like we let him slip away..
@nilbymouth yep - the one consolation here is that both DVD and Chekwa showed flashes of being able to play this season (certainly showed more than Ware and McFadden ever did) .. so, hopefully they will come on strong next season ...
@LDizzle@oaklandraider@nilbymouth I remember noticing Sterling Moore early in pre-season and thinking this guy is going to be a star. I was really surpised when he was released as he seemd to be much better than some of the people we kept.
Kind of reminds me of another player, although different position. Kenny Shed. Remember him? The one thing I always noticed about him was he was always around the ball. Even if he was not in on a tackle, he was always right there. I was surprised to see him let go. Last I heard he was a cop. I think in San Leandro.
@Jososi@oaklandraider@nilbymouth When Sterling had his two INT game with a pick six last week, everyone in the press box looked at me and said "There goes your boy". I saw his potential in camp and featured him a couple times. Turns out I was right. Imagine that. I think he may have gotten the shaft because he was facing Denarius in camp and at the time, it wasn't completely clear just how good Denarius would be. I think if the coaches knew then what they know now, Sterling may have never been let go. Such a shame.
And Levi, not sure I can bring myself to re-watch that game, but I honestly can't imagine anyone makes the Baller list. A few borderline honorable mentions... but Ballers???? No. Ok, maybe Janokowski. Can't blame him too much... though I would like to see him just kick the ball into the black hole.
I would love to see you single out every single member of the D... one by one... and the coaches too. I swear, if any of them had any integrity at all they would give their game check back. They didn't earn a single dime. Just plain embarrassing.
@RaiderDoc I can't disagree with you here. Although, it would have been quite a chore for me to single out everyone. They all made mistakes but you kinda have to look at it based on past experience. They looked good last season. They are lost and confused now. That is coaching.
Always reading, but haven' t been commenting for a while as I wanted to stay positive on the Raiders no matter what this year... but the season is now over... and It's time for us to clean house! Obviously Chuck B has to go... but as much as I hate the coaching carousel, I kind of think Hue should be shown the door too. We need a good GM to come in and make some quality hires. Hue just makes way too many mistakes. Rookie or not, he is a "professional" and he keeps making pee wee league mistakes. Where is the "bully?" Were is the penalty fix we were promised? Halftime adjustments are no where to be found. He got out coached my Norv (I can't win a big game to save my life) Turner today. At home, with the division on the line... Enough said.
I don't know who the answer is, and I will support Hue if we keep him as I really am torn (only because I feel we need some continuity), but I think it is time for a clean slate. We have been "rebuilding" for almost a decade. It's time to turn the page.
See ya Chuck, don't let the door hit your arse on the way out. Hopefully we will see someone like Spagnuolo or Del Rio as the DC if this team sticks to the 4-3 defense or a quality 3-4 DC.
Also Matt Flynn should have be traded for not Palmer! Flynn looks to be a great QB in his own right and I do not believe Palmer can carry a team any further than a Division win.
On a positive side I think we have would a quality pair of starting WR - Moore and DHB. These two can be a great tandem with DHB in the short-medium routes and Moore on the long balls. Shame DHB wasn't able to reach the 1k mark (and Bush for that matter) but at least DHB has shown he is every bit the WR that Crabtree and Maclin are and nice to see him have a statistically better season than both!
I have to disagree with you on Palmer. Remember, he had no training camp and was out of football for a long time prior to his signing with the Raiders. The fact that he threw for 417 yards against the Chargers showed that he is starting to get his groove back. C'mon, Nilbymouth, even you have to admit that he had some beautiful throws in that game, and that the Raider loss was no way his fault... Give him some time. Jason Campbell did not look good in games his first year either, but he went through (2) training camps and started to improve his play prior to his injury. I think we all need to give Carson a break and let's see what he can do after a full camp next year. The guy is a winner, and many people forget that he is a former Heisman winner, a (2) time pro-bowler, and is considered one of the best quarterbacks ever to play for USC. The guy has one of the best throwing arms in the NFL, and we are just beginning to see what kind of dominant quarterback he has the potential to be. Carson Palmer is the real deal and is the right quarterback for the Raiders, and he will lead this team to far more than just a division title. Talent can't be held back, and Carson Palmer is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL....
Palmer played decent but I just do not see him taking this team very far at all. He is an erratic thrower that makes just as many mistakes as he does good plays. And I just think what was surrended for Palmer was way too much (I don't blame Palmer on this though!). It really bugs me to think that maybe we could have traded for Matt Flynn instead.
Hopefully I am wrong and with a full off-season working with these guys Palmer can have a big year next year, but honestly I do not have any faith in him of him being much better than what he has played this year,
I can see the argument that maybe we paid way to much for Palmer. However, I think time will tell on this one. Considering he never had a training camp and he had a revolving door on receivers, and thus never really able to develop a chemistry with any of them, Palmer looked very impressive to me. He certainly was an upgrade over Campbell.
The offense was really not a problem this year, even with all of the problems with it, if you know what I mean. They put up enough points to win in most of their games. I think it is obvious that their failure to make the playoffs rests squarely on the shoulders of the defense. If the Raiders had a decent defense they would have been a 11-5 or 12-4 team. This is where they need to focus in hte offseason.
@Spartacus@nilbymouth Palmer is just fine 20-20, but the fact that Jano had to kick 4 field goals (should have been 5) is damning enough. Nice gaudy stats, and it's nice to see 400 eclipsed for the third time in franchise history, but we were kept out of the end zone too often (see FG attempts, total and "shoulda") and who will forget that the Raiders season effective ended on an INT? That said, I've said for most of the season that this has a Gruden-era feel to it, and the vet QB coming into his own with the team ... I can see it happening a second time, for about as long (3-4 seasons, barring injury).
Nilbymouth - you really think DHB is "great?" Honestly? Do you think he starts on any other team (sans injuries). I agree with Moore, but I put Murphy and Ford ahead of him as well for sure. Love his work ethic, and effort, but he just doesn't have much in the way of hands, and he still JUMPS nearly every time he goes to catch the ball. Doesn't matter how high or low it is, he jumps... and throws his own timing off. I think that is a part of his lack of hands. I want to see him make it, but my guess is with Al gone if anyone else is healthy he is 3rd option at best. More likely on the bench. @nilbymouth
Yes I think DHB can make a great short-medium route receiver who is capable of breaking it for a big one at any time especially with the threat of Moore going deep on very pass play keeping the defense off balance. Murphy and Ford have both been inconsistent and both have been struggling with injuries too often in their short careers so far.
DHB has worked hard on his consistency (which must have been hard with the QB issues this team has had this year) and I really think next year he will step it up even more!
Regarding Reece, I agree with you completely. Reece to me is one player that should be on the field as often as possible whether he lines up at FB, TE or WR he is a nightmare for Defenses to deal with.
Just don't think DHB is consistent either... those hands... ouch. But you are right, at least he is out there week in week out. Hopefully with his work ethic he can turn it around, but at this point he wouldn't be a starter on any team I can think of. In all honestly, I'd take Reece in that roll over DHB. I know he is our fullback, but as you know he was a receiver in college and posted a 4.4 40 himself, and his hands are infinitely better than DHB. Not saying we should move Reece to WR, just saying he would be a better possession guy if that's what you are looking for. @nilbymouth
What a bitter disappointment. The defense played with no urgency and I truely hope that this is the last we see of Bresnahan. This Raider team is playoff quality, regardless of the loss to the Chargers, and to see us not make the postseason is a complete travisty. Hopefully Marc Davis hires a quality GM who will in turn hire a quality Defensive Coordinator.
If we stick to a 4-3 Defense hopefully Steve Spagnuolo is hired as the new DC. He can re-unite with Mike Waufle and hopefully turn this Defense into something similar to what the Giants had when they won the Championship. He would also make an excellent Assistant HC and replacement for Jackson if the team fails again next year.
@Spartacus Spoken perfectly- Bren needs to go back to the UFL where they punt on third down. I hate to point at one person in a team sport and blame them but Bren cost us the playoffs with his horrific D. How many leads did he blow? We couldn't even slow Rivers down today, it was pathetic.