It was more of the same with the Raiders as they lost to the Dolphins today, 13-35.
It started off poorly on the first drive when the Raiders defense came out flat and allowed the Dolphins to rush for 44 yards and a TD after allowing only 32 yards for the entire week 1 game versus San Diego.
The defense then stiffened for the rest of the first half before coming apart completely in the second half. In the 3rd quarter, the defense allowed long rushing TDs on back to back drives. On the first, Reggie Bush ran for a 23 yard TD while breaking at least 4 tackles. In the second, he raced up the left sideline virtually untouched for a 65 yard scamper in which the defense was too tired to keep up with him.
Bush ended with a career high 172 yards on carries for a 6.6 yard/carry average.
The Raiders also struggled offensively. They were able to get into the end zone in the first quarter on a screen pass from Palmer to backup RB Mike Goodson. Goodson took the ball out to the right sideline and, sprung by a fantastic block by RG Mike Brisiel who pulled, got down the field and made a fantastic block on the Dolphins linebacker who was in position to otherwise make the play.
The Raiders were abysmal on third down, going 1 for 12 on the game. Like the San Diego game, they were able to move the ball well at times but unable to finish drives and get into the end zone.
OC Greg Knapp will receive a lot of criticism for this game and rightfully so. The team was unable to run the ball, had few down the field shots and in general lacked explosion or excitement.
On the positive side, the Raiders didn't rely on McFadden as much as they did versus San Diego. Palmer targeted 10 different players including all 4 active WRs, all 3 TEs, McFadden, Goodson & Reece.
Special teams was a mixed bag as the team improved but still looked weak overall. The one bright spot was punt returner Phillip Adams who had 3 good returns over 20 yards. Two of them were called back due to penalty but it was a big step for the team to find a viable punt returner and he looks to have the necessary skills.
The offensive line looks to be a big concern as they struggled with both run blocking and pass protection. The Raiders ended with only 16 yards rushing by running backs on 12 carries. Darren McFadden struggled on every carry, getting a high of only 4 yards. He was hit almost immediately every rush and couldn't get anything going offensively. This is the second game in which the Raiders have struggled to run block making it more likely it's a trend. To make matters worse, the team also struggled with protection increasingly as the game continued.
The Raiders have not looked good with their switch to the zone blocking scheme and the center position is still a work in progress. Wisniewski played his first regular season NFL game there and struggled to get push in the running game plus much of the pressure on Palmer came from the center of the line.
In all, there were few bright spots about the loss today. The loss will be the first big test for Dennis Allen as the team now drops to 0-2 and he has the responsibility to identify what is ailing the team and correct it so the team can win a game. The Raiders play the Steelers next week at 1:25PM.
Should of never fired Hue. The momentum he brought for the two seasons he was here is completely gone. This is gonna be a long, and sad season.
The franchise was heading in the right direction with him as the OC, then later as the HC. You had to be stupid to not see that. All the they had to do is look across the bay and see the difference a HC makes. So coming in with agenda just because of your ego should not affect the positives of the organization. With Mark Davis and McKenzies ego, it may end of working out later on down the line, but us Raider fans really do not want to go down the road of irrelevance once again because someone body thinks they know what they're doing. Even tho we were 8-8 for the last few seasons, it felt like we were relevant once again, and heading in the right direction. McFadden healthy last season would of resulted to a playoff berth. This team played hard for Hue, and you saw that all last season. Just couldn't overcome a injury to Campbell and McFadden. So if this thing gets really bad, the front office has a lot of explaining to do.
@jahwilliams8 Mixed emotions on that one. Even though we lost DMC which probably cost us the playoffs - Hue also made some critical mistakes that cost us games (like not going for 2 against Detroit). Don't get me wrong - I liked Hue and thought we were on the right track at least until Al died. After that Hue lost his way and - imho - the team. I think his attitude and ego are what led to his (and the team's) downfall. With a new owner (and GM) it was just easier for them to start fresh than deal with the drama.
I tend to agree that Hue's head got a little too big. I think we needed someone new. My big probelm is that even with all of the crap that went on last year, our offense was still highly productive, while our defense was horrid. Obvioulsy we needed whoel sale chages on the defense, which I believe is showing dividends. Could be improved, but still much better. But why completely overhaul the offense when it was working. I think if we had last years offense and this years defense, we would be a competative team. I am getting really tired of saying wait till next year. We are only at game two, and it is reallly staritng to feel that way already.
the zbs fucking sucks! the power run game worked really well the last two seasons. and if it wasnt broken why try to fix it? time to dump it!
I think the biggest mistake this off-season was going back to the ZBS. This just does not suit McFadden at all.
I know Dmac is pretty untouchable when it people being critical but for the life of me I can not see how people are blaming Carson Palmer for the ball thrown directly at him and that Dmac dropped!! Come on people, think clearly on this.
Yes, there was a delay on the pass and I do not know for sure but I guess that Karlos Dansby, who had an amazing game. appeared in his CP's eye line and he wanted to make sure that Dmac had got clear enough away from him before throwing.
@ukraider78 That "late throw" nonsense is a lame excuse by the haters. Check the video (the play starts about the 1:08 mark) and listen to what the play-by-play guy says about it...
The ball hit DMC in the numbers. That's all a QB can do - put the ball where the receiver can catch it. The ball was perfectly thrown. I'm not slamming DMC - but he's a guy with a big contract too and if anybody is not living up to expectations so far this year - it's him, not Carson. DMC has 150 yards total in two games. That is not going to cut it from a guy who's supposed to be the team's main weapon. Meanwhile Carson is expected to do everything. You can't have a QB throwing on every down trying to catch up. The defense just sells out and comes after him. Palmer did a great job just escaping the blitz yesterday and limiting the sacks.
@Indy! I actually, considering the pressure he was put under Miami didnt actually record 1 sack! Which is incredible and determent to Carson! He isn't the most mobile of QB's but he showed his strength in standing up under pressure on quite a few occations plus the odd scramble..
How he got out of the mess when he almost made the first down with his run was really good. I actually thought he made the 1st down.
We lost for a couple reasons. One - the receivers simply could not hold onto the ball. Yes Carson missed a couple throws he should have made, but half those incompletions were catchable balls. DMC dropped a sure TD. The ball hit him right in the numbers, he dropped it and he knew it. He practically knocked the ball boy out when he swung his fist in frustration afterwards. The ONLY guy on the entire team (including the coaches) who played the game well enough to win was Carson Palmer. There's plenty of blame to go around and Carson deserves a little - but when you throw for 375 yds (would have been a lot more without the drops) and 1 (should have been 2) TDs. Got news for you haters - it aint Carson's fault the offense is stuck in first gear.
The other problem is exactly what I said in the offseason. We signed all these bums and cast-offs for the D that nobody else wanted. Like I said, we might find a couple diamonds in the rough - but realistically? Most teams do not cut guys unless they simply cannot play. We signed a bunch of guys who shouldn't even be in the league. I was at the game. Everytime a third down came up - I was leaning over to my brother and saying "They're throwing to Hartline again". THAT was the ENTIRE Dolphins offense. On 3rd and long throw it to Hartline because not only could our guys not cover him - our coaches were too STUPID to change the coverage. MIx it up - double him up. Send a linebacker over to cut off the pass for an INT. SOMETHING. No - they just let Hartline make that first down every time Miami needed it. In between, Miami is feeding it to Bush until eventually he breaks a couple long ones. Hey - I'm not a genius, I'm just another fan in the stadium... and when the FANS know where the ball is going, but the COACHES don't? BIG problem.
And folks - a little perspective for you... In 2011, in 16 games, when Miami was NOT playing a rookie QB... Brian Hartline caught 35 passes for the YEAR. Yesterday? He caught 11. Let that sink in. Ryan Tannehill - the guy who threw 3 INTs in game 1 and had a 39 QB rating, hit Brian Hartline - a WR that would be riding the bench on most teams - whenever he felt like it against our "defense". What's going to happen when we face Peyton?
@Indy! Indy, tell us how you really feel, don't be shy, you're amongst brothers here LOL!! Only thing worse than watching your team getting blown out is to watch it in person and on the opponents turf! I don't care how, we need to turn this around, the season is young, all I want is to show some improvement from last years team by season end. That was gross!
@Indy! We seem to have the same hymn sheet.. I am reading the problems almost exactly as you are!
I am not in the camp that is going to bash Carson, yes he could have hit Dmac with that easy pass, but, all decent QB's do that. Rivers had Gates free last week and completely screwed up the throw and I do not think his receivers help him. Dmac dropped the ball on that pass... it was 1st and goal, he could have got a TD, to the 1yd line making it easier, but, he dropped it. It is far to easy to just blame Carson,
The OL is atrocious. Now lets think. We know McFadden is fantastic, we know from seeing other teams play that the ZBS does work - successfully. So quite frankly it boils down to 1 thing! Our OL just doesn't get it.
Now, when I see other teams running the ZBS you see one thing... The OL moves either left or right, not forward and then creates 1 gap which the RB exploits. The last 2 games all I have seen from our OL is a mess. They still all sort of just push forward but at a slightly diagonal angle which gives our RBs no chance whatsoever as there just isn't a gap.
For me, this is down to coaching and the ability of our players to learn. They have had months to try and teach and remember this and quite frankly, it appears they have learnt nothing! Unless we can establish the run then only thing we can rely on is Carsons arm, which as good as I think he is (he is actually on his way to over 5000 yards) . It is going to be easy for defenses and all those experts who said we would only win 4/5 games and we all got rather agitated with their lack of respect for us, well they could have been generous in their predictions!
BUT, there is a silver lining.... remember that Allen was appointed quite late and a lot of the decent OC had well, gone. I would assume that if things continue the way they are that Reggie and DA will be looking for a new OC come December.....
Chin up guys! We are used to this now. We all just have to be patient. The road to success is long and it had only just started! It is going to be really, really hard! But stay with it!
@ukraider78 True, it ain't all on Carson at all - but it is more than the simple TD throw to D-Mac, imo he just isn't there right now! Is it because of the questionable O-line that shakes him up and the lack of reps with primarily D-Moe? Perhaps, and hopefully, but he has missed a lot of throws and left a lot on the field the past two games, that is for sure, and for us to win without an effective D-Mac, that is throws he just needs to nail more often than not!
I really hope (and think) you're right about the Knabb thing though, but Saunders should get ready because another game or two like this and he should get canned!
@Harder2000 @ukraider78 I suppose for me, there are far more glaring problems than at QB? The secondary is woeful! I mean Tannerhill picked on Lee all afternoon long and with nothing very clever.. generally just simple curls and cut backs on the edge...
So what would you do? Would you dump Carson for Matt Barkley or which ever the best QB avail in the draft next year, trade for someone else, pay silly money for a FA like Flynn who lost his job to a rookie? These are all genuine questions.. In my opinion we have to draft the best CB avail in the draft next year. Invest in a lock down CB. QB for me isn't the biggest concern.
By the way - Wheeler looks excellent! Could be a great pick up!
@nilbymouth Starting Lee and Hansen (and Phillips/Coye in trips) does not look promising with Wallace finding his footing and Brown looking great again! Huffy could help out, but Gio deep vs Wallace is not a promising thought either! Tarver and Allen have their work cut out for them this coming week!
With the upcoming pass challenge it is at least a good thing that Mendenhall is out - hopefully Redman will be #1 and Dwyer only featured limited due to his turf toe, as we are best suited to take care of a below-average-speed thumper like Redman!
Death Ro was solid in the first game, but definately didn't look good vs MIA - imo it is primarily his lack of speed (sometimes its looking like he ain't even running hard) that sells him - he just is not suited to be a 4-3 MLB sideline to sideline LB!! I still think he can be an asset in a 3-4 system as it will fit what he does best and ensure that he doesn't have to take care of too large a part of the field! If he plays like this going forward, he could very well be cut by Reggie next year (or take a pay cut), regardless of scheme change..
Is Curry the answer? Think he lacks a lot that the MLB takes care of, especially the organizational aspect (which TB33 could potentially handle) and ability to read the offense, but he gives the maximum effort and hustles all play every play, so it is an interesting thought though!
Let's be honest, Lee is nowhere near a starting calibre CB! He shouldn't be any more than playing in the Dime.
I think everyone knows how much I hate Palmer, and while I don't think he had a great game he certainly wasn't the reason we lost either. In saying this we do need to look at a QB in the draft but I would be looking at someone around the third round (trading for Colt McCoy maybe?) as Palmer doesn't have much left in the tank. I also agree first and foremost we need a shutdown CB.
Wheeler is playing great and Burris is playing well enough that Curry will find it damn hard to get his starting job back. Maybe Curry needs to replace McClain? He looked terrible!
@Harder2000 I completely agree with you in respect of what we do in the draft although I am not to sure with the best way in getting extra picks. I guess if we are picking 2/3/4, we will indeed try and trade down round after round. I think we are still in need of a 2nd round draft pick next year. So it is certainly something we'll be looking to do in the 1st round. We can get a quality CB & LB.
However, my draft crystal ball is pretty foggy with who maybe available in 2014 draft as a QB! but by then we'll know if Pryor will be cut out for the job!
Wheeler is playing how Curry should play if he actually had any brains! He doesn't make stupid plays, doesn't hit people a couple of seconds after the play has finished and he tackles like a demon!! That hit on Tannehill was superb! So close to getting a sack! He is also pretty good at pass coverage.. got it all really.
@ukraider78 No doubt - MIA game displayed some great issues on D, especially at CB (would have preferred to keep DVD to see IF he could develop), and in generel the entire D was dissapointing! Tarver needs to get the unit to step up and find some ways to help the underperforming CBs (Huffy can potentially help step in) and garner some more pressure!
Concerning QB, i'm not by any means trying to use Palmer as a scapegoat - Defense, O-line, Knabb bares the majority of the blame for MIA imo (D played good vs. SAN)! The point i'm making is that imo Palmer is not playing as the top tier QB that many has proclaimed him to be - he leaves to much on the field and is not (currently) a player that can win on his own (sans rungame) like other toptier gamechaning QBs can! Imo he is currently a middle of the pack QB, who can be effective moving the ball if utilized correctly, but who needs a functioning rungame to excell and turn the play into W's and a potential postseason!
So what to do? Personally i am not sold on Barkley yet (and i still hope we will not be able to pick that early), so unless a prospect shows Luck like promise or we can get great value at some point, i too would look other places and use Palmer for at least a year after this! We have so many holes that needs to be filled (CB, LB, OL, TE), so it figures to be more wise to build the supporting cast when we have a decent QB already!
Just for the record, i have not been yelling for Flynn and i see Pryor as a longshot developmental prospect who is far from ready to contribute at this point!
I would say though - as this is a rebuilding year, as soon as/if we are out of the division race (fingers crossed we will stay in it) i would consider trading some of the veteran players that could garner some real picks (if any) as this figures to be a process that takes a couple of years and could use some additional picks!
Same goes for D-Mac (personal favourite)- by my account the best back in the league and a beast when used correctly! ... but if keeping him means for Knabb to keep misusing him, then both he and the Raiders would be better off parting ways (if the compensaiton is right)! The ZBS does not require great backs, so if that is the philosophy going forward D-Macs value is diminished!
Agreed - Wheeler was a great signing, positively surprised by how well he has adapted! Great intensity and willpower (Burris as well)! Hopefully Curry can get back at full power as it would greatly improve the depth of the unit!
@ukraider78 @Harder2000 People on other boards are calling for Pryor! Are you kidding me? We had people on this board saying spend everything on Flynn - a guy who couldn't even beat out a rookie! It's time to drop the Carson hatred and start pointing the finger at the people who are not getting it done.
Wow, just wow! Who would have thought we would be on display getting executed by a terrible Phins squad led by a really raw rookie QB who threw 3 ints last game (where is the big-play turnovers mad chemist?)!
Worst thing is, it's hard to watch how the O consistently fails to produce anything that resembles progress!
The ZBS is obviously not working yet - personel, teaching, experience and whatever else just isn't there, so why not mix it up with the PBS at times as well to make at least some positive runs! D-Mac might be a top-runner in the league, but when the ZBS doesn't work he is hit behind the LOC almost everytime he touches the ball, instead having to fight for at least positive yardage, and that's not gonna take us too far!
Aside for the atrocious O-line play, Knabb and Palmer really needs to get going and prove their worth imo!
Knabb and his vanilla and predictable offense is just sad to watch! Hue led it go to his head, but at least he had some imagination! There was a reason Knabb lost his privileges last time around, and he sure isn't proving it wrong right now! Worst part is his lack of in-game adjustment - just isn't there no matter what the game looks like! Shouldn't be too long before Saunders is given some more say in what goes on if this goes on (look at the coming teams; it won't get easier the next three games)!
And what is up with Palmer? Yeah, he has been hurried and hit from the bad O-line play, and it is good to see that he keeps the hazard plays and ints in check, but even when he isn't pressured he is way too often inaccurate simply missing wide open receivers! And where is the zip? Seems that he suffers from some diminished arm strength, as he just is not throwing the fast balls as he is supposed to! Even though he has been throwing a lot, racking up yards (although with low pts to show), i really am dissapointed in him for not making the easy throws (like the D-Mac TDshouldhavebeen and several potential D-Moe and Hey-Bey 1st dwn catches) like any vet or even mediocre QB is supposed to! Right now he is far from what was advertised when he was brought in, and he is not nearly what is needed to get a winning record if D-Mac isn't featured more succesfully - hopefully they will be able to get it going soon, otherwise this will be a really tough and long season to watch!
@Raidah Let's hope they will be able to revaluate and change some things to get us going! Big Al would already be plotting to can Knabb (needless to say he would never have brought him back of course)!
Crazy how the D just died when they tired up, just started to get hope after the SD outing, but there they were, same ole Raiders!