The Raiders' opener was an ugly afair in several ways as the team lost to the Chargers in Oakland, 22-14.
The Raiders had to deal with some injuries, choosing to sit both WR Denarius Moore and C Stefen Wisniewski, both of whom had been sidelined for large portions of camp, in favor of Rod Streater and Alex Parsons, respectively.
The game started poorly with Taiwan Jones fumbling the opening kickoff. He was able to salvage the play by scooping up the bouncing ball but was only able to get to the 14 before being tackled.
Special Teams is still very much a work in progress for the Raiders after being very weak in the preseason. The team gave up a huge punt return early in the 2nd quarter that got nullified by a blocking in the back penalty to only make it a 4 yard return. Still, if not for that penalty the team would have given up a huge play due to poor gap protection.
The special teams debacle continued when Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo went out after a hit to the helmet and didn't return. Backup Travis Goethel struggled with multiple snaps bouncing to Lechler. Furthermore, the special teams line let a blocker in for a blocked punt - the first punt of Lechler's blocked since 2006.
In the first half, the Raiders moved methodically down the field, mostly on the skills of McFadden who both ran and received the ball well. However, DHB also showed this his work is being rewarded when he snagged a 13 yard pass - a pass he likely wouldn't have caught a year ago. He came out of his route, positioned well to receive the ball, jumped and caught it at it's apex and caught it well with his hands. He then go both feet down even while being hit by the defensive back for a good reception.
The Raiders defense was good against the run, poor against the pass. New Raiders CB Ron Bartell gave up a big play on a 46 throw and catch from Rivers to Meachem. Meachem made an amazing stretch and dive to get his hands on the ball but Bartell was clearly trailing as well. The Raiders run defense showed that it had improved dramatically, however, holding the Chargers to only 32 yards rushing on 20 attempts, a 1.6 yard per carry average.
The Raiders also showed good a solid red zone defense that bent but didn't break and mulitple times they stiffened in the end zone to limit the Chargers to field goals.
Discipline continued to be an issue for the team. Tommy Kelly had one play in which he bull rushed the center well before the snap where no one else even jumped. He drew an encroachment penalty for that play. The very next play SS Tyvon Branch clearly held his man. Kelly added another blatant offsides in the same drive, this penalty also . Allen eventually sat him on the drive putting rookie Christo Bilukidi in instead in order to stem the flow of penalties.
In his defense, Kelly came back in after being sat on that drive and seemed to settle down. He made some nice plays in the game including both knifing into the backfield for negative loss and some good side to side plays as well.
In terms of what went right for the Raiders, it can be summed up in by one name: Darren McFadden. McFadden was almost the only offensive weapon for the team. He ended with ? rushing and set a personal best in terms of receiving with 13 receptions for 86 yards.
Palmer had a solid but unspectacular game. His end stats didn't tell the story as it looks more respectable than it was. The TD the Raiders had was at the very end of the game and the Chargers had backed off a bit at that point.
Darren McFadden - He was practically the Raiders entire offense. He had by far the most targets in the game with 18. The rest of the team had only 28 targets.
Miles Burris - the rookie was thrust into a starting role due to a knee injury sustained by last year's starter, Aaron Curry. He did very well, though, several times making open field tackles or knifing through the offensive line for backfield stops.
Raiders run defense - the run defense eschewed it's previous habit of allowing big plays to kill them. They ended allowing the Chargers only 32 yards rushing.
-Special Teams - multiple muffed punts - some due to bad snaps but one due to terrible blocking letting an unblocked rusher through. Also, there was the fumble on the opening kickoff, the punt return that luckily got nullified by a penalty. Just a terrible performance all around by basically the entire unit.
-Tommy Kelly - The veteran DT continued to be a penalty magnet and single-handedly helped the Chargers keep plays alive by getting both an encroachment and an offsides call, both on 3rd down.
-Taiwan Jones - the 2nd year speedster dropped the opening kickoff although he recovered it then, on his first run of the game - a reverse - he dropped the pass from FB Reece and although he ended up recovering up the damage was done for a 25 yard loss.
-Raiders pass defense - the team did very well against the run but Rivers seemed to be able to complete his passes at will. He ended with 24 of 33 throwing for 231 yards and a 102.0 QB rating.
-Rod Streater - He redeemed himself a bit with a TD and 2 point conversion at the end of the game but he struggled throughout the game with being unable to come down with the ball and was generally ineffective in his first start.
The defense was very very good.
Keeping a pro bowl calibre QB under 300 yards in the NFL, in 2012, is a win. Phil Rivers is always going to have a couple of big plays against anyone. The only TD he threw, was very close to being a sack.
Seriously, this D will be top 10 in my opinion.
300-ish total yards, against one of the league's top offences is very very good
I'm realizing why Tom Cable took the play calling duties from Knapp back then, wondering how long before Allen does the same, maybe even let Carson call his own plays like Big Ben does. Have not been a fan of the ZBS with this team but I gave the benefit of the doubt, to just wait and see approach but this feels like a long season already. There's no way they're going to go back to the power running game, not this year at least.
ST you could already see it in preseason it was going to be a weak link and it didn't take long for a melt down, but still I know it was mainly because of the snaps.
SD corners actually played pretty well, they had our receivers covered pretty good. I thought Carson did a good job of taking what they gave him and I seriously hope having Moore back will make a huge difference, especially since Ford is out for a good part of the season with foot surgery!
There were some good things though, I like the play of the D overall, the rush D was excellent, no RB would've done anything on Monday night against this team, there wasn't any holes to run through, Kelly, Seymour, Burris and McClain stood out with great days. I especially loved seeing Burris all over the field, I think Curry may not be able to take his spot back and Pat Lee played really good when Bartell went down.
I hope the D can hold the fort til the Offense can get in synch.
Special Teams is going to be our crutch this season ... Burris did well against the run but made some mistakes in coverage. Bartell played great until he was hurt. The 46 yard catch by Meachum was a helluva throw and nice adjustment by the receiver, not even awesomeone or revis would have broken up. The offense was too predictable without Ford and Moore. Barnes was horrible at RT and it appeared he was releasing too soon or just plain giving up. Reece match-ups should have been exploited. Defensively, the guys did well but I expected more from Tarver. SD coaches adjusted and we didn't. River's never backs away from a challenge and knew after the first series it was going to be tough. However, it looked as if the defense backed off.
Well I hope we don't take any team lightly and come out every game to maul the opponent.
Wow. Somebody obviously doesn't like Carson Palmer. Hey - DMC had a fairly decent (but hardly spectacular) game... 15 carries for 32 yds... 2.1 yd average. He did a little damage thru the air - 86 yds. 118 yds total - decent day for an average NFL back - thanks for the workman-like effort. Certainly not the kind of game we need from him in order to be competitive. Without Carson's play? This game is not even close. He got the team out of a lot of bad places and had a virtually mistake free performance. The stats - you're right - do not tell the whole story. He had at least a handful of passes dropped. DHB cut off a route that was a sure TD if he just ran to the post. Streater's fumble ended a drive that was probably headed for at least another FG. Still Carson comes out 32/46 with 300 yds in what was possibly the worst play calling from the Raiders bench since Lane Kiffin was disgracing our sidelines.
I'll give Allen kudos for the defense - they played about as good as can be expected considering the roster problems. But the offense? Quite frankly I was reliving the Gruden nightmare last night - the play calling was WAY too conservative. The dink and dunk era is over - let Carson air it out once in awhile.
I felt coming into the preseason that Knapp was going to be our "handicap" with this team. During preseason, I saw that our 1st team was moving the ball well, being creative, etc; though we struggled finding the end zone (a problem we were plagued with when he was OC under Cable).
Last night's game calling offensively was a HUGE step backward from what I saw in the preseason. Out of 64 plays, 33 were to McFadden, really? Very vanilla offense, and I am not liking Knapp this morning. Forget the woes of losing Condo, and Special Teams play for a moment. We have an explosive offense that should have dominated the Chargers last night the way the Ravens did Cincy. I know it's only the first game, but Knapp has got to be more creative in calling plays than he was last night, or we won't win 6 games. SPREAD THE BALL AROUND!
I know there were some drops last night, and that is fine, but there is no excuse putting up 14 points against the Chargers; especially with the talent we have offensively. Bad play-calling, bad special teams, bad penalties. Not a way to start the season boys. Turn it around!
JUST WIN, BABY!
So last year, the defense sucked and the offense was very good. This year the defense is goo and the offense sucks. I'm tired of Greg Knapp's offense already. This guy has been living off reputation for years now. He's way too conservative (West Coast Off.) with the dinks and dunks. On 3rd and 12 we throw a 1-yd. pass and HOPE that the receiver can run for the first down which doesn't happen 90% of the time. I've never seen the Raiders throw so many passes behind the line or right at the line of scrimmage in my life. Damn, throw the balldown the ball down the field.
They should have picked on Quentin (toast) Jammer all game. He was the most roasted DB in the NFL last year and we have a world-class sprinter with Heyward-Bey and we took ONE shot deep the entire game. Great coaching? Take advantage of matchups. Oh yeah, this was Allen's first game as a head coach. This entire staff needs to get their heads out of their rear-ends and look at film from last year and see what made the Raiders offense go last season. It was creative play-calling by Hue Jackson and his staff. Granted the Raiders were minus WR's Ford and Moore (again), but dump passes only work when you get a defense playing back to prevent the long pass, you have to stretch the field to accomplish this. ONE deep ball doesn't stretch a defense. Terrible play calling by Knapp.
If this is the offense this season the Raiders are screwed already. It's safe plays, not attacking a defense. It's a dump pass and somehow make it a big play out of it. Wishful thinking and a freaking joke for an NFL team. Sorry, Knapp needs to go now. Not impressed at all Greg.Tommy Kelly, damn, how do you jump offsde TWICE with the ball right next to your face? We all understand about trying to get a good jump at the snap, but we teach watch the ball and don't listen to the QB in Pop Warner football and you've played a long time and you're still doing this crap. Same old Raiders. Trent Dilfer said it best, "you can't win in the NFL until you learn how to not continually beat yourselves." Nobody kicks the Raiders butts better than the Raiders. Hue Jackson come back please.
At least I won't have to hear "It's the Al Davis Curse" anymore. I still think we'll have a good team this year.
Raiders have never been good on special teams. NEVER!! Everyone can run through us and we rarely make it to the 20 but for the opposing, they seem to always make it to the 30. ONCE THEY SAW THE LONG SNAPPER WASN'T GOING TO BE ABLE TO HANDLE IT THEY SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE CHANCE AND GONE FOR IT ON 4TH DOWN!!!! You don't have to be shot in the foot every time. LEARN SOMETHING!! But by the same token why could 'THEY' get through our line to Lechler so easily? (And that first block wasn't that a roughing the kicker?) That has to be addressed too. These injuries???? Get rid of them if they are injured. FORD is always injured. Get rid of him. Doesn't matter how good he is if he can't play 16 every year. Defense was good against the run But we couldn't get to Rivers!!! That's important! I think Palmer was pretty good too.
The highlight of a disappointing game was our tackling. I cant remember a game in recent memory when we tackled so securely, but boy was our offense unimaginative. I didnt like Knapp the first time around, and this has done zip to change my mind.
I dont understand about Wiz not being tried either ...
End of the day we lost when we were at home and facing a team without their starting RB, LOT and best DL. Not a good sign. At all.
When John Condo went down this is the most significant moment. No question. Condo plays the whole game & the outcome would probably be extremely different.. Really what was Goethel meant to do? He doesn't play on the OL, ever, he doesn't come close to snapping a ball. My question would be that as LilWiz was active but not starting, why wasn't he given the job? He of course can practice on the sidelines pretty much constantly, he is used to snapping a ball and then facing up an on rushing defender. This was very strange for me.
And we must also consider, that despite the Chargers continually having great field position that we restricted them to only 1 touch down. I thought that the defense was incredible yesterday, Really came to play. Wheeler, McClain, Burris were all strong and the DL held its own. The DB's had a tough time of it but this isn't a surprise to most of us but compared to last years defense it is vastly improved.
The offense was one dimensional, in the fact we really only used DMac but it wasn't 1D in how we used him. If I had game tape it would be interesting to see how the Chargers were doing against our WR. How open were they, was the only option for Carson, Dmac as he managed to get continually open.
I am not worried about Streater, he is an UDFA, he was only starting due to injury and I think there were signs that he could well turn out to be a good WR for us.
Another thing! Carson! He didnt actually do anything stupid. Ok, he was close to being picked off when he under threw to Hagan but apart from that I do not recal any trademark stupid throws.
Remember people, this is as close to an Expansion Team as it can get without being a new team! This was the first week of a new era for everyone! It would be almost impossible to expect complete fluidity but signs are there (apart from on Special Teams, shocking!!! and I am not just talking about the punts & Goethel) that it can work and we can be good!
Hoffman must go or he will screw up royally every game.....and while were at it Knapp did not impress....no adjustments in second half in play calling and protection
@Raidah The last time Knapp was OC for us, we had the lowest scoring offense in the League. I wonder how much of that was truly our offense, or play-calling? We don't have those Special Teams melt downs if Knapp was more creative in his play-calling to get us first downs. The way he kept going to McFadden, I was yelling for play action pass all night. Why not go to the screen pass when we were within 5 yards of scoring a TD at the end of the first half, instead of a FG? These are basic 101 Red Zone plays, and it escapes Knapp to use them. Still irritated with him.
Carson Palmer is not the QB for the Raiders. He has been mediocre his entire career and that's not going to change now. Carson is a front-runner, that is, as long as his team is playing with a lead he will do OK, but if you need him to bring your team back, he can't do it.. He made the mistake in the red zone and let the time expire. yes he had a decent game but he's not a leader, he's not a winner .. a QB is supposed to be a team leader and if guys are dropping passes he has to do what most good QB's do, get in their face and tell them to step up .. like Tom Brady does all the time .. I have been a Raider fan for over 30 years, born in Oakland and lived there until 1991 .. so please don't question my loyalty as others have, but I call it like I see it ... Carson will not take the Raiders past the 1st round of the playoffs, if that ...
@workhomeunion Dude, first off - the "over 30 years" nonsense is not even close if that's the yarddick you're using to measure "loyalty". Secondly, the point I was making was Carson played a great game on Monday. No commentary on whether he's the QB of the future or if he's the right guy to lead this team or any of your other insecure bs. Carson is the guy we have. He's the best QB (BY FAR) that we've had since Gannon. I think he has what it takes to win IF the proper players are around him and the coaches (who devise the game plan and call the plays) use his skills in the manner that bests suits his skillset. One thing you might remember (since you've allegedly been watching the team so long) is Gannon didn't do jack in the NFL until he was put on the right team, with the right coaches and the right scheme. That's how EVERY QB makes it to the Super Bowl - they're put into a position where they can win. And that goes for the other nonsense you bring up - if the clock is running out, the coaches can tell Carson thru his helmet radio. So if there was any clock mismanagement in the game - it's just as much the bench's fault as Palmer's. Football is not a one man game where the QB runs the offense however he wants like the days when Stabler was Oakland's QB - it's a TEAM sport.
Oh wait a minute... that's right... you weren't a Raider fan back when Stabler was running the offense. FYI - He was the QB before Plunkett - look him up on youtube...
@workhomeunion Hey, you're loyalty has nothing to do with how frustrated you are, I think by reading all these posts we all are frustrated, we just want to win! I still hope Carson can be our guy, he has the talent but I hardly think this is the Offense that suits him best. You're right about getting fired up! You can see the look on his face, he's pissed but he won't say anything. He needs to get Rich Gannon syndrome and get in their faces, he has to show his passion for winning. Gannon never cared if it was Brown or Rice he was never afraid to say something, but then those guys knew what they were doing too so he didn't have to to those guys.Hopefully he can feel so comfortable with those guys he can let it out, even if it stings!
@Indy! @workhomeunion Completely agree with you Indy! When Knapp let the shackles of Carson, when it was all a little bit to late and he basically had a minutes offence (same in the end of the 2nd qtr as well, when we were only a Dmac elbow from a TD) and we were camped in our half he played it perfectly, spread the ball to all the receivers. I think Hagan, DHB, Myers, Streater, Dmac all had catches on the last drive.. and then finishes it off with a TD and 2 point conversion both to our UDFA rookie WR deserves credit! Not a paragraph on why he isn't the QB of the Raiders!
He is a very very good QB and without doubt the best we have had since Gannon, maybe better than Gannon as well, as he had some of the best playmakers in the history of the game to throw at.
Yep, he is passive as a QB but he knows that our WR are pretty much all young! Blasting them, will do nothing for confidence and they maybe scared into making more mistakes! Let coaches blast them, he needs to give them confidence and let them know that he trusts them. In my opinion.