While not yet mathematically eliminated from being able to get to the playoffs, the Raiders’ season effectively ended today with a 55-20 loss in Baltimore.
The Raiders fell to 3-6 on the season and again struggled to create any stops on defense and have any continuity on offense. Continuing with the status quo at this point would be a mistake – the status quo is not working.
Until now it made sense to see if the team could improve with their core group of players. Now that the season will not end in a playoff bid, it’s time to look to the future.
The Raiders were almost completely inept in every phase of the field. The defense gave up 41 points, Special teams chipped in by allowing Jacoby Jones to return a 105 yard kickoff and they allowed the Ravens punter Sam Kock to run untouched for a 7 yard TD on a fake field goal. The Raiders, as a team, allowed more than 50 points for the first time since 1981. They were also penalized 10 times for 105 yards.
In the fourth quarter Allen made a couple of good decisions by having some of the younger, developmental players get into the game and get some experience. Allen had Tony Bergstrom come in midway through the fourth quarter and took Willie Smith’s place at right guard.
The Raiders also used a lot of Jeremy Stewart at running back which may bode well for his future with the team. They hardly used Taiwan Jones at all, which does not bode well for his.
Moving forward, Allen should use the rest of the season to develop their young players because they aren’t going anywhere close to the post season. From here on out the Raiders should do several things:
- Plug Bergstrom into the line: I don’t care where. Replace Smith at RT? Sure. Maybe put him in at LG where veteran Cooper Carlisle is struggling. Fine. Hey, we could even put him in at RG where highly touted free agent Mike Brisiel is struggling. Absolutely. But Bergstrom, who was taken in the 3rd round with the Raiders highest selection this year, needs to see playing time now so he can be prepared for next year.
- Activate the rookies: Second year player Terrelle Pryor (QB) and rookies Lucas Nix (G), Christo Bilukidi (DT) and Jack Crawford (DE) should all be active on Sundays. The team needs to see what they have in those players and get them valuable playing time.
- Work in backups: Same theme, here, the Raiders should get the backups involved for development and evaluation. This would include more rotations in with Aaron Curry - who ended the day with more personal fouls (2) than tackles (1) – cornerback Brandian Ross, wide receiver Juron Criner and linebacker Keenan Clayton.
If the Raiders do this it will be a short-term loss but it will set the team up for a longer-term gain. And the Raiders need all the long-term gains they can get right now.
For more Raiders news & analysis, follow me on Twitter @AsherMathews
Wow, that loss hurt like hell. But let's be honest did anyone really expect much else this year? Going into this year I think most of us knew it was going to be tough. With the battle just to get under the salary cap and with such a limited amount of draft choices it was always going to be a long year. McKenzie and Allen need a couple seasons to build this team their way and if anyone thought everything was going to fall in place so easily they were dreaming.
A couple changes I would like to see this team make going forward are:
1. Start Bergstrom at RT. It can't get any worse than starting Smith! You know things are bad when people start wanting Barnes back starting! Also bring Parsons into the starting lineup over Carlisle. Carlisle is on his last legs by the looks so let's see what Parsons looks like. At the beginning of the season he looked decent enough starting for Wiz.
2. Let's see more of Criner and Streater and less of Hagan. Nothing against Hagan at all, but Criner and Streater are the future (along with Moore and to a lesser extent DHB) not Hagan.
3. Try and re-sign Stanford Routt. I will be the first to say I was happy to see his large salary go at the start of the season. But this team needs secondary help and Routt would automatically go back to being a starter in the secondary. He is already earning $11 million or so this year so it would not surprise me to see him being able to be signed to a veteran minimum contract for the remainder of the season. This would allow Routt to show he deserves another bigger contract next year so could be a win-win situation for both Routt and the team. Routt would then be able to start opposite Bartell and move Huff back to FS.
4. Let's see some changes on the DL. I would really love to see Bryant and Houston (I think he can be as good as Geno Atkins) starting at DT with Shaughnessy remaining at DE and having Carter and Tollefson rotating at the other DE position. Kelly and Seymour are also on their last legs and need to start being phased out. Also let's see what Bilukidi and Crawford can do.
5. Start phasing McClain out even more. I really can't see him being on this time come next season and I don't think his trade value is going to go up by playing him more. Try Burris at MLB and Clayton at WLB. Also give Wheeler a contract extension!
6. Let's see what Pryor can do. In no way am I saying bench Palmer, but at least activate Pryor and give him some time on the field. If we are being blown out in a game again, why not see what Pryor can do.
Finally come seasons end one of two things needs to happen: Either trade McFadden or change the Offensive Scheme. Because the two just do not go together!
This was one of the worst performances I have ever seen from a professional sports team in any sport. Ever. Seriously.
We stunk in EVERY facet of the game, including and especially the coaching. Im too worn down to give specifics, but this has finally toppled the 37-0 battering that Seahawks gave us, back in the day, as the WORST ever performance Ive seen by a Raiders team. I never thought that day would be 'beaten' but today it was, and by a considerable margin.
@oaklandraider It speaks volumes when our team consistently is outplayed in the coaches quarter (3rd) and are incapable of any real in-game adjustments! Horrible!
Blame the coach you should also blame the gm he got rid of a coach who went 8&8 I was not a big fan of Jackson on time management but was winning now as a fan we have to watch it start all over again cause a new gm has a big ego and I thought al's ego was big but owned team Palmer is good in preseason Pryor looked better and he can run just another bs season
@Ironhammer Hue had to go though imo - personally i really liked him as an OC, imaginative, daring and aggressive, but his head got too big for him and this franchise when he started talking about being the OC, HC and GM all at once! He misplayed his hand and had to be let go for it!
... That said, because the coaching hunt took so long we ended up stuck with several less than ideal coaching/coordinator positions which truly hurts us now!
ST is miserable. Knabb is miserable. Defense is horribly inconsistent and unreliable. The talent level is questionable and several of the good players we actually do have doesn't seem to be a great fit for what the new regime seems to go for!
It usually takes three years with subsequent draftclasses to re-establish a roster in a way that it fits what the GM and HC wants, so we are in for a lot more overhauling!
Hope some of the young guys gets a chance to step up and takes advantage of it - at least that would give us some hope for a speedier recovery than what it currently looks like!
That said - sometimes even a few pieces can go a long way; Indy might have one of the worst talent levels in the league, yet they are in the run for the division (which they will hardly get) and a wild card based on especially the selection of Luck! We will not be able to get a Luck, at least not next year (and Carson is at least adequate to compete for another year or two if utilized correctly), but a significant upgrade in especially OC and STC (personally i think Tarver can be ok if he is allowed to add a few key pieces to the puzzle and a healthy squad) as well as a couple of the position coaches could go a long way! Especially with a real draft for once and hopefully a couple of solid FAs (not like Brisiel - was always penalized in Houston as well, not really a surprise, but damn how he struggles all around right now)!
But right now, this is just horribly depressing to watch! Regression after even a slight improvement is just not what we need right now as fans!
I hope allen and Co don't give us fans the run around by saying everything is ok. Because things clearly are not ok, not with the talent on this team.
@DChristin we lack depth ,we lack character and we lack first team talent....we have no discipline we are incapable of picking up on the concept of scheme .... in-game adjustments don't happen .
we do however like padding stats in garbage time ....that we can do as most of our second halves are garbage time from the get go.
an utter shambles...disgusting display a total mockery of all we once stood for... gut the whole bloody lot of them, our defense is a study of ineptitude...tackling and communication clearly are rumors the raiders don't hold faith with..my god we looked bloody awful..
now as a teenager i was unlucky enough to sit in rich stadium as Jim Kelly and co gashed us for half a hundred ...but that day the bills would have put that up on any team...they were fantastic....today we just flat out stunk ...