RAIDERS 20 - SAINTS 28

Posted August 17, 2013

THE NFL Network showed me the score before they rebroadcast the game so I know the Raiders lost 20-28, but I'm watching it anyway to see what was what, especially with the shaky Alex Barron having to fill in for Jared Veldheer at LT, and Andre Gurode having to fill in for Mike Brisiel at RG. 

In the first half on Offense we did little in the run game (which is supposed to be our identity), and we allowed FIVE SACKS of our starting QB. On Defense Drew Brees seemed to be playing pitch-and-toss out there, as not only did we not get much pressure on him but we seemed to be allowing his receivers to run free. 

The 23-7 halftime score was a direct result of my two biggest fears coming true. Not enough pressure on the opposing QB and not enough faith put in the run game. 

Despite the negatives, there was more than enough to be happy about.

1. Despite not having our starting DT's out there this week, we held the Saints to 2.5 yards per carry. 

2. Our bench was CLEARLY better than our opponent's for the second week in a row. Either that is due to talent or desire. I don't know which it is and I don't care. All that matters is that it IS.

3. Matt Flynn clearly needs to work on his field vision, but this guy is REALLY growing on me. I mean REALLY growing on me. It's all the little stuff and his sideline interactions (after good or bad) that have me seeing a guy that his team can get behind. Nothing about him says that he can take over a game, but he's got a little more juice than typical game manager. Rich Gannon said that Flynn reminds him of himself, and MAN am I seeing it. Flynn isn't as crafty (YET), but that will come with experience. At times you can see that he wants to be.

4. The heads-up/hustle plays tonight...The heads-up/hustle plays last week...You can SEE the change in this team. 

5. And again we have TWO great Punters to choose from. 

Next week we get the Bears who are going to challenge us with Brandon Marshall outside and Matt Forte/Michael Bush inside; and the following week we get Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, so we get some real opportunities to learn something about ourselves.

I wish the Eagles were going to have such an opportunity.

Oh well exactly 14 minutes to go and it's 17-23. 

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