November 05, 2013


SINCE I don't have Direct TV (I have FiOS) I can't (nor would I) get the NFL package where I can see every game. This means I don't get to see many Oakland games, and when I do go over to my best friend's house (he has the NFL package) I usually have to watch them play someone like the Colts, or the Jags, or the 49ers. I don't get to measure the RAIDERS against opponents that I'm as familiar with, as I am with who the EAGLES play against.

Getting to see the EAGLES and RAIDERS head to head gave me a chance to measure the RAIDERS in a way I don't usually get to unless the RAIDERS play the Cowgirls (a heated rivalry). 

Final score aside, I have to say that I was pleased with the progress the RAIDERS have made. While the big story is the EAGLES 49 points, The RAIDERS kept the trains moving on time on Offense and put up their customary 20 points. This with DMac sidelined, the O-line chewed up, and Terrelle Pryor's development as a passer continuing. (I HATE when he drops back and spins to his left turning his back to the play. Now that you've definitely seen it, you'll now know what I mean when I moan about it!) This is a qualitative and quantitative basis to work from.

While the RAIDERS Defense was apparently still hung over from the night before, it's worth mentioning that the EAGLES Defense didn't stop the RAIDERS from playing their game at all. In fact the only team to hold Oakland to less than 17 all season so far has been the Chiefs. I said in the preseason that Oakland would need to be able to get to QB's early and get contributions from Special Teams to win games this year. They got neither and lost. They're right where they should be. 

Lost in the EAGLES 49 points is the story of the RAIDERS development. That is unless you're an announcer on FOX, who kept making mention of it, and of how Reggie McKenzie deserves credit for the change in the culture there. All in all (especially since I won both of my fantasy games, and the Sixers beat the Bulls (my 2 NBA favs)) it was a great week for sports. 

  • One step at a time.
  • I wasn't a fan of (DC) Tarver's calling of THIS game. I think he underestimated Riley Cooper while simultaneously overestimating rookie D.J. Hayden. He kept bringing down the FS and leaving one-on-one coverage on the outside.

    I would understand this if we were being gashed by the run, or were bringing a few exotic blitzes, or was playing aggressive press in slot. But overall it looked like a slurry coverage designed to take away the quick read. Which is awesome if you get some pressure, but...
  • What did they do with Jackson? I caught a couple plays and it looked like they werent getting tremendous pressure and Foles was tossing high and deep and letting receivers run under the ball.
  • That's basically it in a nutshell. In 1-on-1 even if the CB doesn't fall down (I'M LOOKING AT YOU HAYDEN!), it favors the WR because he knows the ultimate placement and the Corner doesn't. So he can gear up or down, yaw in or out and the whole time not only does the corner have to play the ball but avoid contact. Having Safety help means you can box the receiver in. Better still the help inside means the CB can play outside taking away ball placement advantage. This is the point I was making the last 2 years about our WR being so susceptible to the inside fade since our Safeties played so shallow and close together to compensate for the gaps left by the Wide-9.

    This year they still play shallow but they're generally lined up behind the OLB's. We don't see the slant routes beating us quick anymore, but outs and crosses are nearly impossible to defend. Good QB's are just waiting for our Safeties to pick a side of the hash mark and then you get the attempt. You won't see that level of decisiveness this week vs GB; but what I fear is if we see the playoffs (at 8-8), we'll see THAT, a 1-and-done appearance, and the 21st pick in the Draft. In my book that would be a disaster.
  • I don't care how good a secondary is Flip. If you don't have any pressure on a quarterback, NFL receivers are going to get open. I think Oakland may have underestimated Foles too. I've liked him since he came into the league. He sees the whole field with his size and he's accurate on long and short passes.
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