Sunday, October 01, 2006

Five Postgame Takes

1. While the score was close, I will declare no moral victory. I see no moral victory in yielding an 18 point lead to an 0-3 team. Our offense finally showed some life—at the same time our defense revealed itself as average. I'm not saying our defense is bad. But that doesn't mean it's great. We couldn’t stop the Browns when we needed to stop them. I like the interceptions. I like the energy. But in the end, we just couldn’t keep the Browns down. Sure, our offense went into a shell in the second half, forcing the defense to carry the load. But that’s what great defenses do, they carry the load. As for the offense, Jordan tore it up, and Walter was better than his stats, which were vandalized by dropped balls. It was nice to finally see some multidimensional playcalling, too. But our offensive line still stinks. Our tight ends are totally unreliable. And Whitted is still starting for reasons unknown. I think I saw some silver lining today, but a lot remains to be seen.

2. Randy Moss is getting on my nerves. I’m not seeing the effort. Sorry, I’m just not. He’s waiting for the game to come to him. The greatest players don't wait, they seize. Yes, that was a nice touchdown. No, that wasn’t a great effort on the long ball that went through is hands. No, I’m not seeing him fight for the ball. I know I’ll get hammered for this. So be it, I’m tired of tiptoeing around the subject.

3. The good news: our kickers are a couple of badass tacklers. The bad news: we desperately need them on kick coverage.

4. On the Browns’ first offensive drive in the third quarter, the zebras missed, to my eyes, a couple of blatant holds, enabling the Browns to steal yardage and score a touchdown. Then a zebra thieved a first down from us at a crucial moment in the fourth quarter, despite being right on top of the play. Once again, the zebras screw the Raiders. Still, how do we not challenge the spot of that ball? How!? This reeks of utter incompetence at the coaching level. A postgame report says: “Shell chose not to challenge the spot after consulting with the coaches upstairs.” Which coaches—and what is their excuse? Forget the question. There is no excuse. Incredible.

5. Accusations of the Raiders being the worst team by far in the NFL—and even one of the worst teams in NFL history—are greatly exaggerated. The Raiders Haters can now take a deep breath and come back down to earth. Yes, the Raiders are struggling. Go ahead, kick us while we’re down. But quit throwing us a pity party, because soon enough, based on what I saw today, we just might bite your team in the ass.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all saw this coming. The results on the field thus far should not be surprising. It's a very basic problem we're dealing with and that is bad management. We have let far too many good players and good coaches leave the franchise and it shows. Too many holes to fill. Thanks to Al, we are who knows how many years away from climbing back from respectability.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Good takes, RT, especially the lack of a challenge on that questionable spot in the 4th quarter. That absolutely drove me bonkers when it happened because that could have led to an insurance score that ultimately may have saved the game. And how do you run wide in a single-back offense (no fullback) in a 4th and 1 situation? Slam it up the middle with your big guys!

The short game, once again, is killing this team. Not only do they have difficulty maintaining drives with short and medium range passes, they are incredibly inept at stopping it. Charlie Frye did his best Rich Gannon and dinked and dunked them to death in the second half.

The good: improvement of the running game. They put up over 180 yards on the ground and 107 yards of those yards came on two carries. Although still suspect, the OL is starting to show signs of gelling.

The bad: WR/TEs and their inability to catch the ball and/or help out Walter. 9/23 for 68 yards was a horrible performance by Walter, but a good deal of the blame rests on the receivers who could have at least given him an 11/23 for 120 yard performance. Still, not great, but the kid shows promise. Better protection would have helped.

The ugly: special teams coverage. These units allowed the Browns to get fantastic field position over and over again, putting them in better position to score. If not for fantastic tackles by Lechler and Janikowski, this game would have been over sooner than it was.

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This team snt capable of biting anyone in the ass - its appalling, its a disgusting shocking badly coached total and complete mess.

Norvs teams were better than this.

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to say this because I love Art, but it's all about coaching, and I'm not just referring to the red flag that should have been thrown. Look at the Jets. They came into this season on a par with us talent-wise. Perhaps even worse at key spots like RB and WR. But look at how they have bought into what Mangini is selling. They are competetive in every game and watching them reminds me of watching the Raiders in '98.

Monte Poole wrote a couple of weeks ago that the quickest way to lose a team's respect is to insult their intelligence. I just don't think these players are buying what the organization is selling, and unfortunately I can't say I blame them.

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow--game management killed us and Mad Stork is right. RT-
this article [sorry forgot how to add active link] says Shell checked with booth and they told him play was not challengeable. How do you not have someone up there that knows the rules? How does Art not know? To make matters worse, we handoff to LaMont who lines up 7 yards deep and run behind weakest part of o-line, when we have a huge QB and need 6 inches? But worst decision of the game is punting on 4th and 5 with 3:20 left. How do you give the ball back to a team that has moved the ball up and down the field all second half? Plus side? Booth played well.

6:34 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Great takes as usual.

I remember thinking that it was no big surprise that the first touchdown of the 06 season came from our defense. Oddly enough, the offense showed signs of life as the special teams and defense showed obvious weakness for the first time.

I did feel that Walter had a very decent showing. One thing about being the QB of the future is that you have to grow. If you don't believe me, go look at Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman's first season.

God bless our kickers!

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This team won't bite anyone in the ass. This team is bad real bad. Al is a great owner and has done great things for the Raiders and pro football. Now he needs to put the ego aside and get some competent peolpe in to run HIS organization.Until he does this it will be more of the same.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:14 AM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

I agree on each point, and you won’t get any complaints from me on Moss. I thought maybe he was just affected by how horribly out of sync our offense has been, but yesterday really showed how ineffective he has been. The defenses haven’t been treating him like the stud he supposedly is, and he couldn’t take advantage. The most glaring example was that long ball, but watching him consistently over the last two home games its’ got to be one of three things

1) He doesn’t believe in the offense, so he’s not going all out running routes and going for the ball because he doesn’t think it’s coming his way

2) He’s hurt – but I’ve heard nothing to that effect and he isn’t reacting that way

3) He lost it – that burst of speed is gone, and considering he doesn’t have an all-around game, he’s pretty much done in terms of being an impact player

4) He’s pining for Jerry Porter

Unfortunately, I think it’s number 3. If it was related to the team’s performance I have to believe he’d be trying harder earlier in the game, but I have yet to see him go all out on any single play. Yesterday was the worst – two backup corners, and he couldn’t get loose.

Yesterday’s game was hard to take. If the defense and special teams had played the way they did the first two games I think we would have won. The Browns aren’t a top 10 offense by any stretch of the imagination – there is no reason we should not have been able to maintain a 21-3 lead. Yet, the special teams gave up field position and the defense didn’t get it done. It appears those units haven’t made as much progress as we’ve thought. Still, they did get the late pick that gave us a chance to win it.

I did expect the offense would be sporadic – that’s to be expected with someone making his first start. But the receiving corps did nothing to help him out. Maybe that’s why Norv didn’t throw to the tight ends – they can’t catch! If they hold onto a few of those balls, Walter gets some confidence, maybe gets into a bit of a rhythm, the defense can’t bring as much pressure because we’re hitting those passes, and we can extend the lead. Why didn’t Fargas get additional chances? The offense picked up when he played in the 2nd quarter, but he didn’t get a chance in the 2nd half. The improvement was obvious, but there is still a long ways to go. I think it’s apparent that we need serious talent upgrades along the offensive line.

Coaching is still an issue. The decision not to challenge that call was horrible. And why run wide on that 4th down play? Lack of confidence in the offensive line maybe? Heck, they could have even tried a field goal from the dirt – Jano has been on this year. And giving up the ball with 3 minutes left – that’s too much “by-the-book” coaching. Based on how the Browns had been moving the ball, why not give Walter a shot? Even if they did get the ball back after the 2:00 minute warning, he’d still have had the pressure to get it done with no timeouts.

We may not be the worst team ever, but we’re going to be picking high again this year. Whatever improvements we’ll make will be too late to salvage a decent record.

8:33 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

My takes:

It is, indeed, going to be a long year. It's not the system, it's the team.

1. The most solid player on the OL is Boothe. Sims plays better at T than he does at G. I don't think Grove audiblizes well. The line is still not pass protecting well because they are not able to create a clean pocket for the QB. When Walter has time to step up and throw, he's fine. Shell and Walsh gave this team a game plan that would take some of the heat off, and it did. But it wasn't enough for this OL. All this isn't to say they can't get better, but they are far from being there. The short term solution would be to put it back the to the way Shell found it, but I think that would be bad for the long haul.

2. Jordan played with significantly more fire than the last two games, and it showed.

3. I wouldn't be surprised to see Brooks back under center against the 49ers. It's not that he's necessarily a better QB, but his running ability will help the OL.

4. In regard to the failure to challenge the spot in the 4th: the only way I can see that is if nobody on the Raiders' side of the field noticed the bad spot. That can happen sometimes, and bad luck always seems to come in bunches.

5. I think we will have a sound defense when everyone in back of the DL gets some more experience. What I would like to see is for Huff and Schweigert to switch possitions. I think Washington and Asomugha are going to be great by the end of the season.

6. Where did the holes in the ST coverage come from? However, I thought that call against Cooper was bogus. Without a Fair Catch signal, I've never seen an official throw the flag when the tackler and the ball arrive at the same time. It is the responsibility of the return man to call a fair catch or to back away from the ball. In fact, I have seen the refs rule exactly the other way on a couple of occasions against the Raiders.

7. Moss is playing like a man who doesn't want to get injured for this team, which he views as a loser. I can understand Moss' attitude to the point that Moss, Inc. can survive a poor season, but Moss, Inc. might not survive a serious injury. We have to realize that Moss is more than a player - he's a multifacited business. The problem is that right now, Art Shell and the Raiders need a PLAYER. Perhaps someone should ask Moss if he knows where we can find one. We need WRs to go out and fight for the ball right now. On the other side of the field, Whitted is not strong enough to fight for the ball. This team can't afford Randy Moss right now. At the end of the season, we need to trade him either for a high draft choice, or OL. I think the Raiders are still concerned about the durability of Curry. That's the only way I can see him not starting oposite of Moss. Unforntunately, I think that right now we need the tandem of a committed Porter and Gabriel. Still not sure why they traded Gabriel, but Porter is still "uncommitted," with visions of Jerry as CEO dancing in his head.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Raider Raza said...

IS MOSS INJURED???? or has he lost his speed and his skills are deteriorating. He missed two jump balls, was a step behind a deep pass and took lots of plays off.
Seriously Moss it’s hard to take you serious when you lethargically stroll into the huddle just as they are about to break and head into the play. His reputation will merit another chance and the benefit of the doubt…

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a stat that will make us feel better:

Doug Gabriel (only played in 2 games): 10 catches, 122 yards, 2 TDs (led team in receiving both games he's played)

Raiders WRs Total (3 games): 18 catches, 227 yards, 1 td

What are we doing? Gabriel was a 5th rounder turned "starter", and if he stays on that pace he could be in Honolulu in February.

Trade him for a 5th rounder???

That's as mind-boggling as starting Alvis Whitted.

Great take on Randy Moss. He's not a complete football player. He's not here to compete for this football team....very frusterating.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well atleast there were a couple of improvements over a two week bye period. I mean atleast we just didn't go out there in brown and orange uniforms and play for them against us right? Man it's going to be a long season boys. All I care about is having A.W. keep playing and learning from his mistakes and see Tom Walsh get the boot soon

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Al Davis will sooner or later realize that his way will not suffice in the league. The bad calls, dropped passes, no motivation to go out there and compete shows us one thing. Art Shell was the only choice because no one else wanted the job, why? BECAUSE OF AL DAVIS THAT'S WHY

Art Shell's last stint at this got him fired because he has horrible clock management skills and lacks the depth to see the full picture and hire the right personel. That is why no one in the league wanted to hire Shell.

Personel issues are also a big problem. Since we lost Bruce Allen, we haven't had a credible front office. Mike L. is just not cut for this. He needs help in the front office.

Gurden's success came by doing what needed to be done. Wheather Al liked it or not. Gurden knew how to tame Al for a short time. Al's ego is too big, to have two egos on one team. I am really sadden by how we have played the last four years. But I am a Raider fan for life. The ups and downs are all part of getting back to the top. One day will shall rise from the ashes again.

1:57 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I really don't think that Walsh is the problem. Insider reports which came out on Friday suggested that the Raider playbook isn't that much different from the Steelers' or the Patriots'.

Walsh answered all concerns this time around. He had 3 step drops, fired passes to the flats, and even used a trick pass play by Curry. It ain't the plays. There are a few coaching mistakes that can be called (such as the failure to review the bad spot), but not enough to excuse the poor play level.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm tellin y'all, this next game is IT. the raiders MUST beat the bloody whiners! this is MY superbowl. it's all about bragging rights for the bay area. everything else as far as wins is a bonus. let's just get walter his PT for experience and look forward to next year's draft and season.

let's face it folks, if we don't win this game, the next possible game we can win is the texan's game. THAT'S IT!!!!! heck - even the browns and texans better than us. they have wins! these are organizations that are going places. these are organizations with UNITY. these are organizations that have a stinkin' PLAN.

bad personnel decisions, bad coaching, bad players, this list goes on and on and on baby! and who does it all fall back on? yep. that SENILE old fart who keeps living in the freakin' past. he is the SOLE reason we are where we are today. doormats of the nfl.

SO - let's beat the whiners. that's all i have to hope for.

2:11 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

It's always interesting to me that the times when Al Davis inserts himself the least is when he gets the most blame for "interfering." He was least involved with the team in the early to mid '90s, and they did poorly - it was Al's fault for interfering. This year he hasn't been seen on the sideline or at practice since the first days of camp, but his interference is what's causing the problems. For my part, I hope Al gets over whatever is ailing him, and gets back to work.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to discuss three topics.

1) Andrew Walter. I already hear some fans ripping Walter. This is a mistake. I would like to see him play 8, 9, 10 games in a row. I'd like to see if he improves, and by how much. It also wouldn't hurt if the kid had some weapons to use out there. It's alot to ask a young QB to go in cold especially with this horrible group around him. Be patient, give him a chance. We've got nothing else at the QB position anyway.

2) The spot. Yes the spotting of the ball looked bad, and Shell, & Walsh looked clueless for not challenging. But it was still 4th, and inches, and you have to make the first down. The officials are bad in every game, for every team, but 4th , and inches. You have to overcome it, put away excuses, and make the play.

3) Randy Moss. Moss, for whatever reason, is looking very lazy out there. At least so far he's kept quiet off the field as well. I fear though as the losses pile each week, that Randy will grow louder, and louder, with more to say that Raider "insiders", are not going to be happy about. It should be interesting to keep an eye on this.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This artical was very well written, I couldnt put it any better than that. All true Raider fans should stay loyal & talk about the positives in the silver black this season. If you really understand football you shouldnt be surprised or shocked, it's a rebuilding year. We all need to understand that! Soon all the negatives will be gone along with the days of humilation. F' the media & the haters out there, patients is key & those glory days will soon return before we know it. I know it's been tough the last few years but trust me we are right around the corner and we will be back next year and for years to come!

5:04 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Good news for Walter fans.

At Shell's press conference today, he was joined by both Walter and Jordan. I guess Jordan and Walter stepped up to be accountable. No word that I heard about Walter stepping in permanently, but having him at the press conference would suggest that the team views him as taking that responsibility.

5:16 PM  
Blogger x said...

Great Takes. I agree with all of them.

Moss is playing like a has-been. Figures the Raiders get a superstar receiver on the downside of his career. Reminds me of James Lofton's and Roger Craig's Raider days.

It's so disappointing to see the Special Teams perform so bad. It really seemed to be one of the major improvements in 2006. Now, that is seriously in doubt.

I just knew people would say, "you should be able to pick up a few inches on 4th down", about the failed 4th down run. While that is true, the point here is that it shouldn't have come down to that if THE DAMN COACHING STAFF WAS PAYING ATTENTION! I don't coach football for a living and I was screaming at the TV at the Raider coaches' inaction. And I read that report that Art called upstairs and they told him, bizarrely, that it was NOT challengeable. Forget the fans' excuses....That's inexcusable! And what of the fact that Art didn't know it was challengeable and had to ask? Football fans like me know this rule and a professional football coach doesn't???

I also saw what you did (blatant holds). Can't remember exactly when, but one was on a big third down conversion by Cleveland where Burgess was blatantly held to the point where his back was to the QB.

On the plus side, the play calling was better and the clock management was excellent on, like, the first couple of drives, but after that it was like they regressed to letting the play clock tick to zero. What's up with that?

I won't be optimistic until I see Whitted's name off the starting lineup. That fact alone immediately lowered my expectations of beating Cleveland.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the Raiders are suffering from a Marcus Allen curse, the same way the Red Sox had the Babe Ruth curse.

Seems the Raiders sputtering really started around the same time that Marcus was benched, and exiled.

Sure, I know the Gruden yrs were great, but maybe they lasted for only a short time because of the curse.

Al Davis should invite Marcus back, give him a big day, retire his number, hoist up a banner with his image. Anything it takes to bust the curse.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm left feeling betrayed as a loyal fan. I cannot remember a worse start to a season. The week after a bye, when our team struggles is a time to find answers; and we are left still questioning.
This game, to me, proves that it is the lack of coaching creativity on the sidelines. I know it doesn't help that the O-Line is struggling, but we were able to put 14 points up, with Jordan running a huge game. It takes some blocking to do what he did. But the second half? They finally had the table set to go long, and what happened? Again, Walsh isn't the right guy for our offense. His lack of intelligence to even game plan Football 101 is just mind boggling to me. We set up the to go long yesterday with a solid running attack in the first half. We were set to explode the second half, and ADJUST to the plan we've been waiting for all year. We did it a few times, with Moss, but apparently he must've just ate popcorn, because he had butter all over his hands. What happened to throwing passes to Gabri....eeerrrr.....Porte.....eeerrrr....Whitted? Damnit!
Just because you play this way on Super Tecmo Bowl on your Sega Genesis, doesn't mean it works in the NFL. I have a white towel in my hand, and I'm ready to throw it in the ring on this season.
We have to WIN the next 3 games. It is a MUST!
The only thing that could be worse is if we have the first overall pick this next off-season, and we pick a DB, an Offensive Lineman, or a Kicker. We had better draft a Running Back, a Quarterback, or trade down for an Offensive Lineman, and a pick and draft a Receiver to replace Pouter (and potentially Moss).

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point #4 rt wrote about "blatant holds" by the Browns O-line and the "zebras screwing the faidas again on the ball placement". WHEN WILL YOU WHINNING TRICK-O-TREATER COSTUME WEARN' FAIDA NATION FANS LET IT GO? It's always the zebras, the bad calls, the conspiricy to cheat the faidas. Why can't you wipe off the funny faces and take it like real MEN? THE FAIDAS AIN'T NO GOOD, THEIR COACHING IS NO GOOD, AND THEIR OWNER SHOULD BE IN A CONVALESENT HOME! The "faida nation" doesn't exist, you live in a fantasy, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE DUNG HEAP THAT IS YOUR BELOVED FAIDAS! This is the "faidas broadcasting network" signing off, just cringe baby.

3:51 PM  
Blogger x said...


You're just an idiot.

And so eloquent.

What are 10 years old?

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's all admit it. Moss has lost it. He lost it last year against San Diego. He is now a scared "wussy" and is afraid to get hurt. He's no longer a threat. And it hurts to watch.

Hey, has anyone been following Doug Gabriel? "Good Trade" Raider Management. Pretty pathetic, Art, Al and company.

Is this a professional football team anymore?

Time to clean house with all those who are not on board to making this team a great one. Good bye Moss, Porter, and any other cry baby out there.

And Gallery, cut your hair and block like a man.

ok, i've vented, but i'm still "ticked" off.

Good job to Jarvas and Jordon. Way to step it up.

Go Raiders (Moss go away)

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just watched that great show "behind al's ass" and as usual there wasn't much talk about the loss (Clevland game), go figure, ol' mushmouth (atkinson) sounded fairly coherent this show, probably forgot where he left his 40. In an 180 degree change of pace was the "49er total access" show where the topics were not made to cover up the horrible play of the 49er's at K.C. 41 to 0 drubbing! Nor did the show have the FIVE (5) Lombardi trophy's displayed at all times, nobody got on a soap box pitching to get any well deserving 49ers into the Hall of Fame, there weren't any segments showing a bunch of fanatics dressed in clown suits, gorilla suits, or any other costumery. There was however some footage from 20+ years ago... A very well done, tasteful piece about jim plunkett with footage of his time at Standford, New England, and with the 49ers, he even spoke to the host on the show, and yes they even gave him his props for his 2 super bowl victories while playing for the faidas! My point...the 49ers are a class act, unlike your "faida nation, faida broadcasting network propaganda machine". I defy any one of you faida fanatics to prove me wrong. All you faida fanatics know is faidas, faidas, faidas. The show even had a segment done pre game at Arrowhead stadium, the fans there where pleasant, courteous, and knowlegable, they said that any team was treated with respect when they came to Arrowhead, but they did point out one team that wasn't welcome, you guessed it, the faidas, why? to quote one of the K.C. fans "the faidas are different, their fans don't act like normal fans" There was even an interview featuring commentators of football with greg papa allowed to speak about his beloved faidas! When the faidas organization cracks (no pun intended) down on the lowlife thug, gangbanger mentality that prevails at chokeland the rest of the NFL will look upon you outcasts as a blight on the league. Maybe in a few more decades you "pirates" will join with the fold of humanity and demand that the trouble makers and miscreants that cast this shadow on your beloved faidas stop being the gangstas', lowlifes, and thugs that big al embraces and condones by his refusal to speak out against the same. Thanks for the compliment X, nice pic of you and your future "proud loud" young faida fanatic, it's not too late to teach him/her to be respectful of people, and to learn right from wrong. Take a good hard long look at what he/she sees every time you take him/her to a faidas game. "faidas broadcasting network" out, Just cry baby.

8:58 PM  

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