Monday, October 29, 2012

Five Postgame Takes

1. How many times did you hear the names "Burris" and "Wheeler" during the play-by-play? Those guys are getting it done out there. It's a very promising sign in the talent evaluation department for the Raiders. One through the draft, the other through free agency, both making an impact and setting the tone.

2. My goodness, the Chiefs are awful. They won three out of five to end last year's season, beating the Bears, Packers and Broncos along the way, and losing to the Raiders only after taking the game into to overtime. One offseason later and they're just painful to watch. Obviously, this is great news for us, as is the slow-motion slide of the San Diego Chargers from elite outfit to perpetual mediocrity.

3. On that note, maybe this season can be the inverse of last season for the Raiders. A rough start followed by strong finish, and sneaking into the playoffs instead of just missing them. It's not impossible. The road to the playoffs, however, looks like it's going to go through Peyton Manning. Can't lose another one to the Broncos.

4. Stop dropping balls that Carson Palmer is delivering to your hands. This is the NFL.

5. Two penalties for 20 yards. Last year, the Raiders averaged a league-worst 10.2 penalties per game. Right now, they're averaging 6 per game, and only eight teams are doing better than that. Obviously, this a great, and hopefully, telling trend. Now it's time to fix that red zone impotency...


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Good Victory on Sunday for the Raiders. True the Chiefs looked and played awful, but in the NFL there are no gimmes.

Penalties!!,, or the lack of them is certainly refreshing. After 7 games, I am inclined to think that this is who the Raiders are this season when it comes to penalties.

Raidertake, I am certainly on board with this maybe being the inverse of last season. And yet there is still a bunch of football and just as many story lines left out there in the NFL.

Moving forward, How will the DB's coming back help or hurt the defense? Will both units continue to improve as the season wears on?
HOw much longer should we expect Janikowski and Lechler to remain elite? Quite honestly I was shocked to see Lechler punt a "measly" 43 yards in the 4th quarter. was that an anamoly or a sign of things to come?

So to sum up sunday,,,Throwing up a W!


10:19 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I think the inverse of last season happens only if McFadden starts running like an elite RB. If we are going to win, we need him to show up big time, starting now!

I wouldn't hammer KC too much, they are a QB away from being good. Pioli has to go in order for that to happen though.

The bottom line, it is always nice to punch KC in the face; it will be better if we can do that to the Doncos as well. We have a tough Tampa team coming in next week, let's take it one week at a time, continue to improve, and continue to win.

We need McFadden! We need to improve the running game, with or without the ZBS. Bottom line:


10:59 AM  
Blogger H said...

Just a few quick drive-by observations.

- The defense has steadily improved since the Miami game. They have played reasonably well the last three games and are now 10th in the league. I don’t care if it was Jacksonville last week, if you hold an NFL team to two first downs in the second half, that’s good. Backup QB or not.
- Rolando McClain has improved his play since he now comes out on third down passing downs. He has improved against the run, and even blitzes a bit on second down.
- Stop dropping passes. We are playing the 31st ranked pass defense next week in a winnable game.
- They seem to not be playing down to the level of their opponent.
- On the penalty against Seymour, it’s an aggressive one I can live with. Personally I don’t think it should have been called. He made contact about the same time as the pass was being thrown. With his head buried in Cassel’s chest how, did he know the pass had been thrown? I’ve seen a lot worse not called.
- Palmer seems comfortable in the no-huddle. This actually gives me confidence in our two minute offense when we have to use it.
- I was at the Atlanta game and from the stands it felt like we outplayed the Falcons. When I got home I looked at the stats, and we did. But, we need more TD’s in the red-zone. Should have won that one, which would have been three in a row and tied with the Geldings.
- Four of the next five games are winnable, which would get us to 7-5. Playing at Baltimore will be tough.
- Huff is getting more comfortable at corner it seems. With his speed they should consider keeping him there if he continues to improve.
- I wonder if they used a little less ZBS yesterday. No one got to Palmer like the last few weeks.
- Nate, don’t be too hard on Pioli, I want to nominate him for NFL Executive of the Year.
Anyway, just some observations. I’ll stop by later as time permits.


12:36 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Good win against a bad team. Buris and Wheeler are all over the field. It’s fun to watch these guys. Wheeler went airborne on at least one attempt to reach the QB.

The secondary is actually starting the gel (third decent game in a row). The interception by Pat Lee should be enough to warrant more playing time, with or without Spencer’s return.

Another solid game by Palmer (a clear MVP to this point in the season). The drops were discouraging.

Did McFadden forget how to catch a football?

O-line was decent pass-blocking, but still struggling with run blocking. McFadden’s yards came late in a mop up with many Chiefs players mailing in their results... something we’ve seen the Raiders do before.

Changes from last year include moving Carlisle to the left side (after an entire career on the right) and adding Brisel and Smith to the right side. This group just isn’t getting it done.

McFadden carried 29 times. Goodson looked good when he was in, but didn’t get much work and not until late. Why? And why can’t Jones get in a game? This kid has lightning speed.

All in all, a relaxing game to watch... for a change.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

Was at the game. Wheeler and Burris ARE a blast to watch. Happy to build the D around these guys. DMoore is still hurt 'cause he should have out run everyone on the long screen play. Also, I think Lechler has lost a bit. Did not even kick that many in warm ups. Dropped passes need to stop. 3 or 4 I can remember. I know DMac had 100 + but it seems he is still tentative in this scheme. Would help if the O-line blocked too. He was blown up on a bunch of plays early.

Raiders were patient and poised. Some one was heads up with the time out call prior to the too many player penalty. That would have given the chefs a first down.

Re-did Arrowhead. Concourses are wider and they blew out a bunch of areas that were walled off behind the seat sections. These areas are now open with beer/food vendors. These are now the standing room ticket area. The field in front of you and the bar behind you - $30.00.

Also have a Hall of Honor with a section of old AFL stuff that is pretty cool, including Otto's helmet.

Chefs are snake bit. That kid is wide open and he drops it. Have a great punt return called back on a hold. The fans around me almost expected bad things to happen - and they did!
Not a knowledgable crowd either and I had good seats. They have planes pulling signs over the parking lot before the game calling for pioli's resignation. More than one actually. The guy who pays for it is calling for a black-out on Nov. 18th. All fans to wear black in protest. If they do he will donate the rest of the money set aside for planes to the Boys and Girls Clubs of KC. (Kind of like the GM billboard I guess.)
Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of fans! Ha!
BTW I am 4-2 at Arrowhead.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

Pryor a scratch and so was Tawain, Tawain may get some time now that Goodson is nicked but Pryor seems a waste of a pick.
Also saw Hagan play a ton of special teams. Thought that was interesting cause he's not a kid.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Thanks for the 'live' info memdf. Isn't Tiawan "on" Jones hurt?


6:11 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

If someone would have predicted last year that 7 games in the strength of the team would be our defense, and the weakness a (seemingly)100% healthy McFadden.. I would have told him to put down the crack pipe.

The defense looks better and more cohesive each week, amazing what two great LB's and a shut down corner (Huff) can do. I think it lets the line play with less abandon, knowing the linebackers have their back (Hey, maybe that's why they call them lineBACKERS, instead of what we used to have, line-clueless.)

Agreed to the kudo's to McK for signing Burrish and Wheeler.

Too bad he didn't save some money on a punter... good gawd... can someone tell Lechlar to try for the coffin corner???... he's put every single short punt into the end-zone this year... a 6th round draft pick can do that.

I was trying to figure out why McF was in the game at mop-up time, I thought they were desperately trying to get his confidence going. Looks like it was because Goodson was hurt. Hopefully it helped his confidence some. He looked better at hitting the holes after the game was won.

Good win... now one more vs TB.

4-4 and I am starting to think about playoffs...

6:57 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

Memdh... KC spent millions of dollars remodeling when the best remodel would have cost just a few thousand... a few more lines of troughs in each mens bathroom. That's the main reason I no longer go to games there... you miss almost an entire quarter of football if you piss more than one time... and I drink a LOT of beer.

I don't get it... there's a line of 50 people IN the bathroom, but no place to piss.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lechler has been hurt he has bad knee, oh what a hell let's crucify him

7:34 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


Seems you are coming around to DA/Tarver & the D making some steady improvements. Here we've got a 4th round LB (Burris), a low cost FA (Wheeler), low cost CBs (Lee, Hanson), and a safety playing CB (Huff).

Could it be? That in a relatively short period of time (7 games), the GM, HC, and DC actually know what they are doing? That the system, coaching, and personnel acquisitions actually makes a difference? That you don't need to spend $10M+ a year on a "lock-down" corner?

The D (and team) has a LONG ways to go but it is clear that the work in progress efforts has begun to take shape and traction.

In the last 3 weeks, correct me if I'm wrong, there have been a small handful of plays (ie. Branch getting burned on the double move vs. JAX) by the offensive opponent where our D gave up an "explosive play" -- less confusion, less mental errors, and guys flying to the ball.

To me this points to the players trusting the system and coaching, and knowing what to do. Less thinking and 2nd guessing and more instinct and aggression.

9:34 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The Raiders new-look "pedestrian" secondary is starting to pay dividends. Past Raiders Ds were clueless in zone coverage (so it's probably no coincidence that both Routt and Asomugha are struggling right now.)

Raiders are starting to find that happy medium of coverage and pressure that Allen has been mentioning all year.

To me, one of the smartest moves made on D has been to limit McClain's role and expand Buris' role (anyone else notice the defense immediately got better?) There's no scholarship there. Curry coming back in the next couple weeks could make it more interesting at LB.

On offense, I think Palmer is carrying this team. It's taking far longer than I thought for them to gel. The line is not performing well and McFadden seems to have lost his confidence.

4:29 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

Lechler has been hurt he has bad knee, oh what a hell let's crucify him

What has that got to do with his COMPLETE inability to execute pooch kicks?

ZERO percent average.. or maybe once inside the twenty?

Like I said... why doesn't he just kick the ball to the sideline if he is hurt?

He's killing us right now.. I don't care how great he was in the past.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

Calico Jack said...


Seems you are coming around to DA/Tarver & the D making some steady improvements.

No doubt! I am all aboard in regards to the defense and fixing the penalty situation.

The offense and Knapps insipid play-calling is a different story.

I think he thinks pounding the ball inside opens up the counter plays.

Its the other way around... the screens, bootlegs, draws, end-arounds that open up lanes for McFadden. It keeps defenses honest. Right now, anytime we show run they simply flood the side of the field we run the ball to. Its been happening every game for seven games... do you see any improvement CJ?

7:01 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

I think I saw Lechlar is in the bottom ten in net.

This needs to be solved NOW.

These are the things that make a difference between the playoffs and another year watching other teams.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

Take a look at the running plays on first in contrast to the rare passing plays on first for Knappster:

Here’s the first down running plays: -1, 2, 4, 4, 4,4, 0, -1, 2, 2, 19, 2, 1, 4, 2, 2, 2, -1

18 plays for 51 yards. 2.83 ypc

Passing plays on first:

0 (int) 23, 8, 0 (24 yards called back) 7, 16, 0, 6

8 plays for 62 yards. 7.75 YPP

If you take out the 19 yarder in garbage time, the longest running play on first down was 4 frigging yards.

Can anyone tell me why Knapp keeps habitually running the ball on first down?

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary I was never a punter in my life but I would believe they are telling Lechler to punt it the way he's been doing it, again we are going to crucify a player that's been the only positive player in our team for the last 10 plus years for having a bad season so far, get real

8:11 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Lechler is a captain on the team and he's money holding for kicks, which comes in handy during close games.

The Raiders placed their preseason punter IR, which Corkran said is very unusual. This may be a sign that the Raiders plan to exploure options at punter next year.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

I am not suggesting getting rid of Lechlar this year... I am suggesting our moron STs coach have him try the coffin corner. Maybe his knee hurts so he cant put back spin on the ball which is what you need to stop the ball at the goal line in today's game?

The coffin corner worked perfectly for decades... why everyone thinks they have to back spin the ball now is because all coaches are copy cat football geeks. The coffin corner is too simplistic for today's game.

It drives me up a tree...

The coffin corner might have ENDED the Tuck game... so this has been going on since Lechlar showed up.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


I'm quite certain that Lechler will make the nec. adjustments to improve the punting/field position game.

Don't know if he is struggling due to injury or just struggling in general due to poor execution on his part but of all players, I'm going to cut him the slack that he deserves.

The quick hitting toss & catch from CP3 & Moore is very difficult to defend. This is the type of high % 1st down call that I would like to see more of. If nothing else, it FORCES the opponent's CB to creep closer to the LOS which inevitably opens up the intermediate to deep routes. It also is beautifully designed for a WR who is get at YAC.

NYR alluded to the OLine not performing well ... really? What game were you watching? CP3 ackowledged after the game how the OLine dominated, kept him clean, and eventually wore down the Chiefs by pounding away.

Alot of you act like McFadden's 114yards should have an asterick by it as in "most of the yards were in garbage time" ... nope. This was money time when a team needs to close out a victory by picking up key 1st downs, using clock, and taking the will from the other team.

7:25 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

CJ said: "NYR alluded to the OLine not performing well ... really? What game were you watching? CP3 ackowledged after the game how the OLine dominated, kept him clean, and eventually wore down the Chiefs by pounding away."

Here's what I said: "O-line was decent pass-blocking, but still struggling with run blocking."

I’m sure Palmer was happy to stay clean, but consider the following:

- Raiders totaled 15 first downs
- they were 2/12 (16%) on 3rd down conversions
- 1/6 (16%) on red zone efficiency.
- 0/1 in goal-to-go efficiency

In 34 running plays, Raiders were tackled for a loss 7 times. That’s a staggering rate of over 20% of their run plays tackled for a loss.

Perhaps you'll agree that all these figures are well-below avg, and came against a bad team that has lost 4 in a row, and 6 of 7 on the year.

I'm thrilled about the win and see areas of improvement, but I think my assessment is fair.

4:07 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

'decent pass blocking' --

Palmer said the pass blocking was so good that he didn't need to wash his jersey.

Just curious NYR but what do you believe merits 'good pass blocking'?

Last time I checked, it was keeping your QB clean, giving him time to survey the field, and providing a solid pocket to step up, slide, and comfortably make the throw down field.

How many times was CP3 hit? sacked? knocked down? Unable to make the throw to his WRs?

As far as the run blocking goes, when your lead back racks up 114 yards, it is nothing to sneeze at.

Should the OLine be given credit for wearing KC down? Yes.

Should the OLine be given credit for icing the game in the 4th Q by springing #20 for some explosive runs? Yup.

Were there areas such as 3rd down conversions, negative plays, red zone efficiency that need to be improved and cleaned up? Without a doubt. A few less dropped balls would have boosted all of these areas.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

Blogger Calico Jack said...


I'm quite certain that Lechler will make the nec. adjustments to improve the punting/field position game.

I'm not considering he's never been that great at it like ever.

He's now just horrible at it.

Ok.. I am a Ray Guy guy.

Lechler is the second best Raider punter and the second best NFL punter IMO.

I agree you can't discount all of McFaddens yards in garbage time. It's still not the same.

I just hope it helps his confidence.

Much of sports IS confidence... IMO.

Only behind talent, and practice.

9:37 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

CJ -

I understand the Raiders are a work in progress, so I don’t want to awaken any sleeping dogs here by criticizing their progress.

But, IMO, the Raiders running game has made some bad run defenses look good this year. Defenses have penetrated the Raiders backfield with regularity. Raiders had 7 of 34 runs stopped for a loss against the Chiefs. That’s 20.5% of their run plays tackled for a loss. Doesn’t that seem excessive to you?

Kudos to the Raiders for finishing a game. They have been a second half team for several weeks in a row. That's a great sign.

4:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing that I don't understand is the fact that Indi and Washington have better records than we do, why is that

1:44 PM  
Blogger OakTownBlues said...


1:56 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

TBay's run D is at an elite level (tied for #1 ranking for YPC).

I expect the Raiders to stuggle running the ball on Sunday (more so than usual).

I would hope that Knapp will call more pass plays on 1st down than usual to set up more manageable 2nd and 3rd down situations.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous JACK JONES said...

"One thing that I don't understand is the fact that Indi and Washington have better records than we do, why is that".....

It must be Knapp's, Allen's fault...NYR, what dog would be sleeping? With a comment like's like kicking the dog and then saying "let him sleep". You want that dog awake, you need that dog can't handle the truth.(Jack Nicholson)


6:52 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Jack....TB's pass D is not the best, I'm sure that even the dumbest coaches in the league can figure out that they need to keep passing the ball. Especially when their (Raiders) QB is a top QB at this point in the season.

Even someone as stupid as Knapp wouldn't say "let's fool'em, and just keep running over and over"?

According to some 'fans', they think that the Raider coaches really are that stupid. According to these fans, the Raiders have the worst coaches in the league and the players only need to be "coached up" like Hue did with the exact same roster. Hue had them on the road to greatness, these coaches, Knapp and Allen, couldn't even make it in 'Pop Warner', according to them....ruff.


7:00 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...


I agree that running the clock out with a lead is important. What I'd like to see is the running game being the dominate force in a game. Where Dmac is ripping the runs he had in the 4th Q vs. kc in the 1st Q vs. opponents.

Know nothing about the bucs as I only watch Raider games. Will keep an eye here looking for insight. Have seen posted bucs have great run D.

Worried that Knapp is predictable on a good day so now what? I thought the Raiders had this really versatile guy named Marcel Reese. I have not seen him in a long time. I think he's been kidnapped or should I say kid-Knapped.

Be great to get this win.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

My goodness, the Chiefs are awful. They've really gone into the toilet.

8:11 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


Agree about the Raiders running attack needing to get on-track earlier in the game but it will need to wait a week or two with TBay & Balt. on the docket.

The key in my book is adapting the game plan to the opponent to be effective while trying to remain balanced and divesified.

One of the key cogs missing the past few weeks to the dynamic element in the attack is Reece.

This guy needs to be dialed up regularly -- he is a mismatch nightmare for the opponent.

10:35 PM  
Blogger OakTownBlues said...

Indeed, Take... I thought they'd at least show up. They remind me of, never mind.

Surge, OAK!

7:59 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I hear you, OTB. I've seen football like that before. In Oakland. Thankfully, those days seem to be behind us.

9:49 AM  
Blogger OakTownBlues said...

I think so, Palmer's starting to remind me of Gannon, and that's sayin' a lot! Raiderball is alive and well. Cheers...

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I'm glad that Knapp has implemented more gap blocking for the running game, and is mixing up the ZBS and Power block. I hope he continues to do this for the rest of the season.
Now if he can just figure out the the RB can go off tackle, and even outside the tackle for runs, we may be in good shape.
The key for us in this game is containing Martin, and covering V Jackson.

11:55 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Goodson has looked good this year. I'd say he needs more carries except he now has a turf toe injury. What about getting Jones more snaps? There has to be a way to jump start our running game. With much of the same personnel, Raiders used to dice up even the best run defenses. This week will be a real test.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

If I was the offensive game planner for TBay, I would do the following;

* First few series, run an aggressive "ball control" type passing attack stretching the Bucs horizontally (WC) and taking a few shots vertically (Gilliam).

* Pass almost exclusively on 1st down to create manageable 2nd and 3rd downs.

* Use the no huddle (ie. series 1 + 3 or 2 + 4)

* Utilize McFadden, Reece, Myers in the passing game early on with screens (delayed, outside, middle), check-downs, and safe reads to move the chains and win TOP and field position.

* If/when the Raiders get off to a 2 score lead (hopefully sooner rather than later!), begin to incorporate a more balanced offense.

My feeling is that the run/pass ratio for this particular game needs to be heavily slanted toward the pass (ie. 25%/75%). The Bucs are VERY strong vs. run and below average defending the pass.

Just my 2 cents.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

My feeling is that the run/pass ratio for this particular game needs to be heavily slanted toward the pass (ie. 25%/75%). The Bucs are VERY strong vs. run and below average defending the pass.

Just my 2 cents.


This is a test game to see if we have a "pound a square peg into a round hole" coaching staff... or one that takes what the defense gives... anything to win the game coaching staff.

Right now, its mostly been square peg... but slowly improving.

If Knapp tries to run the ball down TB's throat tomorrow, I see no hope for the playoffs.


6:09 PM  
Anonymous The5er said...

Jones said...

"According to some 'fans', they think that the Raider coaches really are that stupid. According to these fans, the Raiders have the worst coaches in the league and the players only need to be "coached up" like Hue did with the exact same roster. Hue had them on the road to greatness, these coaches, Knapp and Allen, couldn't even make it in 'Pop Warner', according to them....ruff."

I'm not quite sure why you are so defensive of any criticism pointed toward Knapp. Anytime someone makes ANY comment about the staff you immediatley discount them. Since you love to point out how your arguments are always grounded in the "facts"...

The facts are that through this point in the season last year DMAC was literally doubling the output we've seen in the ZBS scheme.

2011 (6 games – before injury)
Carries -113
Yds - 614
Avg p/Car - 5.43
TD - 4

2012 (6 games)
Carries - 103
Yds - 324
Avg p/Car - 3.14
TD - 2

Again, nearly double the production in each of the primary categories. Not sure why you don't think this is factual enough to warrant concern over whether ZBS may be limiting one of the better backs in the league?

You've argued many times that this is an issue of "effort" on both the part of DMAC or talent along the offensive lineman. These are highly subjective observations. This is about the facts.

More importantly, we watched DMAC finally create some space late last week against KC. Interestingly enough, there were many articles surfacing this week regarding the switch to away from ZBS back to a gap system.

EX: "Fast-forward to the fourth quarter of the Raiders' 26-16 win over Kansas City on Sunday. They rushed for 95 yards on 20 carries with a mixture of zone and more straight-ahead gap runs"

"We definitely increased our gap run blocking scheme to get a better balance and keep defenses honest, and we've done it well, so we'll keep that same kind of formula working," Knapp said. "It's a good change-up."

Center Stefen Wisniewski can see how immersing the offense in the zone scheme before blending it with gap blocking was of some benefit.

"It makes a lot of sense. That's where our coaches came from, and that's their mindset," Wisniewski said. "Coming in, (it) was zone, zone, zone, zone. But I think they're starting to get to know us better, and we're getting to know them, and so they're seeing we can be successful doing both."

"They added a little bit in the run game; they started running some more gap scheme stuff," Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano, whose team will visit Coliseum on Sunday, told Bay Area reporters by conference call

Apparently the concern over the limits of ZBS over the first 6 games wasn't just from a bunch of senseless, negative fans who have no business evaluating our systems and personnel? Apparently we were pretty close to the mark in our analysis?

On a positive note, I will point out that the switch does suggest that Knapp is willing to implement change as necessary rather than continue to force something that isn't there. We can't afford coaches who are willing to dig themselves a grave just to prove they can handle a shovel. This is a key ingredient in the big picture trajectory of the organization... and luckily, it seems to be changing in Oak.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

..."Anytime someone makes ANY comment about the staff you immediatley discount them"...

Bullshit, I'm just stating where the REAL problem lies, lack of talent and heart. All the talk of "it's the coaches"...nahhhh, it's the players and that is the FACT. I don't put the blame on the coaches, I see these players come out half assed at points of the games and season when they need to play with heart and desire. They did it at the end of last year too, so you can kiss my ass.


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