Sunday, November 05, 2017

Dolphins Gamenight Thread

Heading into tonight's game, I don't know what to make of the Raiders.

This season began with so much promise, and now the tires have inexplicably gone flat. That game against the Bills last week was an embarrassment.

How many years is it going to take Reggie McKenzie to build a legitimate defensive unit?

Here's a stat from the NFL Network: The Raiders have not intercepted a single pass through eight games. No NFL team has ever done that before. EVER. We don't have playmakers in the secondary.

Meanwhile, our running game remains mediocre. Instead of reaching into the future, we reached into the past with Marshawn Lynch, and it's not putting us over the top. Far from it.

We have a defensive-oriented head coach presiding over a persistently weak defense. We have a new OC who appears to be worse than the one we ran out of town.

What is the identity of the Oakland Raiders? Carr, a wing and a prayer?

They need to figure it out. Starting tonight.

P.S. Thanks for all of your well wishes, my friends. Everything is good on the family front post wildfires. I did get a firsthand look at the devastation and it's going to be a long haul for many people. Very sad.


Blogger nyraider said...

Raiders already look like they don't want to win this game. Very predictable on offense. When Lynch is on the field, he's a primary target. So it's no surprise when he gets slammed back for a loss. There has to be more to the Raiders playbook than what we see week and week.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

How, when and why did our offense become anemic?

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys spoke to soon, Lynch came through big time. O-line looked solid also.

Big Hugs

9:11 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, my take is that the players sometimes show up despite their coaches. If you run on first down every first down, it kinda takes away any element of surprise. Dolphins were in the Raiders O-backfield a lot.

And WRs running free in the Raiders zone defense probably won't be too helpful in 2 weeks when we play the Pats. Honestly, the Fins might have beat themselves in this game. Culter dinked and dunked when he probably should have been throwing downfield. Seemed like whenever they opened it up, they marched right down the field.

And watching Raiders special teams retreat before seeing an onside kick was really deflating.

Unfortunately, there's plenty of fodder to chew on.

Still, a win is a win. Just can't help but be concerned this is not the team that won 12 games last year.

4:42 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

P.S. kind of ironic, isn't it, that Cooper is on the "good hands" special teams fielding an on-side kick at the end of the game.

That game went unnecessarily down to the wire.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


For sure it is not the team that won 12 games last year. I think that is confidence, o-line has regressed a little, Carr is still banged up and coaching has been horrendous.

Given all those issues I think a strong running game is the only way to get out of this funk. It minimizes the D being exposed, helps Carr with protection issues and sets up shots down field. I firmly believe that if Lynch is getting 15 plus carries a game the Raiders are winning more than they lose. Even if some of those are only 2-3 yards a carry. Let the big boys on the O line get physical.

On D I can't believe I am still saying this but having Aldon Smith might help Mack tremendously. Hopefully after the bye week, the secondary is Carrie, Amerson, Joseph, Nelson with lots of Obi and Conley in the nickle. That may help. Bowman has played solid and the run defense has improved.

It may be too late to make the playoffs, but I firmly believe Carr is a top tier QB and the pieces are there in terms of personnell talent wise for this team to be playoff contender.


10:02 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

I'll take any win, so happy about that. I really am more concerned with defense than offense.

I agree with Sandy, Raiders just need a credible rushing game. It seems so elusive. Week after week, just don't know what to expect.

But the D is scary bad. In the Chefs game, they went 99 yrds in 3 plays for a TD. Against Bills, QB Taylor was an incredible 20-27. Vs fish, Cutler threw only 8 incompletions.

Raiders D seems to have a bend, don't break philosophy. But it aint working. Does every dump pass have to be completed ? And when receiver turns around, no one is there. Plenty of space to make even more yards. Raiders just do not contest or defend the short pass.

The last series for Fish. They started on their own 18 yard line. In blink of an eye, they had TD. Ok, maybe Raiders were in prevent D, but in shouldn't be that easy to score. Idea of prevent is to make team use time off clock in exchange for yardage. Instead, opponents can go 80 yards in seconds against Raiders horrible D.

Very frustrating to watch.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What do you think the problem with the D is from a personnel standpoint, or is it coaching?

As I have stated I think once the DBs get healthy they will be at least avg in the secondary and they can stop the run better this year. Where the personnel does not exist seems to be rushing the passer, its Mack of no one.


3:41 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

Sandy....Not sure if personnel or coaching is problem. All I know is, opposing Qb's have an incredibly high completion rate against Raiders D.

This goes back to Texans playoff game. Terrible Osweiler dinked & dunked Raiders D to death. All game, Raiders D had no answers. This seems to have carried over to this year.

I do know this much. Years ago, Raiders always had big, tough linebackers. They tackled hard and would wear opponents down. Parcells/Belichek used that with the Giants, and Belichek has kept that thinking even today with the Pats. Seems to work, and I really wish Raiders would return to this philosophy.

3:54 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

IMO, good coaching can overcome a lot. I don't believe that's what we're seeing, nor what we can expect from this group.

The Raiders have one of the best O-lines in football... and not just on paper. But when you run on every first down, and don't otherwise disguise formations (save one bizarre play when both starting WRs lined up in the backfield), you get what you deserve, i.e., stuffed. The offense lacks imagination and professionalism. For example, Carr had to waste two timeouts due to poor clock management, letting the play clock run out.

Last year, the Raiders hurry up offense was outstanding. This year hurry up means beating the play clock to get the snap off. This is not a well-run offense.

Btw, OO, I think I read that the Dolphins only took like 22 seconds off the clock to go 80+ yards for their last score. I could be wrong but we all saw what happened.

Norton has been coaching basically the same D for three years. There's no excuse for WRs to be so open.

Even our best player looks lost sometimes. There was one play toward the end of the game that Mack appeared to stay in coverage, but he let the TE off the line without touching him. The play ended being a critical conversion to the TE on a short slant. Even a tiny shove might have effected the play.

Bowman is solid in the middle, but the LBs are otherwise weak. They are terrible in coverage. Irving is playing more in coverage and rushing less. That's a problem too.

Maybe it's too easy to armchair this thing, but it just seems like we are watching the team self-destruct and, in many ways, the coaches are helping the implosion.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

NYR...22 seconds, wow. And remember Chefs went 99 yards in 3 plays against Raiders D. I've never seen a defense this bad.

Raiders D makes any Qb, Osweiler, Taylor, Cutler, look like John Unitas.

And to think, Reggie, JDR, and Norton all have defense backgrounds. Guess it doesn't matter.

5:16 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

00- Dolphins came into the Raiders game as the worst-ranked offense in the NFL. They had been shut out by two teams. When they needed to open things up against the Raiders, it was there for the taking.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Here are my bottom lines right now:

For whatever reason, the inability to stop opposing runners and receivers has been an ongoing problem that should well be on its way to being fixed, but does not appear to be.

As for our own running game, is this a corps we can build on? How long has it been since we had a true stud RB?

Amari Cooper is playing like a #2 receiver or worse.

How are Derek Carr and a good O-line supposed to overcome all of this?

This is a recipe for exactly what the Raiders are flirting with becoming in 2017: a middle of the pack .500 team.

I'll remind you that we had two back-to-back 8-8 seasons (2010-2011) during the dark ages.

The Raiders should, and have to, do better than what they have demonstrated so far this season.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Here are my answers:
For whatever reason, the inability to stop opposing runners and receivers has been an ongoing problem that should well be on its way to being fixed, but does not appear to be.
#1-we all knew in the offseason that LB and DB needed to be addressed. DB was addressed in the draft, but we have yet to see the full result. DL was addressed in the offseason, and we let Riley (MLB) walk, and LB for the majority part was left untouched for the offseason. Our 2 biggest needs were on the defensive side of the ball, and they are still our biggest failure on defense. To me this is a Reggie McKenzie issue.
#2-I think bringing in Chuck Pagano has been a blessing and a curse. Even though he is not DC, he is the assistant Head Coach/Defense. I am not sure that he and Norton Jr are getting along, and I wonder if Norton feels the heat. I think Del Rio is a fair guy, and is giving his Coordinators a chance to come through, but I'm not sure Norton is going to survive this. I think the Defensive unit likes the guy as a person, but know they need a better coach. I really think Pagano will be our DC next season.

As for our own running game, is this a corps we can build on? How long has it been since we had a true stud RB? Who would have thought we'd have one of the worst running games coming into this season? Seriously? I didn't. I thought Lynch was what we needed for the Power Running game we had last season. I still think he is the answer to a Power Running game; but that's the problem. Musgrave was the OC running the Power Offensive game plan, Downing is trying to revert us back to a Zone Offensive game plan (Zone blocking, zone running game, and zone pass patterns). BTW, I think the last true stud RB we had was Tyrone Wheatley.

Amari Cooper is playing like a #2 receiver or worse.
Amari Cooper is a WR that likes to stretch the field and fly. He has been asked multiple times to run quick slants and outs, and that is just not his game. Again, this is a result of zone pass patterns that Downing is trying to implement. It really irks me. Cooper didn't add mass to himself to run zone pass patterns. He did it to gain an advantage to separate from the defender as he stretched the field. For someone who stretches the field, the reason he is having drop issues is the ball comes in a lot quicker when your running shorter routes, and if you're not used to it, it is going to be an adjustment.

How are Derek Carr and a good O-line supposed to overcome all of this?
The way the O-Line, Derek Carr, our running game, and WRs overcome this is if Todd Downing gets his head out of his @$$ and dumps the ZBS, and Zone Offensive game plans; and returns to Power Offense. The strength of this team is power. The Power game, on both sides of the ball, let's the Raiders beat their opponent to the punch. Zone game forces the Raiders to wait until their opponent makes the first move, while they adjust to the move to have their way. The Raiders are playing a game plan that they aren't built for. What did Reggie talk about all last season, "We're building a bully." Well, that bully has been told by the Zone Game Plan, to play nice. The more aggressive wins in this league, and right now, the Raiders are not aggressive.

This is a recipe for exactly what the Raiders are flirting with becoming in 2017: a middle of the pack .500 team.
Agreed, we've taken a step back to a team that was fielded 3 years ago by Dennis Allen, and all the years before him, with exception to Hue Jackson.

I'll remind you that we had two back-to-back 8-8 seasons (2010-2011) during the dark ages. Again, this was under Hue Jackson's years when he implemented a Power Offense with no talent; and the Raiders were running a zone oriented defense.

The Raiders should, and have to, do better than what they have demonstrated so far this season.
Agreed, scrap the Zone Oriented Game Plans on both sides of the ball, and go back to power play. That is the only way this changes. JUST WIN BABY!

3:01 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Cooper is hard to figure out. I don't think he had drop issues (this bad) in college. But he led the NFL with drops in 2015, and he's leading the league again this year.

At best, he's inconsistent, which means he's not clutch. Cooper can one-hand grab a ball over his head 40 yards down field, then drop a 4-yard pass to the numbers on the next play.

Fortunately, Carr and Cook are starting to develop something. Cook has become a reliable 3rd down target.

3:15 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, wrt to zone schemes, I don't understand how the Raiders can be 9 games into a 16-game schedule and NOT see how they've been shooting themselves in the foot.

They have two key opportunities right now:

1). watch and copy any successes the Broncos have against the Pats this week and,

2). come out against the Pats in 2 weeks with a completely different, back-to-power game plan. You can be sure the Broncos D will challenge the Pats at the LOS.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY you are on fire today. One stat worth noting is in the following article. Lynch had more yards after contact than total yards. WTF? I don't think Lynch is the problem he needs 15 carries a game minimum and the OL has to block better for the run.

You know I live in FL so I get every SEC game. Cooper was dominant in college and should be in the NFL. I have not lost faith in him.

A lack of pass rush hurts the Raiders on D.


4:08 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Great points, Raider Nate, here's what I think:

#1 - Defense: No arguments. A lot of missteps there, and we are reaping what we sowed. So stop sowing.

#2 - Running Game: Maybe we didn't see it coming, but we're not getting paid millions to see it coming. Otherwise, sign me up for that job. Tyrone Wheatley? That tells you everything you need to know about the situation. The NFL is loaded with stud young running backs. How come we can't get it right?

#3 - Offense, Downing, etc. You and I didn't run our OC out of town and promote Downing. Pay me a million and I can run with scissors like that. Del Rio and McKenzie and Downing need to figure it out.

Great analysis by you, NY, Sandy. I hope someone is listening.

7:21 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"Per Pro Football Focus, David Amerson, Smith and McDonald have allowed the three highest opponent passer ratings this season out of 121 cornerbacks who have played at least 101 snaps."

Is that even possible? How can three Raiders CBs statistically be the worst three in the NFL?

4:49 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Per media: "All seven of the Patriots’ inactives are key players."

Does it really matter that they will be without their center and right tackle, as well as a few others?

Raiders secondary is toast and, for some reason, they refuse to blitz... leaving all the pressure on the secondary to maintain coverage.

As per usual, only a monster day by Derek Carr can save the Raiders.

12:57 PM  
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