Question: Hey, Jason. Thanks for responding to my last question. Two huge questions:
1. McCown didn't lose the game (see SeaBass, special teams play, and the defense), but he didn't win it. When will Culpepper get the start, as I believe he brings a different swagger to this team and earned the job in preseason by outplaying McCown?
2. What was up with the defense? Did we overrate them?
Answer: I'm not sure when Culpepper will get to start. The way Kiffin was talking after the game, he's prepared to ride with McCown for the near future.
He said Culpepper still is behind in mastering the offense and I think he just trusts McCown more than Culpepper, who is known to take chances in a way McCown won't. I thought Culpepper outplayed McCown in the preseason, but my opinion (and the opinions of the majority of people who watched the Raiders' exhibition games) doesn't really matter. Kiffin has his guy.
As for the defense, I won't call it overrated just yet. The lack of a pass rush at times was amazing (I think Kitna could have made a call on his cell phone to let Shaun McDonald know that touchdown pass in the fourth quarter was on the way).
What was exposed is the Raiders' lack of depth at cornerback. They tried to get by using safety Michael Huff and nickelback Stanford Routt and the Lions went after both. I was surprised Chris Carr didn't play more.
But in fairness to the defensive backs, unless the Raiders get a consistent pass rush, the cornerbacks are going to be in trouble. You can't ask them to cover forever.
And before everyone says it, I still don't know why the Raiders got rid of their second-best pass rusher of the preseason, Quentin Moses. No one has given a real answer.
The defense will be fine in time, but a group that returned all 11 starters shouldn't have looked so shoddy.
- Jason Jones