Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

December 9, 2007
More thoughts from this loss

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Based on what I’m watching the Indianapolis Colts do to the Baltimore Ravens here in my hotel room, its hard to imagine the Raiders not being in line for another loss next week when the Colts come to Oakland.

The Packers offensive line is hardly the most dominant group around, but it pretty much shut down the Raiders pass rush in their 38-7 win.

As for how the Raiders did against the run, it’s a broken record at this point.

I’ve heard the Raiders lament missed assignments and players not being in the right gap as a reason why the Raiders sometimes look laughable against the run.

I caught part of what Rich Gannon said about the Raiders run defense and I agree. It starts up front. The Raiders linebackers and secondary are put in bad positions because the guys up front are often being dominated up front.

The Colts have one of the best offensive lines in football. Joseph Addai is next in line for well over 100 rushing yards.

****

Because nothing “positive” was happening on the field, Andrew Walter went into the game instead of JaMarcus Russell according to coach Lane Kiffin.

Simply put: If someone is going to be in the game with a good chance of being knocked silly, let it be Walter.

Because no one coddled Walter last year, he was on the wrong end of a lot of things that weren’t positive last year.

And it’s tough for him knowing he really has no future with the Raiders. Kiffin cares so much for Russell (rightfully so) he doesn’t want anything to go wrong for him.

I understand the need to do everything possible to make sure Russell is successful, but I think there would have been nothing wrong with letting have the final series of the game.

Things aren't always going to go well in a game and I'd like to see how Russell reacts when that happens.

Even though the reasons Walter was put in aren’t exactly flattering, Walter said the time made him remember he likes playing football.

At least Walter wasn’t on the wrong end of the negatives Josh McCown faced at Lambeau Field.

****
I didn’t get the chance to talk to Stanford Routt, but heard he wasn’t in the mood to talk about the long touchdown Greg Jennings caught on him.

Routt played the route well and was in position to make a play. He just didn’t so Jennings jogged the last 43 yards of his 80-yard touchdown after Routt fell down.

Another problem was the lack of deep safety help.

It appeared Stuart Schweigert bit on Brett Favre’s run fake on the play, which would explain why he was chasing at the end.

That’s another overlooked effect of the poor run defense. At the first sign of a run, Raiders safeties immediately have to respect it.

****
Can’t forget the penalties.

Two penalties that were horrible came in the second quarter. LaMont Jordan has a 26-yard reception to put the ball at the Raiders’ 44.

Jerry Porter, however, was called for pass interference. The replays at the stadium didn’t show that part of the play clearly, but Gannon seemed to think it was a questionable call.

So it’s second and 18. No big deal because Josh McCown then hit Zach Miller for a 25-yard gain.

Wait. Holding on Barry Sims. Back it up.

The drive ended with a punt that was returned by Will Blackmon for a touchdown.

It looked like he stepped out of bounds (I say look because you never know if an official will overturn what looks obvious) and put the Raiders down 14-0.

That was the first punt return for a score ever allowed since Shane Lechler has been a Raider.

Penalties. Just another part of Raider football.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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