Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

November 2, 2008
An all-around bad day

OAKLAND - Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly looked at the final stats and muttered some words not fit for print.

"That's (expletive) amazing," he said. "...Embarrassing."

Of course it was.

The Atlanta Falcons held the ball for 45 minutes, 15 seconds compared to 14:45 for the Raiders.

That's right, the Falcons had the ball for three quarters of the game.

Say what you will about the offense, and yes it was bad (more on that later), but the defense do it itself any favors by not stopping the Falcons on their first four drives and giving up 24 points.

The defense can't say it was on the field too long when a team marches down the field on the first drive of the game.

The Raiders were so bad on offense it took some research to put the game into context.

*The Raiders' three first downs were the fewest in team history.

*The Raiders became the first time since Cleveland in 2000 not to gain a first down passing in an entire game.

*Oakland had minus-2 yards of offense compared to 309 yards for the Falcons in the first half.

*The Raiders gained a total of 77 yards on offense, the fewest in the NFL since Cleveland managed only 26 yards against Buffalo, Dec. 12, 2004.

*It's also lowest yardage total since putting up 56 yards against San Diego in 1961.

*And it's the lowest amount of yards for the team since gaining 93 yards against San Diego, Dec. 7, 1997.

But on the bright side ...the AFC West is still up for grabs.

Because no team in the division seems to want to be a good team, Raiders can try to convince themselves that's something to look for as a goal.

And Vanilla Ice can hope for a Grammy.

But the team needs something to focus on, right?

"We understand what it's gonna take for us to win this division," said linebacker Kirk Morrison. "If you want to go to the playoffs and win this division, (we've) gotta play great the rest of the way out. We know what's in front of us. The opportunities are there for us as a team, and we want to capitalize on them."

The Raiders of the last few years haven't shown they have what it takes to do that.

*The normally chatty DeAngelo Hall was long gone by time the media was allowed into the Raiders' locker room.

I imagine there wasn't much he'd want to say after being beat for the opening touchdown and watching the team that traded him to Oakland dominate the Raiders.

*The Raiders believed they would win based on practice.

"This was actually our best week of preparation," said interim head coach Tom Cable. "So I'm very disappointed. Very disappointed."

One of the newest Raiders finds the situation frustrating.

"During the week we look like we're a Super Bowl team, and we come out there and we're damn near the laughingstock of the league," said safety Gibril Wilson. "And it's ridiculous."

Fans were booing early and often.

"I was embarrassed today," Morrison said. "I was hurting a lot about the way we played. But, at the same time, we got to find a way to persevere and get through this. We say this every week, from week to week, it's something different. I felt like going into this week, we had a great game plan. We just have to execute. We have to."

Quarterback JaMarcus Russell (6-for-19, 31 yards, an interception, sacked four times) said the team is better than it has shown.

He's doing his best not to show frustration as the offense flounders.

"Most of the time if guys see that, then what are they going to look forward to the next series?" Russell said. "I try not to show it at all. At times you got to really pull it together to be the guy that guys look up to. Just keep on fighting, that's one thing I tried to do today. And I'm going to keep on going until I'm unable to do it, just keep on fighting."

When asked how Russell played, Cable said the whole team was bad, but added the Raiders needed to do a better job protecting Russell and the receivers need to play better.

*For the fifth time in six games, the Raiders failed to crack 100 yards rushing since running for 300 Sept. 14 at Kansas City.

Cable doesn't see that as a sign the Raiders can't run the ball any more.

"No I think in some regards we've pushed the envelope trying to develop the passing game a little bit," Cable said. "You rob Peter to pay Paul if you will. We've got to just keep reassessing what we're doing. But I think it's really more rhythm and timing than anything."

--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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