Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

December 14, 2008
Many questions to be asked

OAKLAND - I asked safety Gibril Wilson why he didn't start today's game.

He told me to ask the "brains of the operation."

That's a tough one because Al Davis wasn't around.

But there are a few questions that were asked. Whether you believe the answers is up to you.

*As for Wilson, interim head coach Tom Cable said the personnel the Patriots started the game with was why Wilson was on the bench and the Raiders opened the game with three safeties - Michael Huff, Rashad Baker and Hiram Eugene.

Wilson went on to lead the Raiders with 12 tackles and an interception.

Wilson's benching was odd also because he came in on the second series of the game.

He has no idea why he played when he did, either.

*Another question was why did it take so long to get the ball to Darren McFadden?

He had his first official touch with 12:19 left in the second quarter.

Here's Cable's explanation:

"(It) was the rotation we were in, terms of the game, the flow of the game. I think (Justin) Fargas played pretty well. It's just those situations present themselves."

McFadden had 114 yards of total offense and led the team with 68 receiving yards on just three catches.

Quarterback JaMarcus Russell noted McFadden is "too fast" for defenders in space.

"That's a coach's decision," Russell said. "If they see that, I think they'll make changes."

Maybe not.

*How in the world does the defense play 14 games and still have "communication" issues?

That was the reason (again) as to why the Patriots had no problem putting up 21 points in the first quarter.

That excuse might have made sense Week 1. But now?

"You know, it is difficult to accept that now," Cable said. "But they did some stuff in terms of that spread and the things they were doing, just didn't get everybody on the right page. Unacceptable, obviously"

*Randy Moss blew off the media after the game, letting his two touchdowns and Rob Van Dam-like poses after each score do his talking.

But LaMont Jordan enjoyed running through the Raiders' bad run defense for 97 yards and a touchdown.

Here are few tidbits from the running back Raider fans blamed everything on.

"I was happy (for Moss). He got in the end zone and then he got in again. I kept telling myself I have to get in the end zone. It was a good feeling all the way around. They had that moral victory at the end. But when it was all said and done we were able to come in and get a victory."

On what fans said to him:

"I was surprised to hear how many fans who were saying welcome back and we miss you. I had the typical boos and you suck and the 'You have five carries, you're going to fumble on your sixth.' It was good to come back. I always said I like to come here and play in front of this crowd. Today was not any different. We had some rain and it was muddy and we put up a lot of points. It was a great feeling."

On Moss' celebrations that mocked the Black Hole:

"That's just Randy being Randy. I was definitely happy for him, especially the way the Oakland media had no good things to say about him. It wasn't just him, it was just everybody. I would always tell people that Randy could still play. For him to come back here. We came here together to wear the Oakland uniform and to try to turn that program around. It didn't work out and we both left on bad terms. To come back here and do what we did today. I prayed this morning to please keep me humble. ... It was a superb game."

On his 49-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter:

"I was actually looking back the whole time saying, 'Please don't get caught, please don't get caught.' Once I reached the end zone, to miss as many games as I did this year, to be able to come back and come here and play well was a great feeling. Especially for my line. Those guys did so much to get me to the end zone. I was definitely happy for those guys. We had like 288 yards rushing or something like that. That right there lets us know how well the offensive line was doing."

*Commissioner Roger Goodell said the Raiders do need a new stadium. But in this economy and with the Chargers and 49ers needing to upgrade, that won't be easy.

He also said the relationship between the NFL and Davis is "better" and that Davis will be a key figure in helping the league deal with labor issues.

*Injury update: WR Ashley Lelie (calf) did not finish the game. TE Zach Miller (stinger) left the game briefly. Cable said FB Luke Lawton was "dinged" and WR Ronald Curry was bothered by turf toe.

*The Raiders are the first team in NFL history with 11 losses in six-straight seasons.

--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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