So what do we make of the loss to the Saints? One thing is definite, it is the pre-season, as Tom Flores said in the broadcast, "you dont want to lose by 45 at all but if you do make it the pre-season." Lets try to piece this game together and come up with a solution. We didnt lose by 45, just to make it clear.
To start well take a look at the obvious. It was not a very great game at all. I always seem worried on the coin flip but what can you do? The defense had the chance to redeem themselves after a lackluster performance against the 49ers. As unexpected the Saints drove on the Raiders with ease. At certain points it seemed that they may stop them but it didnt happen. The Saints marched their way to the endzone for the first score.
So at this point you would think Jamarcus is emerging and well get it back. At first it seemed that way with a slant to Heyward-Bey and then a 30 yarder to Zach Miller. But here comes the DE and....fumble. You can feel the air being sucked out of the stadium.
Then it begins, the Saints run up the scoreboard. When the Raiders seemed to start playing well they were setback by penalties, dropped balls and most of all those damn fumbles.
Halftime score 31-0. Pretty bleak. So far the good news is its the pre-season and there is another half of football, bad news it 31-0. I was hoping that the Raiders would be on top with Jamarcus having the pre-season game of his life. It was not even close to his fault for the mess.
Second half, starts with some optimism. Not necesarilly a win but we can maybe start to get in a groove and come out with some positives. However, theres that word again, penalties and all the little mistakes hold us back. But people should know that most of these guys are rookies or new to this business, so maybe they will learn.
By the start of the 4th quarter the game is pretty much over. Jeff Garcia played ok not Raider effecient though. The one highlight came in the 4th quarter. "Garcia to Holland breaks a tackle and hes gone, touchdown RAIDERS!!!" It still feels great to hear that.
The game ended with the Saints running out the clock with a run. So what now? The offense, work on the hands and technique and do the little things. Jamarcus Russell was fine in my mind. Lastly more handoffs for Michael Bush.
Now the tough part, the defense its hard to find a positive but there were. Desmond Bryant stood out, he played hard and that will hopefully get him more reps. David Nixon played good as well he was active in the run defense. Ricky Brown made his statement for MLB. Mike Hawkins, recently from Dallas had a good hit that George Atkinson was probably laughing about.
Alright Raider fans its the pre-season but there have to be changes and adjustments. There were not alot of positives but there were positives. This game was supposed to be alot more competitive but things just dont work out sometimes. I assure the Raider Nation that we will learn from this game and that is will make us a much more competitve team in the future.