I really have been stuck on one train of thought all day. Although I appreciate SR’s “It is what it is;” I have to say, “It could’ve been so much better.”
Tom Cable’s decision to pass on two consecutive plays from his own one-yard line set the tone for the game. But it didn’t have to be like that.
Let’s just imagine for a second that we can go back in time. It is 4th-and-goal on the Raiders’ one-yard line. The crowd is pumped when the defense makes the stop. The whole coliseum is rocking.
First down, Raiders from their own one-yard line and the call is a handoff to Darren McFadden. McFadden picks up three yards off right tackle. Second-and-7 from the four, and the call is a dive through the one hole on the left, gaining three yards.
Winded, McFadden goes to the sidelines. Michael Bush comes in. Third-and-4 from the seven-yard line, the call is a pitch right to Bush, and Bush barely gets enough for the first down.
It gives Oakland a new set of plays and a whole new ball game. The result of the drive is a 17 play 99-yard drive that eats 10 minutes of clock time. The first quarter is nearly history at the end of the drive.
Two very questionable calls by Tom Cable, two consecutive pass plays from the Raiders' one-yard line. Ultimately, in my opinion, it cost the Raiders the game. Their second divisional loss in three divisional games
The Raiders could’ve set the tone for the entire game. The opportunity was handed to them, but they squandered it.
Imagine you’re the Broncos for a second; the Raiders’ defense stops you on 4th-and-goal from their one-yard line.
The offense takes the field and drives 99 yards for the touchdown, mostly on running plays with Darren McFadden, Michael Bush, and Justin Fargas all combining for a majority of the yardage. Suddenly, it is your defense that is tired, while their defense is very fresh.
The crowd is pumped, and you are on the road.
Those passing plays haunted the Raiders for the whole game. They allowed for Denver to set the tone of the game, and the Raiders would never regain the momentum.
I don’t think you need to be a football guru to see where the game plan was flawed. I don’t think you need to be a head coach to realize that the Raiders should have a much better running game than they have shown so far this season.
I don’t understand why Coach Cable thinks it is still preseason. I don’t comprehend why he thinks there is still time to develop the passing game.
There is no reason for JaMarcus to be passing at all at this point, unless it is a definite passing down. I know it is a young team, and that they need to grow, but there is no patience left in Raider Nation.
Raider Nation wants to win now.
Coach Cable, a successful NFL franchise should play to its strengths, and the strength of your offense is the running game. This is not news to you.
So far this season, the Raiders have run 77 pass plays and 80 running plays. To be successful at what this team is capable of right now, the stats should be more along the lines of 94 rushing plays and 63 pass attempts.
Not only would this scenario establish the running game as one of the best in the league, it would also pick up JaMarcus Russell’s completion percentage and lower his interception number.
In comparison to another team that has a young quarterback, the New York Jets have run 104 rushing plays to just 83 pass attempts. The Jets are 3-0, and Mark Sanchez is being heralded as a hero in New York already.
The 3-0 Broncos, whom the Raiders lost to yesterday, have run 102 times and have only passed 88 attempts. The Broncos are ranked second in the league in total defense. The N.Y. Jets are ranked fourth in the league in total defense.
The Oakland Raiders have a very capable defense, when they are not put into compromising situations.
The Jets have averaged 21.3 points per game with their run heavy offense, and the Broncos have averaged 20.7 points per game.
The Raiders' defense is giving up only 19 points per game, despite being put in those compromising positions.
My plea to you, Coach Cable: please, for the sake of all the good things you have going for you right now, please, please, please run the ball more. Please, please, please pass the ball less.
I know you think the passing game needs to develop, but let it come naturally. There is no need to put so much pressure on the quarterback when that trio of halfbacks is healthy.
They are a great combination, and you might not ever get to use them again after this season. You need to play to your strengths, and you need to listen to your gut, instead of those voices in your ears.
I doubt that the Colts, with Peyton Manning at quarterback, would throw twice from their own one-yard line. I doubt that the Patriots would do it with Tom Brady at the helm. Why are you putting that kind of stress on your quarterback so early in the game?
For that matter, why are you putting that on his shoulders at all?
Before you haters tear into your “JaMarcus sucks!” chants again, Raider Nation, think about blaming the Head Coach’s play calling this time.