Oakland Raiders: Just Can't Get Right
As Raider Nation once again began the Sunday with a gleam of hope in their eyes, it was soon gouged out. Replaced with a putrid performance that is all to familiar. It is well known the New York Giants are a good football team, arguably the best overall team in the league. While the Oakland Raiders haven't showed anything remotely resembling a professional football team since the week 1 loss to the San Diego Chargers at home. regardless of the opponent the Raiders seem to be outmatched in all phases of the game.
In fact the only bright spot for Oakland in the first half came on a punt of all things. Giants punt returner Sinorice Moss missed a catch and had the ball bounce off his helmet to be recovered by Oakland receiver Jonathan Holland. Oakland thanks to the Giants missed play was now on the 15 yard line. To much disbelief they used Justin Fargas to run the ball in the red zone only to have it stripped and returned for a Touchdown. Suddenly mercy was on our side when the officials blew the call (Surprise) and called the the runner down by forward progress. Replays clearly showed a clean strip and no whistles were heard until well after New York had possession of the ball. For once the refs gave us the break. With the drive now on life support Michael Bush ran in the only Oakland points of the day.
Even with a blown call and Oakland now on the board in the second quarter the score was still 28-7. Oaklands Offense had yet to show some consistency in protecting their quarterback or catching his passes. JaMarcus Russell finished with 8/13 with 100 yards and no interceptions but lost 3 fumbles. Some of his best stats yet unfortunately. To his credit he had the Giants defense swarming on him all day like ticks on a hound and took 6 sacks. He was also knocked down several times and stepped up into some hits through out the day.
As for the Raiders fabled "Three Headed Monster" playing without Darren McFadden and going against one of the best rushing defenses in the league proved to be too much. Bush and Fargas combined had a total of only 23 carries and a measly 55 yards. Those numbers were comparable to the Giants rushing attack by the 2nd string quarterback and 3rd string running back at 43 yards. Hardly a monster of any sorts.
New York's running backs Bradshaw and Jacobs combined for 177 yards on 32 carries and 2 touchdowns. The Oakland rushing defense looked flat and demoralized by the end of the first quarter. On one touchdown play by Bradshaw the announcers made the observation that there were no Oakland defenders within 3 yards of him. That one coming from a run off the tackles. Manning left the game with a comfortable lead and was 8/10 for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. This was only Halftime.
As most networks refused to return to the Meadow lands to watch the rest of the pitiful resistance by the Raiders, programing was switched to more competitive games. Like the Lions and Steelers. Pretty bad when Detroit can give Pittsburgh more of a game than Oakland. Nothing seemed to go right for Oakland and failure became complete before the eyes of America. Going home to face Philly next week is not looking much better if this is the best fight the Raiders can muster.
With many questioning their will and the heart of Oakland's roster we at Raider Nation can only hope that they will wake up tomorrow and realize the season is far from over. With so much optimism going into the season crushed, Oakland needs to figure out a way to at least earn their paychecks in the NFL.
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