The local media will report and emphasize only the negatives and not offer anything in depth. I will.
Keep in mind that this article is an opinionated article and does not reflect any viewpoint but my own.
First I should say that I am still very upset about this loss and the game plan used.
I may scale back my opinion and edit this article after the emotions settle.
I am most upset because I truly feel that if we would have followed some of what I laid out as the basis of a successful game plan, we could have been in this game. (see article NY Giants: Exposed Weaknesses, Tendencies, Patterns of How Teams Beat Them).
Are we looking to win games this year or is this a boot camp year for the rookies?
I didn't just pull the ideas out from the wind.
I laid out all of the successful things that the last four teams to beat the Giants did. I listed some of the Giants tendencies and weaknesses. I expected the Raiders plan would be close to, or similar to mine.
The game plan was not even close to what I listed. The most important area that those four teams all did was run the ball. I expected the Raiders to run the ball, stick with it no matter what.
I expected the entire game plan to be focused in this area along with draws, delay runs, sneaks and screens up the middle. I expected to use these
as the go to plays.
When your offensive line is banged up, out of sync and struggling, allow it to be the aggressor and hit the other team. Don't let them be the ones absorbing the hits. You can’t go into a game expecting to be successful pass blocking against a top defensive front when your offensive line is in this state.
As I predicted, the Giants over-pursued on every pass play and came around the edges, the middle was wide open. We were highly successful when running Michael Bush up the middle. Again, if we would have let Bush run the entire game, we would have been in this one.
At minimum, we would not have been embarrassed as we were. On each and every sack and fumble by Jamarcus Russell, the front of him was wide open.
Why have we been running the same (pass first) scheme for four and a half games now?
You would think that we would mix it up just a little bit after the first embarrassing loss? The second embarrassing loss? The third? Now the fourth? What's coming next week?
This is way beyond mind boggling.
Here's some analysis on the offense. I will add defense tomorrow then prepare to discuss Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Offense and Coaching
First and foremost, the coaches are in danger of loosing the team. There are huge problems to address and this is the most important.
Can anyone honestly say with confidence that the entire team will continue to buy-in at this point?
The last four weeks have been truly unreal. I have never seen anything like it.
Each little failure should be acknowledged, then corrected, then perfected. This is how success is measured.
We all know the offensive line is the root of the problem. That goes without saying. When everyone in the NFL is aware of this, what is the very worst game plan you can possibly have against arguably the best defensive line in Football?
Answer—exactly what we did today. Use the same game plan that has been in place
for the last four games and don't change anything.
During the game, the team (and coaches) were well aware which battles were won and lost, and if any progress has been made.
In the end, if some of your goals are met (win or lose) you still leave with a measure of success and know exactly the areas to work on. Next time out, you should see improvement in those areas which were addressed.
Does anyone have any idea what our goals are on offense?
This is the question of many fans, I'm sure. Again, what exactly are the goals on offense?
What are we doing to accomplish these goals? The fans (especially season ticket holders) deserve an explanation.
Give the fans the dignity to hang their hats on something.
If a goal is to get the rookie wide receivers and Russell up to speed as soon as possible, then fine, we understand. We won few battles and lost many. At least we understand what we are trying to do.
The disturbing thing is this; many have said that we play like we are trying to play the same way as we have in the 70's and 80's, where we showcased the vertical game. Well I got news for us. The schemes we are running currently would have not been successful in any era period. Even in the 70's and 80's we always ran the ball well. We also did not refuse to run short routes as a first read like we are now.
The offensive line was not put in position to be successful. Enough said, keep your heads up to battle another day.
Jamarcus Russell progress
Found the first down marker during a third down run. He did not throw an interception.
His accuracy was as good as or better than last week.
The completions were good throws, they finally started to call design rollouts for him after the game got out of hand and he completed some very nice balls on the run.
Like the offensive line, I believe the coaches put JRuss on a path to failure today.
Again, I believe the game plan was a recipe for disaster. Even the best QB would have been hard pressed to be successful with those plays.
Jamarcus has a lot to learn. When any coach sees that he is failing to do something simple as "step up in the pocket", they have to call that out right now—in his damn remote earphone. Don't wait to discuss it on Monday. Three sacks and lost fumbles resulted from not doing this.
But it looks like his weight is down. Good job.
Jamarcus Russell regressions
He did not feel the pressure well. Last week JRuss was very impressive avoiding the sack and smartly threw the ball away when needed. Again, if the film was studied properly, you would have seen that the Giants are successful pass rushing off the edges. They over pursue and are vulnerable up the middle on pass plays.
Why weren’t we prepared to step up or tuck and run via the middle? Why not one draw or delay run up the middle when Dallas featured this and gained 251 yards in Week 1 this year doing it against the Giants on play action runs?
He has to learn to step up in the pocket when the internal clock goes off. This comes with experience however, until then, shouldn't a QB just be counting out loud (in his head) and know what the maximum time to stay in the pocket before moving up?
Russell still has not learned to read the defense to allow making the quick hit play or audible when needed. The coaches, however, can call a play during a game if the same play has not worked against the same defensive alignment, an experienced QB will change the play at the line of scrimmage.
Furthermore, Russell only has chemistry with one player (Zach Miller). We hope that Russell, DHB, Murphy and the others are staying after practice to get extra reps in.
Russell should know where they are at all times.
These are all areas in which Russell must improve. He’s got to realize that he has the power to call his own game. He already knows what plays will work for us and which probably will not.
The big play will come, it is always an option. Start tucking and running the ball more. John Elway did this toward the end of his career and look what happened. Nothing takes the momentum away from a defense more than when it looks like a coverage sack but turns in to a first down.
Bush, just hang in there, you are doing everything right. He is strong enough to make the first level of defense miss. Bush played hard and did a great job running and blocking.
Justin Fargas, I know you play hard every play; unfortunately you need holes to run through to get to the second level of the defense to be successful.
Unlike Bush, interior linemen can tackle or mis-direct Fargas with one arm. Do not have Fargas in on pass plays unless he can handle his blocking assignment.
Zach Miller, you are a warrior. You came back from a concussion and made some solid catches when double covered.
Fans expect Miller to be a leader on the edge of the pass rush. I don't know where he was Sunday in that regard.
Oakland Raiders, as an organization, you must realize that the most important thing right now is this that the season is not over. Keep your heads up. The fans will always be here.
Get Healthy. Don't give in. Change is coming.