Sorrow Hits The Nation: Gradkowski Out, Russell Back Behind Center
On a rainy day in Oakland, you may just have heard the stirring around as busy people scramble for their last minute gifts. With Christmas approaching in weeks; everyone is surely storming the stores for thoughtful things to purchase. However, if you were in the McAfee Coliseum or anywhere near, you may have heard another sound today. A very different sound.
The booes and jeers of Raider Nation, watching as JaMarcus Russell ran onto the field in the second half to start over the injured Bruce Gradkowski.
Welcome to the implosion of our team, but this is nothing new, as such has been the case in most games that the third year quarterback has been in this season. Although blaming our garbage offensive line is due (seriously, 8 sacks? 6 in the second half?!?), you can't let the first round pick off so easy. He made just as many completions as Bruce Gradkowski, which sounds good---except that he threw for far less yards. Going 10/16, 74 yards, and 1 interception for good measure.
Seriously, theres still some Raider Fans that support this guy?
We only scored once in the second half, which was a pleasant 54 yard field goal from the ever refined Sebastian Janokowski. Other than that, there wasn't much else good to be said. The explosiveness of Darren McFadden in the first two quarters didn't really pan our later on. While Bruce was able to find him on some nice passes (1 of those 3 receptions went for 48 yards) Darren just didn't do anything (nor Fargas for that matter. Where's Michael Bush btw?) on offense in the third and fourth quarter. Moreover, one of the most frequent problems plagued the team today, a issue that didn't happen last week in Pittsburgh...
Of course, I'am talking about the timely penalties. Some of which were clearly the refs, others were well earned.
Can someone explain what was up with all the offside penalties in the second quarter? First Richard Seymour, than Kirk Morrison...than Greg Ellis? Whichever. In the 4th quarter, Thomas Howard and Stanford Routt got called for a holding and pass interference. The holding I understand, but how did Routt get called when Moss was slipping on the murky, wet field? Oh well, I guess it just happens.
Nothing clicked at all today, and the as such, I haven't mentioned much positive. On 24 carries, the backfield averaged 2.7 yards. Blah. The pass defense saw Campell to go 16/28 for 222 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Darn. The rushing defense in turn, kept the Redskins to around 4 yards per carry---but got ripped for several 10 yard gains, and two touchdowns on the ground. Expected.
Our defense plays much better when things are flowing on offense, and they got none of that help today.
Unfortunately, the entire fanbase was hoping for an encore game today that would compliment the victory from last week. All of that faded away as it was revealed Bruce Gradkowski had sprained ligaments in both knees. Russell supporters got to see the star studded, talent filled quarterback get his job back...only to see it blow up in their faces. Blame should be handed out to a lot of players this Sunday, but I can't help but keep wondering---
How much longer is Al Davis going to watch home blowouts such as this, without seeing the same issues this team has? Fix the offensive line, get a new quarterback (or keep Bruce), and find a beast nose tackle. If it's easy for fans to understand, why can't he?
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