Raiders vs. Bills: 7 Things We Learned About Oakland from Week 2 Loss

Carl CockerhamSenior Analyst ISeptember 18, 2011

Raiders vs. Bills: 7 Things We Learned About Oakland from Week 2 Loss

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    The Oakland Raiders went on the road to play the Buffalo Bills and appeared to be en route to a blowout victory. They took a 21-3 halftime lead into the locker room then helped the Bills score 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to make a game of it.

    The fourth quarter was see-saw and ended with the Raiders checking into Heart Break Hotel. There are plenty of positives for the Raiders, while the negatives are few but huge.

    Turn the page to see what they are. 

Jason Campbell Can Get It Done

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    I wondered after the Raiders' openning day win against the Broncos if Jason Campbell could get it done when he needs to. In Week 2, the Raiders did need Campbell to do something, and the answer was yes.

    Campbell was 23-of-33 for 323 yards, two touchdowns, one Hail Mary interception and a 108.5 quarterback rating. It wasn't just his stats; he threw absolute dimes today on his deep balls.

    He was also good with the game on the line, throwing a 50-yard touchdown pass with 3:41 on the clock.

Denarius Moore No. 1 Receiver

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    Many said the Denarius Moore should be the Raiders' No. 1 receiver after an outstanding camp and preseason. I said not so fast because it was just the preseason and that he should make some plays while not starting first then be promoted.

    Well, injuries gave Moore the opportunity to start today, and boy, did he prove himself to be ready! Moore had five catches for 146 yards and an outstanding leaping grab in double coverage for a 50-yard touchdown.

    Moore also had a 42-yard catch on a deep ball.

    The No. 1 spot is now his!

Pass Protection

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    The Raiders' offense line did not provide much running room in the second half, but gave Campbell plenty of time. Campbell was able to have his big day because he chilled out in the pocket with no one bothering him.

    The Raiders had 33 passing attempts in the game, and the offensive line didn't allow a single sack. If Campbell is going to continue to be protected like this all year, he's going to throw for over 4,000 yards.

    The offense will finish in the top five somewhere too.

Defense Horrible

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    I don't care what happens, if you take a 21-3 halftime lead, you are supposed to win the game. Actually, if you score 35 points in an NFL game, you are supposed to win that game no matter where you play.

    The Raiders did both and came up snake eyes at the end of the game. That's because the Raiders' defense gave up 35 points in one half of a football game!

    Put two of those halves together, and that's a 70-point game!

    I'll give the Bills some credit for spreading the field and throwing short crossing routes to nullify the Raiders pass rush. They also stayed in those spread out formations and ran the ball well in the second half.

    But that's 35 points the Raiders allowed in the half!

    The run defense allowed another 100-yard rusher and a series of big runs, the biggest one being a 43-yard touchdown by Fred Jackson. He would finish with 15 carries, 117 yards and two touchdowns on the day.

    The defense went from first half "bullies" to second half "bully" victims.

Hold on to the Ball!

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    You take a 21-3 lead into halftime, then the Bills take their first second half drive into the end zone. No problem there; the Raiders are on an 11 play drive and it looks like it's going to end up with some points.

    Darren McFadden fumbles!

    Big problem!

    The worst thing you can do is turn the ball over when you have a comfortable lead and the opposing team just scored a touchdown. Darren McFadden is the best football player on the team and had two touchdowns on the day, so you can't stop giving him the ball.

    McFadden just has to secure the ball going forward.

    I believe he has learned how fumbles change ball games, especially on the road.

Can't Run Inside and Right

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    McFadden had a good first half running off tackle and outside, particularly to the left, but got nowhere in the second half. The Raiders especially couldn't run the ball inside because Samson Satele, Cooper Carlise and Khalif Barnes struggled.

    Barnes was manhandled by rookie Marcel Dareus at times.

    I thought we could get away with the line the way it is for this game because I thought the Bills weren't physical enough. I still wouldn't put them on a list of physical defense,  but they were better than I thought, exposing the Raiders non-"bully" offensive line on the right side.

    I can't see the Raiders running inside on teams like the Jets unless they make changes.

Next!

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    I was riding with Nick Miller to make the team and an impact in the return game. After today, I see now that Miller needs to let Taiwan Jones or Moore take care of return duties until Jacoby Ford gets back.

    All that speed and all the man can do is fall down!

    Was there a ghost out there making tackles on Miller?

    When all the receivers are healthy, Miller needs to be cut!

    I think I was the last one to get off his wagon.

Overview

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    This is a good Raider team that can be much better.

    I'll give Buffalo some credit for being better than I thought, but this one is on the Raiders. They have to learn how to sieze opportunities to win ball games every time they come because they don't come that often.

    They actually came pretty often for the Raiders today, but they let each one slip through their fingers. Chris Johnson, Tyvon Branch and the Raiders' pass defense better do something because the Patriots will be here in two weeks.

    The run defense better straighten out too because the Jets are coming next week. The offensive line also needs to get fixed for the game for the Raiders to get their own running game going.

    Raider Nation doesn't want to see 1-3.