The Raiders had ended a seemingly great and uncharacteristic off-season with a flurry of bewildering moves that reeked of the same old same old.
If the Raiders choke against St. Louis, I figure that Cable should be fired. Yes, it is a must win game for Cable.
I can't hit the panic button after one game, but that was certainly disappointing (and that is sugar-coating it). And since we know that St. Louis is aiming for fourth place in the NFC West, the Raiders cannot lose to the Rams if the Raiders have any hope to end the Era of Stink (2003 - ???) in Bay area football.
The Raiders did not retain play makers like safety Stevie Brown (R), or potentially valuable contributors like fullback Manase Tonga (R) and veteran tight end Tony Stewart. Instead, the Raiders opted for a glut of linebackers, halfbacks and wideouts that are speedy, such as Michael Bennett, Sam Williams, and Yamon Figurs (Note: The Raiders cut Figurs after the game).
The Raiders also stuck with retreads like safety Hiram Eugene, and guard Cooper Carlisle.
The biggest lesson we learned from the Raiders debut against the Titans is that the offensive line is still downright offensive.
Which is unacceptable, when you consider that Raiders coach Tom Cable was previously the offensive line coach, and spent most of his time in the off-season by working with the offensive line.
Rookie center Jared Veldheer looked out of position, which he is at 6'8''. The Raiders selected Veldheer from Hillsdale College as a tackle, but moved him to center because the Raiders neglected the pursuit of another option.
It seemed that the Raiders had done everything right in the off-season, except find a better answer at center than Samson Satele. Even though Veldheer played center in the preseason, he was clearly under prepared to play in the real season.
Veldheer was riddled with mistakes of bad snaps, penalties, a fumble and a holding call on a fumble by Jason Campbell. The Raiders would be wise to consider an emergency fix by acquiring an experienced center and to move Veldheer back to tackle.
Clearly, Cable lacked the foresight to prepare for this situation.
Right guard Cooper Carlisle left much to be desired. In the play-by-play logs, only one run off right guard by tailback Darren McFadden was not stopped for a loss or e negligible gain.
I would rather see rookie Bruce Campbell in at right guard to see what he can do, rather than delay the inevitable by keeping Carlisle on the line.
Fortunately, the Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell has decided to focus on what he can do to compensate for the poor o-line play, which was roughed up in part because Campbell had too many tells before he would pass, which is why defensive linemen were moving all over the line before the snap.
The lone bright spot for the Raiders offense was tailback Darren McFadden, whom led the Raiders as a rusher as receiver.
As for the defense...
Possibly, the strangest last minute move was the indecisiveness of where to put Trevor Scott. Slated as a linebacker, the Raiders reverted Scott to defensive-end where he replaced Matt Shaughnessy.
I have not seen the tape, but according to the play-by-play, Chris Johnson's 76 yard touchdown was off the left side as did most of Tennessee's big runs, which is the right side of the Raiders defensive line. Trevor Scott started as a right end.
When Matt Shaughnessy played, the Titans seemed to go nowhere.
I'm telling you, Scott is not a starter. He's undersized as end and not natural as a linebacker. I think he'd be best suited as a situational rush linebacker.