The Oakland Raiders had high hopes coming to Tennessee to play the Titans on Sunday,but got a wake up call instead.
After the many improvements before the season,they had there chance to showcase what they could do against a good Titan team still feeling its winning momentum from the second half of last years season.
Oakland defense did a good job containing Chris Johnson until he broke one for 74 yards.Vince Young also added to the rushing yards by tucking and running on several pass plays.
I was impressed with the Raiders defense in containing CJ until that run.I was very disappointed in Stanford Routts coverage and letting his man get pass him for one of the five touchdowns.
I also noticed Tyvone Branch getting burned and not wrapping up on a few plays.I did see improvement with the defense as opposed to last year play,but they still have some kinks to work out.
The offense and Jason Campbell surely didn't help the defense by not being able to convert on 3rd downs and staying on the field.The Titans defense played tough and put major pressure on our offensive line and Campbell.
Having a road game that sold out and the Titans fans so loud that the offense couldn't here the snap count doesn't help either.Keep in mind it also didn't help a rookie center who wasn't used to that environment.
I'm not making excuses,but these are factors that helped the Titans.I'm sure that the Titans were inspired to play hard not only because it was the 1st game of the season,but also because there starting LBer(Will Witherspoon) had just lost his mother the night before.
I remember another game in which a player had lost a loved one and decided to play anyway.That player was Brett Farve and he slaughtered the Raiders while dedicating it to the passing of his father.
Offensive Line is questionable:
I am a pretty optimistic writer,but the offensive line is still an area in need of major improvement.I can understand Veldheer's problems,because he's a rookie and those things can be improved.I have a problem with the rest of the line.
Cooper Carlisle is a major weak spot and is prone to penalties way to often.He is a horrible pass blocker.
Robert Gallery has been pretty good,but is suspect to be injury prone.He ended up with a hamstring injury after the interception chasing down the ball carrier.
Mario Henderson constantly is in the news giving up sacks to speed rushers.After letting one get by last week,Campbell ended up getting injured.I think it's going to be a long season unless he stops giving up sacks.
Last is Langston Walker.When he was signed after being cut from Buffalo,I have been skeptical.I'm not convinced he's the answer at right tackle.He's slow also and is prone to letting speed rushers get by.
Darren McFadden was a bright spot in such a big loss.I was impressed with his abilities to break tackles,his speed running up the field,and his ability to keep a hold of the football.
I am hoping this will continue and help this team get to where they want to go.Darren also had great hands catching almost everything thrown his way.
I still thing a big power fullback is needed in the Raiders backfield.Marcel Reece is a good pass catching FB,but not the power FB that the Raiders need.
This young corp of receivers is still in need of experience,but it is hard when your QB doesn't have time or is rushed.I think more slants and more short routes would have came in handy in this game,but what do I know?
They did get some passes completed to them,but not enough.It is clear that having a veteran receiver leading this group would have helped immensely.
This is an area still in need of descent return men.Both KR and PR.There is still no clear cut starter and is a big question mark.Cable/Fassel both need to figure this area of need out fast.
This game may have made the Raiders look like the same old Raiders,but it's how you respond that makes you a good football team.I think they still have a chance and I for one am not going to give up on my team.I am also not going to point fingers at Tom Cable/Al Davis,because of the fact it's only one game.
If they can fix this problems,the sky's the limit.If they can't,then it's going to be a long season.
What's your take Raider Nation?