Oakland Raiders Reality Check: Five Highs and Five Lows Heading into Week Two.
After much hype and anticipation the Oakland Raiders failed to give their fans what they were looking for. It didn't take long for the haters to laugh and the fans to panic.
Though it is only week one the Raiders did the same things they have been doing during their seven years of losing.
Many fans are quick to say here we go again, but it is much too early to hit the panic button at this time.
Let's take a look at the highs and lows heading into week two.
Low No.1: Offensive Line
I would get a lot of heat from fellow Raider fans for defending JaMarcus Russell. I realized he had his own issues, but I saw the big picture. It doesn't matter who plays quarterback for the Raiders if you can't block for them.
The offensive line struggled against the Titans. They allowed four sacks and Jason Campbell didn't look comfortable all day.
The offensive line must improve if the Raiders want a shot at competing for anything.
Low No. 2: Offensive Scheme
The Raiders offense looks like last years. Three and outs happened all the time, offensive penalties hurt them and there wasn't much action for the wide receivers.
Here is an interesting quote from Jason Campbell, "It's tough. A lot of our plays are designed to go down field. It makes it a lot harder, those guys getting a good (pass) rush the way they did. Sometimes you just check it down."
If the Raiders want to continue to run their style of offense and go after the deep ball, they need to address the protection or it will be check downs all season for Campbell.
To throw the deep ball you need time, and Campbell didn't have that.
Low No. 3: Penalties
The Raiders and Penalties go together like Sonny and Cher. It seems like the Raiders always lead the league in penalties.
Penalties can stall an important drive or stop your offense from moving forward, but they are a lot worse if you offense already struggles getting first downs.
The Raiders must stop with the penalties.
Low No.4: Big Plays
The Raiders are still having issues with the big play. They can't make their own, but they do a good job at giving them up.
Whether its a long run or pass for a touchdown or letting the other team convert on third and long, the Raiders must fix this.
It appeared like the Raiders went to a soft zone during those third down situations and it hurt them. They were doing a fine job at containing Chris Johnson, but they had a defensive break down late in the first half.
Low No. 5: Let Down Raider Nation
Raider Nation was led to believe that the Raiders were turning the corner. Now that their scapegoat, JaMarcus Russell, was gone everything was going to be alright.
We were going to have a real offense and we were going to compete with anyone on a weekly basis.
The Raider Nation must be patient. It takes a couple years for a new quarterback to get adjusted and a new offensive coordinator to implement his offense.
The Raiders have a lot of talent on their squad, they just need to put it together. From this point on talk is cheap, they must show what they can do on the field.
High No.1: Darren McFadden
Darren McFadden played one of his best games as a pro. He racked up 95 yards rushing and 55 yards receiving.
At times he looked too easy to bring down, and other times he looked like his Razorback self.
You'd have to wonder what he can do if he had a strong offensive line in front of him. Overall his performance gave Raider fans plenty to be excited about.
High No. 2: Richard Seymour
Richard Seymour looked very good on opening day. He was disrupting the run in the backfield and looked like he has plenty left in the tank.
Moving him to the middle was a very good move by the Raiders.
He must continue to lead by example and do the things he does best during the season.
High No. 3: Nnamdi Asomugha
Nnamdi Asomugha was doing what he does best, shutting the man in front of him down. You rarely heard his name during the game and that is a good thing if you are a cornerback.
He must continue to play at a high level during the season if the Raiders plan on improving from last years mark.
High No. 4: Not at Full Strength
The Raiders were missing one of the top receivers in Chaz Schilens and their work horse Michael Bush.
Once these guys come back they will add to the offensive production. Schilens is considered by man the Raiders best receiver and many fans like Bush as the primary running back.
If you inject these two guys into the offense the Raiders will have an easier time moving the ball.
High No. 5: Rams Up Next
At the end of the day it was only week one and it's not the end of the world. The Raiders host the St. Louis Rams next week and it should be a game they are favored to win. The Raiders are not favored in about 89% of their games, but they play one of those teams who have struggled lately.
The Rams bring in a rookie quarterback who will make his debut on the road. While they do have Stephen Jackson, the Rams shouldn't present that much of a problem for the Raiders.
Look for the Raiders to bounce back and get a win in Oakland in week two.
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