The Oakland Raiders began their first at home game with a win. After attending opening games for the past decade it was worth driving to Oakland and see Darren McFadden put in 145 plus yards. Darren McFadden ran like a beast and the guy is extremely fast.
The St. Louis Rams had a hard running Steven Jackson. But the Oakland Raider defense was just to fast and solid. Steven Jackson had no where to run and the youth of Scott, McClain and Huston was just too much for the St. Louis offense.
Rookie Rolando McClain caught the WR in the back field and simply suplexed him to the ground and was called for a penalty. The Raiders fans roared in disagreement and also in pleasure that the Raider defense looked like the fearsome legends of past.
In particular, Jack Tatum, whose name and past was previewed on the big screen prior to game start.
But the true highlight of the game aside from RB Darren McFadden was the halftime entry of QB Bruce Gradkowski.
Jason Campbell could not get a TD in the Red Zone with three opportunities. In fact , Johnnie Lee Higgins ran the ball 53 yards to get the Raiders in range and Jason Campbell failed to score.
Five minutes before halftime the crowds began to chant....BBRRUUUCCEE. I reason that Gradkowski should be team QB is his play last season versus the Steelers. In fact he would have the best rhythm with the WRs and lastly is, he brings "heart and spirit" to the game. (Please refer to my last article).
Gradkowski came in and drove the team down the field in haste. This was a huge plus from the get go. It was pure adrenaline and a pleasure to see the Oakland Raiders move so fast... then the Louis Murphy TD pass! 13 points on the board. Being at the game you could feel the magic.
The QB difference is that Bruce Gradkowski brings a winning spirit and the team feeds off him. Bruce plays football because he really loves the game or at least it shows in his play.
I was glad to see a Raider win especially since McFadden had done so much to keep the team in play . McFadden not only showed his running skills, he played hard game long. As did the entire Oakland Raiders.
The defense alone was just astounding. There was the Rolando McClain WR Slam, the Steven Jackson stuffing,and the sackings of Sam Bradford at the line.
It was an overcast day in Oakland and the Silver Streak was on fire! The Raiders look great with Gradkowski. Campbell may not have the sync needed as he threw short for Murphy but Gradkowski is hot! The question now is who will start against the Arizona Cardinals? For this writer, based on Sundays game....Gradkowski.