Oakland Raiders Are Pickin' Through the Rubble After Opening Night

J.C. AyvaziSenior Analyst ISeptember 9, 2008

Comments and questions after the Raiders fall flat on their face opening night:

Is this some sort of Groundhog Day remake, with Art Shell back coaching the team? Inept offense, horrible tackling, brain-dead penalties, and giving up before the end of the game were all hallmarks of the Shell administrations.

Talking ain't the same as playing. With all the woofing the new receivers did about playing against their former team, all they really did was show why Denver sent them on their way.

Fire Kiffen. Sure, after one week, get rid of the head man. That will solve everything. 


If Davis does whack Kiffen, Shanahan would hire him the next week on spite alone. Then whom do we hire? My bro-in-law said Davis would call Schottenheimer. Best laugh we had all night.

How to give up over 40 points in today's NFL? Never blitz. Give the QB all the time in the world to pick apart the defense. Don't press. Seems every snap DeAngleo Hall was five to seven yards off the line of scrimmage, leaving out and slant patterns as easy pickings. Mike Golic could have had 10 catches and 100 yards with that kind of coverage.

Millions for offense, but not one penny for protection. After throwing all that cash at the QB, RB, and WR positions, somehow Davis thought that retreads were the way to go with his offensive line. Mike Ditka had a moment of clarity when he noted JaMarcus should sue his line for nonsupport.

Conspiracy theories rise yet again. Like in The Mummy, Raider fans once again raise the specter of the refs out to get the Raiders. Sure, there were some bad calls, what game doesn't have them. The only place to lay the body of this stinkfest is at the feet of the players and coaches. As well as the owner who put them in place.

While we are on this topic, is the team conspiring to give Davis a stroke with its inept performance? At a particularly low point, there was a TV shot of Davis alone in his box. Someone asked why nobody was with him. My response was, "Would YOU want to be in there?"

DeAngelo Hall was doing his best to show that Michael Vick isn't the biggest idiot Virginia Tech has deposited into the NFL in the last decade.

Like the Biblical character Sampson, the haircut of Raider defensive coordinator Rob Ryan (a.k.a. soB, son of Buddy—with proper credit to ASFPOR, the definitive Raider newsgroup) has seemed to rob the Raiders' defense of its strength.

Derrick Burgess, the top Raider D-lineman, recorded one assisted tackle. No sacks and no turnovers generated. Hall did record seven tackles, but when you are forever letting guys catch balls in front of you, that kind of number tends to get inflated.

Justin Fargas gained 97 yards on 18 carries; that's not bad. But the Raiders racked up 96 yards on 10 penalties, and that's not good.

Shane Lechler remains the most effective Raider, punting five times for a 51.0 yard average, 39.2 net. Whenever your punter is your best player, pain and misery are sure to follow.

Many coaches feel games are won and lost on third down. Denver goes five for 10, that's 50 percent folks, otherwise known as half the time. The Raiders were two for 12, a pathetic 16 percent showing. Both play calling and execution make up for these numbers. The Raiders are found to be lacking in these areas. Severely lacking.

On the bright side, this was only one game. Plenty of time to turn it around. But on the other hand, we have to seriously question if the personnel is capable of achieving that feat.