Oakland Raiders: Sifting through the debris

Jeff LittleSenior Writer ISeptember 11, 2008

The Raider Nation was poised to start the season off right and the Network Associates Coliseum was sold out ready for action. The building was in a word electric and the Nation was behind the team; what we saw was awful.

The Raiders took a 41 – 14 beat down at the hands of the Broncos. It can be broken down into three parts, the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

QB JaMarcus Russell was 17-of-26 for 180 yards with a 111.1 passer rating and didn’t throw and interception.

Justin Fargas had 18 attempts for 97 yards, a 5.4 yards per carry average and a long 42 yard run. Darren McFadden had nine attempts for 46 yards, a 5.1 yards per carry average. The Raiders had success running the ball as a team rushed for 150 yards with a five yards per carry average.

Johnnie Lee Higgins had six kickoff returns for 154 yards, with a 25.7 yard average per return and a 58 yard return providing the offense with excellent field position.

Zach Miller had four receptions for 34 yards, with an 8.5 YPC average, his longest was 21 yards.
Justin Griffith had three receptions for 39 yards, with a 13 YPC average, his longest was 24 yards.
Ashlie Lelie had three receptions for 37 yards, with a 12.3 YPC average, and a touchdown, his longest was 22 yards.
Chaz Schilens had two receptions for 29 yards, with a 14.5 YPC average, his longest was 19 yards.

The Raiders claimed OT James Marten off waivers from the Cowboys; He is in his second year, a 2007 third round draft choice from Boston College, Another young player to develop.

The Bad

Russell’s lone turnover; the fumble on the screen pass to McFadden. The turnover wasn’t as bad as the time it happened. The Raiders answering the Broncos first score and tying the game would’ve been huge and would’ve helped to get the crowd into the game.

Guard/ Tackle Paul McQuistan went down and left the game with an injury; it appears that he is out for the season with a knee injury on an already thin offensive line.

The Raiders defense looked lost and on their heels the entire game. The secondary appeared to be trying to do too much instead of everyone handling their assignments. Unfortunately it isn’t anything new.

The Raiders committed 10 penalties for 100 yards.

The Ugly

The defensive had trouble slowing down the Broncos offense minus Brandon Marshall and never did. In the infamous words of Joe Namath the Raiders defense was ‘struggling’.
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