Oakland Raiders Defense Costs Team 2-0 Start and Division Lead

big ROC Stockton, CAAnalyst IIISeptember 18, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass during an NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Raiders defense played some excellent football in the first half of their game against the Bulffalo Bills, doing their part in building a 21-3 halftime lead.  Somebody should have told the defense that you have to play for an entire 60 minutes to finish off teams in the NFL.  The Buffalo Bills scored a touchdown on every second-half possession.  The Raiders defense just couldn't get off the field.

Last week the defense had five sacks and got pressure on the quarterback throughout the game.  On Sunday against the Bills the Raiders couldn't get any pressure on the QB.  Every time he dropped back to pass he had tons of time to find the open man.  You can't expect your DBs and LBs to cover for that long.  Even when the Raiders called a blitz the Bills offensive line picked it up leading to a big gain through the air.

The Raiders were back to their old ways against the run as well.  Last week they held the Broncos RBs to 25 yards rushing.  The Bills' Fred Jackson had a big day on the ground.  He had a couple of nice cutback runs that left safety Matt Giordano tackling air.  Huff not being 100 percent really hurt us today.

Despite the terrible run defense and pass rush the Raiders were in possession to put the nail in the coffin late in the fourth quarter.  Tyvonn Branch should have had a pick in the end zone but somehow let the ball go right past him to a Bills receiver for a touchdown.  Chris Johnson had what should have been the game-clinching interception but had the ball swatted out of his hands by a Bills WR.  

The defense on the game-winning touchdown was terrible.  Chris Johnson, Kamerion Wimbley and Rolando McClain all took off after CJ Spiller, leaving a huge void over the middle.  I don't understand.  Chuck Bresnahan needs to step his game up or he'll be replaced by Rod Woodson in a few weeks.

It is too bad the defense didn't show up for the second half.  A 2-0 start to the season would have been huge.  The Raiders could have been alone in first place in the AFC West right now.  The defense needs to step it up.  There is no excuse for losing a game in which the offense scores 35 points.  I expect the defense to come out and play extremely hard in the home opener next week.