Oakland Raiders: Week 2 Recap
Jerry Rump – Sep 18, 2012
Week-2 in Miami did not go as expected at all. The Oakland Raiders went in to South Beach and got clobbered in the second half of their game with the Dolphins. However, it must be mentioned that they went in at halftime with a precarious three point lead at 10-7, only to implode as the second half of the game resembled a Miami highlight reel.
It culminated with all the wheels coming off in the fourth quarter which led to the Raiders being rudely handed their second straight loss to begin the NFL 2012 Season. This in turn, resulted in a social media blitzkrieg by Raider fans screaming for an explanation as to the nightmare they had just witnessed.
So along with everyone else in the nation, you just have to wonder what actually did go wrong?
Why were the Raiders completely unable to adjust to what the Dolphins showed them in the first half? Why was quarterback, Carson Palmer stuck throwing the ball 48 times in this game when it clearly should have been a ground and pound type of day? Why is the defense collapsing in fatigue when they should be closing out a win?
Let's try to answer these questions by focusing on just the bad news.
The defense played about average in the first half as they kept Miami from adding any points to the opening 80-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. After which the defense responded by holding the Dolphins to just 67 total yards for the rest of the half. So what hapened to cause the meltdown in the second half?
For some bizarre reason, all game long, Dolphins’ WR's were being given 10 yards of space nearly every play so, pretty much whenever they pleased, Tannehill to Hartline was just there for the taking. Add to that there were no adjustments made to answer anything the Doplhins did on offense and it begins to become evident where the bulk of the fault lies for this game.
Simply put, the blame for the poor defense has to rest primarily upon the coaching staff for this one.
Dolphins runningback, Reggie Bush also ended up torching the entire Raider defense for a career high 172 yards and two touchdowns.
Say what you want, but this one most definitely points directly to the play-caller, pure and simple.
The lack of adjustments to what the Dolphins were doing on offense means defensive coordinator, Jason Tarver has some explaining to do. Poor tackling and the inability of players to get off of blocks also falls upon the first year defensive coordinator and he has to own up and get these things fixed or else it will be a very long season for the Silver and Black on this side of the ball.
Now for the really bad news about this game and the season as a whole thus far for the Raiders.
The offense was stagnant at best to start the game and only got worse. The running game was completely nonexistent, (again) as the Raiders have ended up with just 68 total rushing yards through two games and Darren McFadden’s longest carry for the season is eight yards!
How do you go from being one of the top running games in the league the last two years, to not even being able to average two yards a carry all in just two games?
The answer for this one falls on the shoulders of perhaps the biggest mistake that Oakland made this offseason, and that is in bringing back mediocre offensive coordinator, Gregg Knapp. To put it bluntly, Knapp is just not getting the job done.
The numbers through two games speaks for themselves. Third down conversions are a pathetic 6 for 27. That is just plain ridiculous!
As mentioned, there is that 68 TOTAL yards rushing thing too. Plus, the Raiders have more first downs awarded from penalties than from rushing at 5 to 4.
Carson Palmer has already thrown for nearly 700 yards in two games without a win to show for it and the only two touchdowns the team has ended up scoring came via the pass.
Mr. Knapp, how can you possibly collect a paycheck for this fiasco?
How is this scenario even possible? Wasn't the offense the one side of the ball we didn't have to worry about?
How do you possess one of the most prolific running backs in the league and fail to do anything with him?
In my opinion it really is this ridiculous zone blocking scheme that is failing continuously, along with the pure lack of adjustments both on the field and at halftime, that has led to the Raiders failing to even be competitive in the two games they have played thus far in 2012.
Now I completely understand why social media was bogged down with the Raider nation ranting so bad that even Philadelphia Eagles fans’ blushed, and that, by the way, is no easy feat to achieve.
Mr. Knapp, I fully expect you to step up and take the blame for this loss or else it will be completely obvious to all except you, that you do not have a clue about calling offenses and could not coach the Raiders to a victory against a pee wee league squad. Step up or do us all a favor and step off as we will make do without you.
All right... time for a few positives or else I am REALLY going to start trippin'. However, there were definitely only a couple of things that can even be construed to appear positive at this point.
Special teams play was a bit improved, but the Raiders still lacked the proper discipline on returns both ways and had some penalties that negated returns from defensive back, Phillip Adams. Although, he was able to break one for 45 yards to close out the third quarter, which set the Raiders up at the Dolphins 25 yard line to begin the fourth quarter only trailing 21-10. A touchdown was definitely on the menu right here, right?
Unfortunately, Knapp's play-calling was once again, vanilla and predictable, (big shock) and the drive ended with a 27 yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. This was the turning point in the game as a touchdown in this spot would have changed momentum greatly making the score 21-17 instead of, 21-13 in favor of Miami.
Instead, the Dolphins got the ball on their next possession and it all ended shortly thereafter with a touchdown catch by Miami’s tight end, Anthony Fasano that basically sealed the game with 11:53 to go in the fourth quarter as the rout was on after that.
See, even trying to find some positives about the game, I still end up going back to that horrible offensive scheme! Well, Matt Shaughnessy performed well and deserves recognition as did Phillip Wheeler, who collected eight tackles on the day.
Let's try a few quotes from the team’s website to see how they viewed things after this week and find out if we can find anything good to build upon.
Coach Allen responded to questions about the heat in Miami by saying: “I’m not going to use those factors as a crutch. At the end of the day, we have to coach better; we have to play better. They were the better team today. They out-executed us. And we have to do a better job.”
I completely agree with all of that! The Raiders were most certainly outcoached, outplayed, and got out-executed as it was most definitely, not the heat. Nope, not too much positivity flowing from that one.
Darren McFadden commented about the running game by stating: “They have a good front seven and they were getting after it today. Running the ball was something that we needed to do and they stopped us from doing it.”
He should have finished this statement by quoting Forrest Gump and saying: “And that’s all I have to say about that!” as one can easily see how evident it is that he feels frustrated, and rightfully so. Nope...nothing good going on at the team website either.
I will be honest now as this game really confused me because I figured, like so many others in the Nation, that we were going to get down and dirty and grind out a win in Miami. When it fell apart, I was left struggling to comprehend how everything could be so bad when it is supposed to be just the opposite.
Needless to say, with the next two opponents on the schedule being Pittsburgh at O.co and Denver in their house, it is imperative now that the Raiders' ship pump the water out of her hull, repair the holes in her sails and get the crew back on track. The time for urgency has arrived as starting 0-2 is nothing anyone but the haters envisioned for this season.
The Raiders must find a way to get at least one win in the next two games to avoid the death blow that a 0-4 start can bring to a team.
Even with all of this negativity, diehard Raider fans have stood their ground and yelled defiantly that they are Raiders for life! Take that bandwagon fans!
So do not get anything twisted Raider haters, as no matter what, true fans support this team and these same fans will continue to represent them come hell or high water.
It is just unrealistic right now for anyone to look at things and think there are not some major issues that have to be resolved. The Raiders must acquire a sense of urgency and fight like never before to get a win on the board, just so something positive can happen for this team. Think you can help us out with that Mr. Knapp?
Coach Allen was right as it falls directly upon the coaching staff to fix what is wrong and they must adandon any and all SCHEMES that are not working. Are you understanding any of this Mr. offensive coordinator?
In closing, all I can advise is let's try to put this one behind us, Raider Nation, and even though these are definitely the times that try our souls, may all the diehards emerge next week still screaming Go RRRAAAIIDDDEERRSSS!
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