Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos- Studs & Duds
David Wilson – Oct 2, 2012
The game yesterday against the Denver Broncos was a low point in Oakland Raiders franchise history. A shocking defeat from which few positives taken can be taken. Neither the offense or the defense had any answers to what the Broncos did at any point in the game. The Raider Nation must be looking back to the Tom Cable/Hue Jackson days, when Oakland dominated their division even if they didn’t make the playoffs.
This team showed none of the fight that won them the game against the Steelers, they quit early in the second half and this game was done half way through the third quarter.
As much as it pains me to write about this game, here are the studs and duds.
Believe it or not, there were some good performances in this Raider loss.
Philip Wheeler – When you see a tackle being made near to the line of scrimmage, it is usually Wheeler making it happen. When you see a player making a catch in the short zones, it is never Wheeler’s guy.
Consistent linebacker play, every down of the game.
Matt Shaughnessy – Shaughnessy generated at least some pressure on Manning and made plays in the running game. He continues to be a force, and his non stop motor makes him a handful for whoever blocks him on any given play.
Jared Veldheer - While the offensive world was crashing in around him, Veldheer once again put together a creditable performance, and took care of whoever he was assigned to block on any given play. You can't ask much more than that from your left tackle. He blocked well enough in the run game, but his pass blocking stood out.
Honorable mention – Carson Palmer had a good first half, and at one point was 9 for 13, for 143 yards. He threw a perfect deep ball to Denarius Moore for 31 yards in the first half, and got rid of the ball well under pressure. His performance declined in the second half as the game started to slip away and his line failed to protect him. Desmond Bryant saw a lot of snaps at defensive tackle, and once again showed that he is more than a rotational player with a solid contribution . Jack Crawford actually looked strong and held his own, especially on running plays where he set the edge well.
Dennis Allen – This team may have had only five penalties on the day, but was an embarrassment to the proud history of this franchise. This game was over in the third quarter, and this team gave up then and there. My guess is they do not believe in what they are doing scheme wise. He was totally out coached in all phases of the game by John Fox. If this is the kind of performance we can expect from Dennis Allen led teams, he might as well clear out his desk now.
Greg Knapp – Predictable play calling, and he continues to run a zone blocking scheme that clearly isn’t working. It is certainly not suited to Darren McFadden’s talents. Whatever DMC might say, this is obviously not working for him, and the NFL’s most explosive running back is being made to look average by being a square peg in a round hole. Knapp at last managed to use Marcel Reece productively at times, but it didn’t mask an awful offensive output. He failed to help out Willie Smith with chip blockers or anything else, despite him continually being destroyed by Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller on every passing down.
Knapp has basically the same players Hue Jackson had last year, which was a top ten ranked offense.
Hue Jackson must be smiling somewhere. If I was disappointed when Jackson was fired, I’m just gutted now.
Jason Tarver – The so called ‘Mad Chemist’ had no answer for what Manning and the Broncos threw at them. There was little pass rush, and the defense never got to Manning, or covered the short routes no matter how many times Denver ran them. Manning never really went deep, so it wasn’t rocket science what Denver were doing. Tackling was poor, and this unit had quit well before the end of the third quarter. They failed to fill holes, or keep containment when they needed to. The defense was humiliated, and Tarver comprehensively outcoached.
Willie Smith – The Raiders right tackle had one of the worst games I have ever seen for an offensive lineman. He was continually destroyed by either Von Miller or Elvis Dumervil, and gave up pressure on Palmer on just about every passing play. I have some sympathy for him, as he was clearly outmatched, but Greg Knapp never gave him any help on passing downs. He was just left him on an island. This guy is not an NFL quality tackle. We should start Joe Barksdale instead, oh, wait….
Rolando McClain – The exact opposite of Philip Wheeler. Whenever you see a big gain on a run through the Raiders defense, or a short throw turning into a big gainer, then either it is through McClain’s gap, or thrown to his guy, or he had a chance to make the tackle and didn’t. His football instincts are shocking, and he constantly misdiagnoses plays that then cause huge problems for the defense. Having given up big plays, he is then content to jog after the ball carrier hoping someone else will make the tackle. With Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly doubled teamed all day on run plays, McClain should have had a productive day, but didn’t. Don’t let his six tackles and two assists fool you, this was a truly dreadful performance. This is four games into his third year, and it just isn’t happening. As a Raider fan, I’m done with this guy.
Brandon Myers – He might contribute some in the passing game, but his run blocking was terrible once again. Myers had a chance to show that he could be the guy, and is showing clearly that he isn’t. In the 2nd quarter on the Raiders own 4 yard line, he got overpowered at the point of attack and his man dropped DMC for a three yard loss. Only luck prevented it from being a safety. On a 3rd and one in the third quarter he missed a block on a run to the left side that got McFadden tackled for a loss, and there were numerous other occasions. On the blocked punt it was Myers guy who pushed him backwards and got a hand on it. Myers is not a starter in this league, and has to be replaced.
This game was so bad that it reminded me of the dark days of the JaMarcus Russell era. It was as bad as I have ever seen a Raiders team play, and scheme wise they failed to adjust to anything the Broncos did on offense or defense.
The loss is very much on the coaches, and will have fans questioning Reggie McKenzie’s choices for the first time. Well coached teams just don’t lose this way, and Dennis Allen needs do a lot, lot better than this.
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