Oakland Raiders: Week-4 Recap

– Oct 2, 2012

Week 4 in Denver was not kind to the Oakland Raiders as they were demolished by Peyton Manning and the Broncos 37-6. The Raiders looked every bit like the worst team in football as they have since being dubbed as such by every sports reporter in the world. The beat-down suffered by the Raiders this week was so bad and so complete, it had them resembling henchman #2 from Bruce Lee’s  Enter the Dragon.  

I believe we all know how it turned out for that guy, right?

The new era has not gone according to plan and the Raiders now sit at 1-3, not to mention, an 0-2 division record to end the first quarter of the 2012 NFL season. I have been a fan for all of my life and  have never ever stopped watching a Raider game. Even in the Jamarcus Russell experiment, I forced myself to watch in horror as I couldn’t believe this was my team out there letting that joker play quarterback. However, Sunday with 3:48 to go in the fourth, I did what I have never done before I switched the channel as I could not watch another minute of it.

It literally was just too much to bear as the game became a complete fiasco which had everyone screaming that Peyton Manning was now back to old form and prepared to take the Broncos all the way. From what I saw of the Raiders, this could very well be the beginning of the end to their season as Gregg Knapp continues to force-feed his ridiculous schemes that just do not work on offense.  This in turn, leaves the injury riddled defense on the field for far too long and it is easy for all to see that this is nothing more than a recipe for disaster.

The game opened with the Broncos receiving the opening kick and for the fourth game in a row, the opposing offense drove right down the field for a score.  Peyton Manning, went 6/8, driving 74yards down the field and hit tight end, Joel Dreesen for the game’s first touchdown. The Raiders managed to get a 38-yard field goal from the best kicker in pro-football, Sebastian Janikowski and it was 7-3 Broncos, but things looked shaky at best for the Raiders.

Then strange things began occurring with the first Raider penalty called upon gurad, Cooper Carlisle as the game began to take on an eerie feel from that point.  What I mean is things just didn’t seem right. The running game was a complete no-show and even though the Raiders were staying close on the scoreboard, the players looked lost and always about two steps slower than the Broncos.

There was a weird play the referees called a sack play that was really an incompletion and I couldn’t help but think, "here we go." However, this was followed by the old ball hit the ground, but the receiver controlled it trick attempted by Denver, which the referees correctly called incomplete. So try as I might, I couldn’t say the refs were out of control.

There were even a couple plays were the defense came up big in the first half. Defensive tackle, Richard Seymour got his big paw on the ball three plays in a row, the final being a Denver field goal that the Captain just missed from blocking.  The Broncos led 10-3 at that point and things were beginning to get ugly. The Raiders needed some big plays, and fast.

They came from the defensive side of the ball.

It started when Broncos wide receiver, Demaryius Thomas fumbled on a play he looked sure to score on that was recovered by a hustling Lamar Houston. Way to not give up on the play big fella! The subsequent Raiders’ drive stalled, (big surprise there) and Denver was off and driving again, but came up short on 4th and 1.

This looked like a 54 yard field goal attempt from Broncos’ K, Matt Praeter but low and behold if they didn’t attempt a fake and the Raider defense just happened to be in position, (for once) and the play ended in an incomplete pass with Oakland taking over on downs.

Oakland then drove down the field but came up short again in a goal to go situation resulting in another Janikowski field goal and things went to the half 10-6 Broncos.

The third quarter started with another failed drive by the Raiders which the Broncos capitalized on when Manning hit wide receiver, Eric Decker on a 17 yard pass play, wherein Raiders' linebacker, Rolando McClain just stopped midfield from trailing Decker and he waltzed into the end-zone untouched. No excuses for the poor play by McClain, but it seemed at this point that the whole defense had had enough and well...just quit playing.

It was at this point with the Broncos up 17-6 that something big needed to happen for the Raiders.

Unfortunately, the offense went three and out, yet again and punter, Shane Lechler had his punt tipped and the Broncos had tremendous field position at the Raider 18 yard line which led to Bronco running back, Willis McGahee cashing in for a two yard run and the route was on as Invesco field turned into a full blown my little pony party.

The rest of the game I was actually able to stomach watching, was a Bronco highlight reel with McGahee and Manning looking every bit the modern day versions of John Elway and Terrell Davis.

Now the question begs to be asked. Why is Knapp still calling the plays?

What kind of egomaniacal buffoon comes into a top ten offense and scraps everything that works for a broken down scheme that doesn’t?

Why is Raider head coach, Dennis Allen allowing this to happen?

Is there anything positive that come from this debacle?

The only reason why Oakland is still allowing Knapp to call plays is if they have their sights set upon the number one draft pick in next year’s NFL draft. Because that is exactly what the consolation prize is for earning the worst record in all of pro football the season before.

As a home contractor, one does not come in and destroy a solid foundation in order to remodel a living room. Yet, that is exactly what Knapp has done here by stripping the power run scheme in favor of his zone blocking scheme that has Oakland’s once premiere running game at the bottom of the league and it is high-time he be called out for it and stripped of his play-calling duties.

As far as coach Allen is concerned, it is time to step up and call like it is because Raider nation is fast losing their temperament for this joke that poses as an offensive coordinator. 

Now the only good that can come from this will rest totally in the hands of the Raider regime and what they decide to do about it. They must see the horror that is unfolding and make changes to get this squad back, as one has but to look at the game this past Sunday to see that the guys are losing hope and giving up out there on the field.

A few correctly placed boots to asses will go a long way in changing things as the rest should get the message and respond accordingly. However, more of the same-old, same-old is only going to end with more blowouts and possible ruination of the most rabid fanbase in all of sports. Raider nation can only sustain so many shots to the heart and still be expected to back what is happening here.

All this aside, I do have faith that Raider general manager, Reggie McKenzie has the right plan and for the most part, personnel, already in place to make this transition succeed.  It is just time for people to accept responsibility and make the necessary changes in order to get the Raiders back on track.

The Silver and Black has a team that can win this year…maybe…if they drop these asinine schemes and incorporate a plan that actually is tailored to the people in place and not the other way around.

Yes  Raider nation, we took one blow to the heart this week and it hurt us. Faith needs to be restored by the top brass and the team needs to come out fighting after the bye this week.

So until then, let’s retreat into the safety of our harbor, repair the ship and lick our wounds.

October is normally and historically a great month for the Raiders, too bad it arrived a day late this year.

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