Another win in Miami?


Note: Didn’t make the Miami trip this week, so no live in-game blogs today. Will post a wrap-up following the game.

Is it really too much to ask to convert a few third down plays and punch the ball into the end zone two or three times?

If the Raiders could manage to do that, it’s not inconceivable they could beat the Miami Dolphins today.

There may be stats and events that serve as signposts to 3-13, but keep in mind the schedule has been brutal since Tom Cable took over for Lane Kiffin.

They got the Saints at home, where they’ve lost only once. Baltimore is now considered a dark horse AFC Super Bowl contender. The New York Jets are 7-3 and atop the AFC East _ and that’s a game the Raiders won.

Most recently, Atlanta is NFC’s turnaround story of the year and Carolina is atop the NFC South at 8-2.

The Dolphins are 5-4 and coming off a 21-19 win over a Seattle team which stands at 2-7, same as the Raiders.

I’m not suggesting there is any sort of remarkable turnaround in the offing, only that every once in awhile teams with bad records do enough right in an afternoon to defeat one with a better record.

If a few things go the Raiders way, today could be one of those days.

For instance:

— A big play by Darren McFadden, preferably for a touchdown. Short of that, McFadden’s presence sets up someone else for a touchdown. Touchdowns are so hard for the Raiders to come by, they could use a quick strike.

— A few first downs from Ronald Curry, who could be back in the starting lineup today with Javon Walker out for the season and Chaz Schilens active but hobbling with an ankle sprain. He’s the only player with a real sense of how to get past the third down stake _ now he’s got to remember how to hold on to the ball.

— A running game that gets 150 to 175 yards rushing after gaining 299 in Miami last year. It would help if a lot of that is straight at Joey Porter, slowing his pass rush. There were some signs against Carolina the Raiders were starting to snap out of their run-funk.

The Raiders can’t afford another sack-fumble from JaMarcus Russell and zero interceptions would be nice. Today’s backup is Marques Tuiasosopo, as Andrew Walter is listed as the third quarterback because of an ankle sprain.

— A big kickoff return or two from newcomer Justin Miller. Sometimes a little juice from a recent acquisition can do wonders. Better kick coverage, the usual 2008 performances from punter Shane Lechler and kicker Sebastian Janikowski. That means making every field goal attempt from 50 yards and in, and maybe a kick or two from beyond.

— A defensive performance which rivals last week. Chad Pennington isn’t going to beat the Raiders deep, so the tackling must be good. Tommy Kelly was as stout in the middle against the Panthers as he has been all season.

The “Keep it simple’’ approached worked well last week.

— A wakeup call. West Coast teams have been coming out in a fog in 10 a.m. starts. Fact is, it’s a problem of bad West Coast teams. It’s an excuse. Don’t use it.

I’ll check in following the game . . .


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • S&B – Nation Collective

    All the JaMarcus haters need to simmer down too. Imagine if we had a real number 1 receiver? When receivers get open, Russell can hit them. I still don’t understand why Higgins doesn’t get on the field more often.

    Russell will be ok. Imagine what he would do if he wasn’t getting sacked 5x a game from a pourous offensive line.

    Tom Cable is overrated. That offensive line is terrible again. Can’t run block, pass block and have way too many penalties. How did we end up with Kwame Harris and Cornell Green…Pathetic

    Why doesn’t DMAC get more carries. Where the hell was Michael Bush?

    We need a professional head coach.

    Where’s the Commissioner?

  • Maryland Raiderfan

    LOL, the chargers are looking as bad as we are against the steelers. LT is getting his just deserved pounding by their d. Boy,if polomolo(?sp)ever became free he would be an excellent pick up he is a beast!!! But he would never leave the steelers!

  • Glad I didint tune in today,..Raiders sure try hard to find ways to lose,…its really pathetic,…was funny for a while,..now just sad.

  • Twocents

    Raiders WR #11,

    You’re right but they will still be sold and moved.

  • S-B,…I disagree,…we need to cut ties with jamarcus,…get rid of him…hire that Pats OC and have him bring Cassel with him,…thats a start,…russell is a bust, you and the raiders need to realize that.

  • Unknown

    Leave Jim Faucet where he’s at, somewhere in la la land. If he want’s to come here, you know his mind isn’t right.

    He and kiffy are about equal in my book. He would be another Shell and Gibbs. It’s over for their coaching careers!!

  • Get ris of ENTIRE staff,…dont keep one single coach for Fassel,..let Fassel bring in whoever he wants,…Ryan is awful, I hate that mother f*cker.

  • Unknown

    I agree, the new england guy would be an excelent choice. But, he would have to be drugged to come here!! lol

  • get that little OC from new england,..bring cassel with him,…do everything the Pats are doing,…copy them,..how they scout…draft…great formula.

  • crazy Al will need to overpay him, fine by me,..and put in writing he can do whatever he wants,…Al needs to stay home, in the home.

  • Unknown

    What the heck has gotten into Singletary’s gang?

    We need his post game speeches for our team!! lol

  • gilbert

    priest is on the Raider flagship,pretty funny stuff

  • Twocents

    I am beginning to believe that it is not the prevent defense.

    Other teams are confident that they can move the ball against us no matter what scheme we are in.

    When it comes to crunch time, they pull out all the stops and are usually successful.

    On the rare occasions when we get a lead, the other team usually scores on the next possession.

  • kirk

    The Raiders will never win as long as the ass kisser Rob Ryan continues to not blitz in the fourth quarter. He loses every close game by playing a vanilla defense at the end.

    Why can’t Al see this???

  • Priest used to go by the name “TJ in mountain View:…on the jt the brick show.

  • Scottish Raider

    There were positives from the Miami defeat: JaMarcus played very sensibly and seemed much more in control. Good to see Ronald Curry have his best game for two seasons. Zach Miller remains a great weapon and Justin Miller and JLH are going to do real damage on returns.

    But the four biggest problems remain:

    1) Penalties are killing this team.
    2) The offense stalls in the red zone.
    3) Harris and Green are just not pro-standard OTs.
    4) This defense cracks under pressure, especially in Q4.

    If we can fix these problems, we are half way back to respectability.

  • I dont care,I saw Jmac drop the rock on a dime 2day @@ out nfl

  • Im fine with oakland losing all the rest of their games,…and they likely will….get a top 3 pick,..and trade it for multiple picks,..we cant afford another top 3 pick bonus anyway,..thats about 25 million,…russells and mcfaddens together are about 60 million,…and they both suck.

  • If the Raiders have a chance to seal a game with a defensive stop, you can almost count on the fact that they won’t make it. About the only one they’ve made in recent memory was against KC which has almost as bad an offense as The Raiders, and then KC was moving the ball until we got the interception.

    Jano makes very few clutch kicks. The miss in the third quarter which could have given The Raiders the lead changed the momentum of the game. The Raiders could still have easily lost, but you need to be able to count on your kicker to make those type of kicks, especially when you are struggling.

  • Russell is a piece of crap,…wont be a raider next year.

  • sea bass sucks, always has,…you can count on him to miss pressure kicks,..every time,…the jets winner in ot was a fluke,…he sucks, like the rest of the team…and owner.

  • Fassel is a lock to be next coach,…should have kept kiffin and let him can ryan,..kiffin is laughing his butt off today,..as he should.

  • kirk

    John Madden said before the draft that we should take an offensive tackle in the first round. Guess what? He was right!

  • Twocents

    Scottish Raider,

    I agree. This loss can’t be blamed on the QB, RBs or Receivers.

    Memo to Al, build your lines.

    It is amazing how good an RB looks when he has a hole to run through.

    It makes ordinary DBs look good when you have a pass rush.

  • I Loath the Day Norco Bob was Born

    Shut the f*ck up Norco Bob. Your a pathetic piece of excrement and a waste of your father’s sperm.

  • Maybe Russel will become a good QB and maybe not, but I know he would be a much better QB with decent pass protection and good WR’s than without.

  • Lynn from Snot

    Play calling was horrible until the one good drive. Everybody knows we run on 1st down and when we ran play action on 1st down it worked. Defense plays good for two games in a row. WOW

  • dang dude why ya mad at me?…im just keepin it real. dont hate on me man

  • Lynn from Snot

    If you look up false start in the rule book there is a picture of Kwame Harris.

  • Dakota..

    I can’t believe it.. you are going to win, i think :/

  • snot,..D collapsed when the money was on the table,..gutless defensive affort.

  • La Melissa..win what?

  • Lynn from Snot

    Gutless is not the word i would use for Rob Ryan. He’s got plenty of that.

  • The raider players were gutless on that last drive,…too scared to win a game,…the raiders are truly gutless,…they are afraid to win.

  • Lynn from Snot

    I heard from Chester Mcglockton (the 5th quarter) that Wiesnewski wants a shot at the GM spot.

  • Lynn from Snot

    It was Ryan that set them up for failure the efffort was there on the field.

  • Lynn from Snot

    Norv is being Norv

  • I Loath the Day Norco Bob was Born

    Norco Bob, we are all tired of your act. Quit it with the juvenile drug fantasies. We all know your a pathetic loser who does nothing more than have a Bud-lite when your mom is away.

  • I am hoping for Harbaugh as our coach next year with big AL letting him build a staff. I would like to see the Raiders run an offense like the Saints or the Titans run using MBUSH as the primary runner (like McCalister or Lendell White) and McFadden as a speed back / slot receiver (ala RBUSH). If there are any takers trade down for help on both lines. Miami has show with the right coaching and organizational changes a team can change it’s fortunes quickly.

  • Twocents

    The Raider coaches are so busy trying to prove they’re the next Bill Walsh they fail to instill the basics.

    How difficult is it to teach the OL to act as a unit, know the snap count, know their job.

    Tom (I love Kwame) Cable called a HB option at a critical time, nobody on offense even knew what their assignment was.

    With the exception of Special Teams coach Schneider, this staff is wholly unexceptional.

  • Chris in NY

    Hopefully Al hires Fassel tomorrow to get a head start on fixing this team. I fully believe he’s the guy to do it. Screw Harbaugh. What has he ever proved as a coach?

    Can’t blame anything on the defense today.
    Lousy pass-blocking and timid play selection ruins us again. Although it’s hard to rip Cable for not calling more downfield pass plays when his o-line sucks this bad.

  • do any of ya watch jax-Tenn?

  • Bolts looking tough,..hope they beat the Steelers.

  • Im watching steeler game,..hoe the Bolts win.

  • “Can’t blame anything on the defense today.”

    hmmmm, well teh 4th n 5 comes to mind, and the last of the 4th quarter in general..

  • Rivers is great,…wish the raiders had a qb,…russell sucks.

  • la melissa,..you are right on…that 4th down converson was typical of the gutless players on D.

  • Chris Carr had the easiest interception.. good for him..

  • Unknown

    chris carr has an int. for the titans. shhhh

  • VirginiaRaider

    IT WAS A FUMBLE!!!!!!!!!!!