495

Postgame wrap

News, notes, quotes and observations from the Raiders’ 23-9 loss to the Browns in Cleveland:

– Regular readers of this space as well as participants in weekly on-line chats know I’m not inclined to tear into play-calling, believing it to be not nearly as important as executing whatever plays are called.

Still feel that way, too, although today in Cleveland, the play-calling had a great deal to do with the Raiders again coming up short in a game that was there for the taking.

The worst sequence came with just under five minutes left in the game and the Raiders at the Cleveland 2-yard line with a first down, courtesy of a pass interference call on Hank Poteat.

Four incomplete passes later, the Raiders turned it over on down, including a justified reversal of an Eric Wright interception.

Michael Bush, with nine carries for 50 yards in the first half, spent the second half back in witness protection in terms of touches. He carried once for 2 yards. Apparently a 245-pound back wasn’t of use that close to the goal line.

Frye, who has the mobility and quick feet to operate on the perimeter, instead dropped back. There was no attempt at a run-pass option.

As for Bush, his last carry came with 10:11 left in the third quarter. The Raiders ran 29 plays from that point until the end of the game and he never once got the ball as Oakland abandoned all pretense of the pass with Darren McFadden carrying four times for 14 yards.

– Remember how annoying it was to watch Rob Ryan’s defense give up points by backing off the throttle late in games? Worked like a charm against the Raiders, who piled up completions and yards but no points down the stretch. Again, Bush may have been able to get some momentum against a backpedaling defense.

The Browns spent much of the game mixing and matching, running more blitzes than Ryan would in four games as the Raiders defensive coordinator. Then he had the Browns fall back into a soft zone which came up with a pair of key interceptions.

– Play-calling aside, the game swung on Frye’s first interception, which David Bowens returned 17 yards to set up a 17-yard scoring run by James Harrison, and a defensive meltdown late in the first half which enabled the Browns to strike on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Derek Anderson to Mohamad Massaquoi.

Taking over at their own 7 after a Shane Lechler punt and a half-the-distance offensive holding penalty on the Browns, the Raiders trailed 10-6 and were hoping to get the ball back.

A chippy game erupted at that point, with Richard Seymour and Cleveland’s Rodney Hadnot getting offsetting unnecessary roughness penalties not long after runs of 17 and 2 yards by James Harrison.

Seymour was so incensed he picked up an additional 15 yards for unsportsman-like conduct foul, pushing the ball to the Cleveland 40. Anderson hit Massaquoi for 14 yards, and after a 4-yard run by Harrison, Stanford Routt got another 15-yard foul for unnecessary roughness and was ejected for a head butt.

That put the Browns on the Raiders 27, where they scored three plays later with Anderson hitting Massaquoi from 19 yards out.

The Browns then paid for a squib kick which enabled the Raiders to open at the 42, and after 9 and 6-yard completions from Frye to Zach Miller and McFadden, Sebastian Janikowski boomed a club-record 61-yard field goal – the fourth in league history of 60 yards or more and possibly the most impressive when you take into consideration the wind and 35-degree weather.

– Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha continues to be vexed by the Raiders repeatedly plummeting to earth following a big win. They’ve been outscored 142-32 in the five games following wins, with only the Cleveland game in doubt into the fourth quarter.

“We’ve shown flashes of being a championship-caliber team. We’ve shown flashes of being one of those cellar-dweller type teams,” Asomugha said. “It’s kind of like we haven’t been able to figure out who we wanted to be. If you want to be a contender in this league, you have to have an identity.”

– With five punts for a 44.2 average, Shane Lechler’s season average dropped to 51.1, meaning he’ll need a big game to surpass the NFL record of 51.4 set by Sammy Baugh in 1940.

– The Raiders’ 389-yard yardage output was their second-highest of the season, behind the 396 yards gained against Pittsburgh.

– With 13 penalties for 126 yards, there was some of the “only the Raiders” grumbling which normally accompanies games they lose. Of course, they’ve had some debatable calls in their wins, too, and managed to overcome them. Just as they could have overcome them against Cleveland.

The most ridiculous call may have been the “taunting” flag on Zach Miller, who merely dropped the ball in the direction of a Cleveland player after a 31-yard reception. It wound up not hurting anything because of Poteat’s pass interference call a short time later.

One crucial penalty that went largely unnoticed in the flood of flags to follow belonged to Chris Morris, who replaced an injured Langston Walker at left guard. Pinned at their own 1 with 734 left in the half after Joshua Cribbs tipped a punt back to the 1-yard line, Oakland had moved out to the 38 with a first-and-10.

Morris was called for a hold, which put the ball back on the 28, with a 6-yard sack of Frye pushing it to the 22. The Raiders eventually punted, leading to Cleveland’s late touchdown drive with the help of the 15-yard flags on Seymour and Routt.

– Strangest flag of the day _ tight end Tony Stewart, one of the most level-headed players in the locker room, was ejected for bumping an official. Never saw a replay of that one.

– Here’s a piece of trivia (courtesy of A.P. stat maven Josh Dubow) that ought to turn the stomach of most self-respecting Raider fans: Frye became the second quarterback in Raiders history to throw for 300 yards with three or more interceptions and no touchdown passes in a game. The other? Marc Wilson, with 339 yards and three interceptions in a 16-10 loss to Kansas City on Dec. 13, 1987.

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Isn’t Janikowski’s contract up after next week? He will definitely have some suitors if that’s the case. Will probably have to use the franchise on Seymour…..

    Could be a repeat of last year except instead of Nnamdi and Lechler we are dealing with Seynour and Jano

  • HayesDaze37

    RRS — Jano has been the MOST consistent Raiders kicker, ever. He’s missed a few (as they all do), but made a lot more than he’s given credit for…and he’s been saddled for more than his share of the team’s failures for years.

    Jano’s percentages, and points scored, dwarf all other Raiders kickers…even the most recognizable of them in Blanda.

    His percentage of touchbacks on kickoffs is hard to touch, by any kicker in the league…and his accuracy percentages (even including longer, inadvisable attempts) are by far the best in Raiders history.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Could be a repeat of last year except instead of Nnamdi and Lechler we are dealing with Seynour and Jano

    ***

    I think every LB on the roster is a free agent too, right?

    plus don’t forget guys like Javon Walker, Tommy Kelly, Gerrard Warren, Mike Huff (my fav) are grossly overpaid & under contract. Russell already said he won’t restructure.

    Routt, Eugene, Green, Carlisle, Pears, Stewart and all the QB’s are FA’s too (which is a good thing!)

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    I too was thrilled by the kick by Seabass, but I would have thought the team would have been jacked up by it. But watching them go off the field, outside of a few players happy for him as a personal achievement, you would have thought someone had hit a home run in a 19-0 baseball game.

  • The Big Banana

    Howard, Brown, Morrison, Alston….all free agents

  • RaiderRockstar

    HD: Yes, Seabass #’s go down because he’s asked to try long attempts no other kicker is asked to.

    Also, yes. strong leg for touchbacks is impressive

    I just assume that the 45 yarders and under are automatic and I remember quite a few that he has missed which really costed us at the time.

    I’m not hating on the man, just saying … it’s the truth

  • The Big Banana

    Branch and Eugene are free agents.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Guys like Gary Russell, Reece, Watkins, Holland, Nixon, Norris, Carlisle, Green, Routt, Eugene, Pears, etc don’t belong on this team! not even for depth…

    and guys like Sam Williams, Jon Alston, Ricky Brown, Luke Lawton & Tony Stewart only have value on special teams!

    come on Al! draft football players for a change

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Some, like Branch, are restricted free agents….if they have less than 5yrs.

    The Raiders have to get the salary cap in-line with performance. Too many players that are average or worse being paid as elite talent.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Branch is not a FA. this is only his 2nd season

  • HayesDaze37

    One of my biggest problems with Art Shell at the helm…

    The team would be in the middle of a meltdown — a real, tangible, visible loss of composure — for more than a few plays…and the coach holds it in until he gets into the locker room. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    Find the problem (Stanford Routt was looking for a fight for 3 straight plays)…and get the problem fixed right there, RIGHT NOW. Chew the a$$es that deserve to be chewed — Seymour among them — and let it fly right there on the sideline. Not appropriate all the time, but definitely appropriate yesterday.

    Tom Cable’s got the lockerroom. He’s got the players’ respect, and he’s probably earned the job for another year. He wouldn’t have lost any points by jumping a$$ appropriately yesterday…and might’ve changed the tempo of the game.

  • 4evaRaider

    Marcel Reese
    ****************************************************

    PRO: Converted wide receiver spent most of 2008 season on the practice squad.

    2008: Signed to active roster on 12/26…(12/28) @ TB: Inactive for final game of the season…Signed by Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent in May, 2008.

    COLLEGE: Had 48 receptions for 980 yards and nine touchdowns at Washington…Started all 13 games as a senior and earned a team award for most improved offensive player…Set Washington record for longest play from scrimmage with a 98-yard touchdown reception vs. Arizona…Finished season with 39 receptions for 761 yards and eight touchdowns…At El Camino CC, helped lead Warriors to 11-1 record and trip to California state semifinals.

    PERSONAL: Attended Hesperia (Calif.) High School…First team all-league performer in football, basketball and track…Had 41 receptions for 989 yards and 11 touchdowns in his senior season.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    The game changed when Langston Walker went down.

  • HayesDaze37

    The game changed when Frye threw a pick on the second play of the game.

  • RaiderRockstar

    the game was over before it started. the raiders always collapse after a win, even to a lesser opponent

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    The game changed when Langston Walker went down, and the running game with it.

  • Richochet

    Cable has no one’s respect.
    Because he’s a flea.
    He knows it.
    Team knows it.
    Cable has NEVER gotten in a players face..ever.

    HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY LEAD WHEN YOU DON’T TAKE COMMAND?
    He doesn’t coach on the sidelines, doesn’t motivate on the sidelines, doesn’t seek out the players on the sidelines, doesn’t challenge players on the sidelines to do better..he has that blank stupid stare as he feverishly tries to figure out what call to make next.

    Name me ONE coach in the NFL who coaches on the sidelines with less spark than Cable.

    You can’t.

    Hell, next to Cable, even Norv Turner looks like a fireball.

    The above info is EXACTLY WHY CABLE WILL BE BACK..Al loves fleas..Al loves submission…Al loves the meek.

  • RaiderRockstar

    the team is not motivated in 50-75 percent of games.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    The game changed when Cable decided to give Bush 1 more carry in the 2nd half.

    In fact the game ended once that decision was finalized in Cable’s head

  • Richochet

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    the game was over before it started. the raiders always collapse after a win, even to a lesser opponent
    =================
    Wow.
    Captain Obvious.

    Way to repeat what has been posted only 3000 times…good job, peanut.

    Stick to making jokes about dead players…as only your sorryass can.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    The game changed when Langston Walker went down, and the running game with him, forcing Cable to go elsewhere.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Mike Bush had 52 yards on 10 carries.

    more carries might have meant more yards, more first downs, more time of possession, more points and a defense with more rest.

    45 pass attempts by Charlie Frye against the Browns a week after Jamaal Charles of the Chiefs gashed them for 154 yards and a TD?

    not to mention Bush himself had 133 yards and a TD last week against a good donks defense.

    why didn’t Cable give Bush another 10-15 carries?

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    why didn’t Cable give Bush another 10-15 carries?
    ===========================
    Didn’t you just hear me say the running game became non-viable when Langston Walker went down in the 2nd qtr?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Richochet: I haven’t read the past 3000+ posts

    obviously you have. thanks for filling me in buddy

  • Richochet

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    why aren’t McFadden and/or Heyward-Bey fielding kicks instead of Gary Russell?
    ====================
    Geez…McFumble? Bey?
    McFumble was known for fumbling balls in the open field, no one around..is known for going down from a stiff breeze, never breaking tackles.

    Bey? Guy can’t catch a cold, and you’re suggesting he field kicks?

    Make it easy on everyone.

    Just put DUH before and after everyone of your posts.

    Go ahead..try it.

  • HayesDaze37

    RickieLake is here to crack on other people for restating the obvious…by…restating the obvious.

    Good thing you popped in, RickieLake. Now you and KK and MR can all dance around in a circle and repeat each other’s nonsensical/tired/boring/repetitive drivel, designed just to get you the sad attention you so crave. Go cake yourselves in it.

  • JT

    Al Davis will figure this thing out… like he always does.

  • jhill

    I have to agree that the game changed big time when Walker went down. Morris at OG is just a flat out disaster.

    But funny thing is the ball was moving. Both Frye and Cable were just bad in the red zone.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Rudy Niswanger, Wade Smith & Ryan O’Callaghan on the Chiefs o-line is about the same as Satele, Carlisle & Green on ours.

    we could have ran the football on Cleveland with Mike Bush at RB. Even with Morris at LG imo

  • jhill

    Nick Miller is our KR/PR …

    You’ll see this weekend, lol!

  • mistic1

    Cable does need to go elsewhere, he can’t go soon enough. So glad they lost now we can get a real coach. With the guys we have and a few upgrades dt o- line maybe mlb and we can win or at least improve

  • HayesDaze37

    Losing Langston Walker didn’t change the running game much. Not running the ball with Mike Bush changed the game a lot.

  • RaiderRockstar

    LOL @ Jhill.

    we’ve been waiting all year to see Nick Miller. I sure hope he’s active.

    I’m expecting Wes Welker on offense & Josh Cribbs in the return game!

  • RaiderRockstar

    we ran the ball at will against SD with Jamal Williams on the D-Line and Chris Morris starting on the OL in Week 1.

    has he regressed like Jamarcus or is there a bigger issue here?

  • Chris in NY

    Janikowski is an excellent kicker. He’s absolutely the best kicker in the NFL this season.

    His overall percentage does take a hit because he’s asked to kick like 7 to 10 from 50+ and he’ll hit about half of those. Kickers on the majority of teams don’t even attempt kicks from 50+ unless it’s end of the half, end of the game type situation where it’s that or a hail mary.

    Janikowski has attempted 27 FGs this year. His only misses are from 45, 57 & 66 yards. He also has more FGs of 50+ yards than anyone in the league. His 61-yarder yesterday is the longest in the league this season.

    Janikowski definitely deserves a Pro Bowl nod this year, but I kind of doubt he gets it because the team is 5-10.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    The game changed when Langston Walker went down, and the running game with him, forcing Cable to go elsewhere. Watch the game.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Nick Miller……(sigh)…..it doesn’t take a medical professional to realize that broken shine bones won’t heal for a good month or two for a lazy office worker like myself.

    A football player??? Please, WTF was this guy doing on the roster and not IR all year? Easily one of the biggest head-scratchers this year.

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post Barack worshippers!

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    The Raiders can blame the officials all the live-long day. But, the refs didn’t throw three interceptions. Quarterback Charlie Frye did. The refs didn’t call four straight failed pass plays from the Browns’ 2-yard line. Raiders coach Tom Cable did.

    And, the refs certainly did not let Browns running back Jerome Harrison run them over a franchise-record 39 times for 148 yards. Seymour and The Gang did.

    Who needs a conspiracy to beat the Raiders when they play like that?

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/12/27/SPF41B9TI1.DTL#ixzz0b1QUmwPG

  • mistic1

    Cable is clueless that is the big issue. Yesterday and Dallas showed the no.2 is not the only problem, why can’t cable beat the teams they should beat? In fact they get blown out when they should win. This falls directly on the coach. Also the offense is awful, poor play calling is painful to watch. Players like cable because he doesn’t blast them, this is why he just go. Chuky was awesome he would put guys in check, we need some one to kick these guys in the rear.

  • Florida Pete

    KoolKell Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 1:23 pm
    why didn’t Cable give Bush another 10-15 carries?
    ===========================
    Didn’t you just hear me say the running game became non-viable when Langston Walker went down in the 2nd qtr?

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    oh, schit… somebody forgot to check with you…

    let’s see… you say that our ability to run the ball was due to one guy… ONE GUY… Langston Walker…

    isn’t he the guy we signed in midseason???

    isn’t he the guy that first played left guard like two weeks ago????

    ya really think he was that good…

    that without him we can’t even run the ball???

    i think that’s astonishing…

    don’t you???

  • Richochet

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Richochet: I haven’t read the past 3000+ posts

    obviously you have. thanks for filling me in buddy
    ————————
    LMFAO..Holy Crappoly..when I stated it’s only been posted 3000 times that the Raiders do a face plant immediately after a win, I wasn’t referring to this site..it’s also been posted on pretty much every sports page, blog, sports cast, etc, that follows the Raiders…

    Obviously you rely on this site, and only this site for your raider info.

    Sad..isn’t it?

  • DKnight007

    mistic1 Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 1:46 pm
    Cable is clueless that is the big issue. Yesterday and Dallas showed the no.2 is not the only problem, why can’t cable beat the teams they should beat? In fact they get blown out when they should win. This falls directly on the coach. Also the offense is awful, poor play calling is painful to watch. Players like cable because he doesn’t blast them, this is why he just go. Chuky was awesome he would put guys in check, we need some one to kick these guys in the rear.

    ^^^^^^^^^
    The looney old man needs to make every effort to bring Chuckie Gruden back….he has the passion, the work ethic, and discipline to get this team turned around ASAP!

    Plus by hiring Gruden, season ticket sales will shoot thru the roof!

    It’s a no brainer actually….but to the old stubborn man….it’s rocket science.

  • DKnight007

    Hey idiot Al Davis,

    Do something SMART and HIRE JON GRUDEN!!

  • 860Todd Christensen

    If you watched Grudens face when the calls came down from the box, the grimmaces, the laughing, smirking, and he just called his own calls, that mimmocked what was shot down to him, I say, give him another try, he tried his best to overcome!