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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.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • RaiderD

    new englandraider Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 9:53 am

    also, how many times did frye hang miller out to take a good hit? at least 4x. miller should just sit out the rest of season. he is our best pass catcher and we dont need him 2 become a vegetable.
    _____________________________________________________

    I was thinking the same thing as i watched the game. Didnt help that tony stewart got thrown out of the game.

  • new englandraider

    do u guys think a morrison/ thomas howard position switch will help. howard is obviously a lot faster. doesnt whiff on as many tackles and makes more plays in backfield for loss than morrison. when morrison is in the right spot he is ok. not great but seviceable. he is constantly out of position. also, why didnt matt s play in the 2nd half? he played but only a little. was he punished for his 1st half sack and at least two or 3 tackles for loss on running plays. doesnt make much sense. anyone hear of a possible injury to him that would limit his reps in the 2nd half?

  • raidertbone

    # 16yearsold16yearfan Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    my bad i meant al hires you and you get paid

    if al lets you do your job and the team still sucks but you dont get blamed because it was als fault for hiring some one who didnt know what he was doing

    or it was als fault because you were never in charge and were just a token

    and if you do get to do your job you would have fun because you are always putting up your mock drafts
    ________________________________________

    I was right the first time … he IS seven years old!

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Funny, I don’t see any mention of Charlie Fryes 3 interceptions on this blog this morning. I wonder why? the Red hair?

  • http://http://www.mensa.org/ Raiders Grief Counselor Albert Bigelow Paine

    16yearsold16yearfan Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 10:04 am
    my bad i meant al hires you and you get paid

    if al lets you do your job and the team still sucks but you dont get blamed because it was als fault for hiring some one who didnt know what he was doing

    or it was als fault because you were never in charge and were just a token

    and if you do get to do your job you would have fun because you are always putting up your mock drafts

    ______________________________________________________

    Even if you are only 16 years old, your grammar is just pathetic. I hope the American education system isn’t this poor. Otherwise, we are looking at a bleak future. Let me ask you, what is “als”? I have never heard of that word. Perhaps English is your second language?

  • RaiderD

    Anyone notice how frye likes to leave the pocket a little too much? i understand that we dont have the greatest o-line, but it just seems that if he would step up into the pocket rather than falling back or rolling out he could buy himself some more time. This was more apparent in the denver game before he got busted but i saw it yesterday as well.

  • new englandraider

    raider d, where is myers. dude had that good game against cinci and never sees the field after that. im tired of the turnover at head coach and think we need stability, but when bush is running well we sit him. mitchell has been playing very well, we sit him. matt s playing his azz off in 1st half, barely gets on field in 2nd half. wtf are these guys thinking?

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    tbone whatever it was a joke you didnt understand so i re explained it which kind of takes the joke part out of it you didnt understand it so shut up

  • http://http://www.mensa.org/ Raiders Grief Counselor Albert Bigelow Paine

    KoolKell, are you insinuating that Frye is not under the same scrutiny as Russel because he is white? If so, shame on you.

  • raidertbone

    # new englandraider Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 10:01 am

    ur right albert about gruss. im just saying, the blocking is awful. no one would succeed with that blockin. I GOT A ? 4 U GUYS. HONESTLY NOW, WHEN OUR SCHEDULE WAS RELEASED, AND WE HAD NFC EAST, PITTS BALT AND SD 2X HOW MANY WINS DID U THINK THIS TEAM WOULD HAVE. I FIGURED 6 AT BEST. WE HAVE 5. AND SHOULD’VE BEATEN KC AND SD. JUST CURIOUS AS TO HOW MANY WINS U GUYS THOUGHT WE’D HAVE WITH A PRETTY TOUGH SCHEDULE
    _____________________________________-

    We stand at 5-10 right now; truly, I thought we would be at 8-7 (the wins I had were: one against San Diego, two against K.C, one against the Horsies, then wins against the Jets, Redskins, Browns and Texans. I certainly wasn’t counting on wins against Philly, Cincy or Pittsburgh!

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    I don’t see any mention of Charlie Fryes 3 interceptions on this blog this morning, I wonder why?

  • jhill

    Meyers is out with a concussion.

  • RaiderD

    new englandraider Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 10:12 am
    raider d, where is myers. dude had that good game against cinci and never sees the field after that. im tired of the turnover at head coach and think we need stability, but when bush is running well we sit him. mitchell has been playing very well, we sit him. matt s playing his azz off in 1st half, barely gets on field in 2nd half. wtf are these guys thinking?

    ______________________________________________________

    Yea im with you man. apparently on this raiders team, playing well does not guarantee you a spot on the field.

  • http://http://www.mensa.org/ Raiders Grief Counselor Albert Bigelow Paine

    I had the Raiders 7-9, 8-8 if they were lucky. Oh well, another ten loss season means another great draft pick. Soon this team will be stacked with enough talent to win three or four Super Bowls.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Very little mention at all of the QB’s play yesterday……..

  • raidertbone

    # 16yearsold16yearfan Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 10:13 am

    tbone whatever it was a joke you didnt understand so i re explained it which kind of takes the joke part out of it you didnt understand it so shut up
    ______________________________

    A most intelligent (and highly articulate) comeback — thoroughly scintillating and full of jocundity … btw, a dictionary can help you look up those words and find their meaning. I would suggest you spend more time studying and less time pretending to be a grownup!

  • new englandraider

    frye was decent. i would rather have seen russ start that game, and if he played poorly, u go with frye or grads at him vs balt. at times he looked good and at times not so good. lets not 4get that the passing game is predicated on timing. both receivers and qb must be in sync. too much cahging qb’s changing receivers. and constantly different people on oline. guys are all over the place on the line

  • raidertbone

    # KoolKell Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I don’t see any mention of Charlie Fryes 3 interceptions on this blog this morning, I wonder why?

    __________________________________

    Right now, Frye is not really relevant to the discussion. I don’t think anybody views him as anything more than a turn-to option until the season is over (which, thank God, it almost is!)

  • new englandraider

    damn where is spellcheck when u need him. im making too many spelling errors. ah well i think i’ll blame it on the hippie lettuce

  • RaiderD

    raidertbone,

    Leave the kid alone, apparently someone told him that typing exactly how he talks is ok. Must be our public schools! lol.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Did you notice the blitzes from all directions from Rob Ryan?

  • RaiderD

    KoolKell Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 10:24 am
    Did you notice the blitzes from all directions from Rob Ryan?
    ________________________________

    Seriously! where in the hell was that when he was our dc?

  • http://http://www.mensa.org/ Raiders Grief Counselor Albert Bigelow Paine

    Charlie Frye stink too. He is no the answer, and is not expected to be. The best QB on this team is J.P. Losman. We will all realize that next season when he takes the Raiders to the playoffs under new coach Barry Switzer.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    vegas raider Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 9:25 am
    I like Mitchell, but he is going to have to be a nickle blitzing, hybrid type, at least early in his career.

    He does play downhill, and is a beast on ST. There is a reason he didn’t even make 3rd team all conference last year though, and the Raiders are doing a good job of putting him in situations that he does well in.
    ======================================================
    Draft strategy run amok….drafting situational players with 2nd round picks.

    Truth is, they are going to have to “force” Mitchell into the lineup. Meaning Huff is the odd-man out.

    Huff better learn cornerback

  • new englandraider

    lets not 4get the turn around cinci made in one off season. getting healthy helps. we were without out best wr and best olineman 4 most of the year. i still thing russell is garbage, but i also think he would’ve had more success with a better oline and better play at receiver. 2 rookies starting was a foolish idea. it does have its pluses too tho. murphy has certainly gotten better with his hands. he had a lot of drops early, so playing him might have been an ok idea. but dhb? dude is awful. lets hope he can put this year behind him and get better. u guys got to admit, like usual, we have talent at certain positions. i think with chaz murphy, and miller we have 3 legitimate weapons in passing game next yr

  • raidertbone

    # RaiderD Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 10:23 am

    raidertbone,

    Leave the kid alone, apparently someone told him that typing exactly how he talks is ok. Must be our public schools! lol.
    ____________________________

    RaiderD:
    uR rite, ov cours i shoudnt xepect much fum today’s yoof. Wait a minute … he might be able to understand me now, but I’m sounding a lot like JaMarcus — oh, WTF!

  • http://http://www.mensa.org/ Raiders Grief Counselor Albert Bigelow Paine

    At least he is only 16, Beeecham is a man, he’s 40, and sounds just as Gumpish as this guy.

  • new englandraider

    snb i dunno about having to force mm into the game. i like when we go with 3 safeties out there. i really do. dont know y eugene played over mm yesterday, but he played ok. huff will either be re-signed or they will use the transition tag on him to get a pick. its taken huff a few yrs to get it 2gether, but im sure u remember how poor aso played his 1st 2 or 3 yrs. in that draft, i remember mel kiper saying huff was the surest and safest pick in the draft. he also said wtf are the raiders doing when they drafted aso. i especially like the 3 safety looks on 3rd downs. u can blitz mm or a corner or lb and still be ok in coverage. since we’ve started playing 3 safeties at times u notice we dont see as much lb’s covering other teams best receiver

  • raidertbone

    # Raiders Grief Counselor Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 10:32 am

    At least he is only 16, Beeecham is a man, he’s 40, and sounds just as Gumpish as this guy.
    ________________________________________

    I can hear it now …. RUN, DARRIUS, RUN!!!

  • raidertbone

    Without solid linebacker play and a serious push from the defensive front, it doesn’t really matter WHO we have playing back … given ample time, most NFL QBs could pick apart a porous defense.

  • new englandraider

    oh and big ups to janikowski and lechler. they both should be probowlers. jano has missed only 1 fg that should have been made. 45 yrds. all other misses have been from 55 yrd out or more. 61 yrds. i know elam tied nfl record with a 63 yarder in denver. but the ball travels better. the 63 yarder b4 elam was made in the day b4 the kicking balls. at a time when kickers were know to put helium in the ball. 61 yrds in the cold very impressive seabass. very impressive

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    No Russell to hate on, so no mention of QB play, funny that.

  • RaiderD

    Anyone going to mention anything about locking josh cribbs down? it seems like our ST likes the challenge of a big time returner, like hester and cribbs.

  • new englandraider

    anyone think howard would make a better mlb than morrison? or am i being stupid? he certainly is in the backfield making plays whereas morrison is ALWAYS out of position. most of his tackles are when he catches a guy from behind. he takes poor angles at the ball carrier. remember stu schweigert used to do the same thing. horrible angles

  • jhill

    I just don’t like the idea of the HC calling the plays. The game plan, and plays to be run should be installed during the week, and it shouldn’t be too hard for the OC to call the plays. Why this team doesn’t have an Offensive Coordinator is beyond me.

    Can anyone tell me what Cable’s plan is? Like Nnamdi asks, what is our identity? Seriously!?!?!?

  • new englandraider

    hey kell stfu already. frye sux and so does russell. id say u suck to, but i think ur more of a swallower. granted there are people on here who make racist comments, but what do u want us to say. damn that frye and his 3 picks. dude had 300 plus yrds. 1st time for a raider since culpepper. am i a racist white boy for saying frye sux. i think not. happy kell? frye sux

  • jhill

    NE,

    I don’t know about Howard at MLB. I think he’s right where he needs to be at OLB with Scott. Those positions are being played pretty well.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    granted there are people on here who make racist comments, but what do u want us to say.
    ————————
    Yeah, they’re never called on it either. Except by me, then I’m the racist.

  • new englandraider

    albet, i think frye played ok. 2 out of 3 picks were absolutely on him. 1st and 3rd. 1st one he threw right to the guy. the 3rd one he was late throwing the ball. chaz was wide azz open, and frye threw to late. u can also make the arguement that the 2nd one was 50-50, as he was a tiny bit late throwing to eraser head. eraser head didnt help him out on that one. also there would’ve been a 4th pick had the defender got 2 feet down

  • new englandraider

    kell i didnt call u a racist, u made the statement that we’re not getting on frye cuz he is wht. stupid thing to say. we all want our players to do well. whether they’re black, white, hispanic, hawaiian, or a fuggin smurf. i’ll say it again, im a white man. i grew up in the projects, ive got friends of all kinds of backrounds. people r people dude and if the qb sux. say he sux. if he plays well say he played well. whether the dude is white or not should NEVER to an issue

  • jhill

    Nick Miller on the roster all year.

    No backup CB signed after Bowie went on IR.

    Lawton, the only FB on the roster.

    No backup OGs on the roster AT ALL.

    Not one KR on the roster.

    A few of the CRAZY personell moves this season.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    New Englandraider Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 10:51 am
    kell i didnt call u a racist, u made the statement that we’re not getting on frye cuz he is wht. stupid thing to say. we all want our players to do well. whether they’re black, white, hispanic, hawaiian, or a fuggin smurf. i’ll say it again, im a white man. i grew up in the projects, ive got friends of all kinds of backrounds. people r people dude and if the qb sux. say he sux. if he plays well say he played well. whether the dude is white or not should NEVER to an issue
    ————————–
    Agreed. My comments weren’t directed at you, or people like you. But the KKK wing of the Nation.

  • new englandraider

    in fact i’ll do u one better kell, i think frye has made some pretty stupid throws in his 1st 2 starts. 1st pick in denver game, he just threw a pop fly. yep stupid. but he had his moments too. i’d rather have seen jruss start. only because i think its more probable that he will be here next yr and not frye. id like to see either grads or jruss with a healthy and better oline. and a healthy chaz and murphy starting at wr

  • RaiderRockstar

    Frye passed for over 325 yards. he completed over 57 percent of his passes

    0 TD’s and 4 INT’s in his last 2 starts, yet somehow seems to still be better than JaWalrus

    odd, isn’t it ???

  • raidertbone

    Frye is white; JRuss is black. Neither one is a starting NFL quarterback. Racism doesn’t factor in when the talent is not there — they both suck! There – that should even the playing field, a little!

  • http://http://www.mensa.org/ Raiders Grief Counselor Albert Bigelow Paine

    Next season’s QBs going into training camp. Russel, Losman, Grossman, and Gradkowski.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Work ethic is one thing, talent is another. The guy with no talent winds up coaching.

    The Talented guy can learn work ethic.

  • new englandraider

    anyone know which 2 divisions we’ll be playing next season? afc south and nfc west perhaps?

  • raidertbone

    # new englandraider Says:
    December 28th, 2009 at 10:58 am

    anyone know which 2 divisions we’ll be playing next season? afc south and nfc west perhaps?
    _________________________________

    Everything is conjecture right now. We won’t know the new projected schedule rotation for another couple of months. Until it is released by the NFL, don’t believe anything you may hear … everybody’s just guessing!

  • new englandraider

    i dont think we can accurately asses any of our qb’s. i think grads played the best. obviously. but he did play with our #1 receiver and our preseason projected starting oline. jruss had to play with patchwork oline and for the most part 2 rookie wideouts. frye has had to play now with patchwork oline. our line has been horrible at times this year. outside of gallery we have 1 legitimate starter on oline. mario. hopefully we can re-sign grads, and we’ll see what the little flea can do with a healthy oline a seasones murphy and a healthy chaz. im not ready to give up on jruss but i do think grads gives us a better chance to win. we shall see