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Raiders had much better players

It’s been repeated so often over the years the cliche’ ought to be “The Talent of the Raiders” instead of “The Greatness of the Raiders.”

It’s also been my contention that over the last seven years, the whole “talent” aspect with regard to the Raiders has been a crock. It’s just something to say to pass the time, as in, “The Raiders, well, we all know how talented they are, but . . . ”

Except that for the most part, you don’t find many Raiders going to other teams and excelling. Being big and fast isn’t talent if it doesn’t translate to football. It’s not like teams have been just waiting to see who the Raiders cut, salivating at the thought of sifting through their leftovers.

Based on what transpired in a 32-17 win over the Chicago Bears Saturday night, however, the talent talk has some merit in 2010.

The Bears will probably amount to no more than an also-ran in the NFC North, well below the Minnesota-Green Bay standard but better than Detroit. They’ll be hoping for .500, just like optimists have pegged the Raiders.

Except when the pair of .500 hopefuls met on the field, the Raiders had decidedly more muscles to flex than did the Bears. They were bigger, faster, better, stronger, more explosive. And that was with Richard Seymour and Nnamdi Asomugha, the two biggest names on their defense, not even suited up. Starting cornerback Chris Johnson sat it out. Same goes for running back Darren McFadden and wide receivers Chaz Schilens and Darrius Heyward-Bey, all counted on to be important parts of this year’s team.

The Bears got two first-half touchdowns on an 89-yard burst by Matt Forte and a fourth-down coverage blunder which resulted in a 22-yard pass from Jay Cutler to Johnnie Knox. If the Raiders had cashed in as much as they should have with good field position, they’d have won by 35.

By halftime, which amazingly found the Raiders trailing 14-13 on the strength of two plays by the Bears, Oakland had 211 yards of total offense _ halfway to 400.

You know how long it’s been since the Raiders gained 400 yards in a regular-season game?

Oct. 23, 2005. The Raiders beat the Buffalo Bills 38-17 and gained 416 yards. That was 74 games ago.

Judging from what was on display against the Bears, that streak ends this year.

Some notes and observations as the Raiders hit the halfway point of the preseason, with the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks still to play:

– Coach Tom Cable was crowing during the week about Kamerion Wimbley turning back the run against Dallas. Wimbley got pinched on Matt Forte’s 89-yard touchdown run, but was a beast rushing the passer with four sacks, primarily as a nickel rusher. He’s not going to do this every week _ and possibly ever again _ but when was the last time you saw a Raiders linebacker be such a presence, regardless of the situation?

Wimbley also blanketed tight end Greg Olsen on a wheel route in pass defense, which wasn’t supposed to be his strength.

– Hue Jackson has the Raiders running screen passes better than any Raiders offensive coordinator in years. If McFadden can’t do some serious damage with the way Oakland executes this play, something’s seriously wrong.

– Jason Campbell orchestrated a beautiful first drive for a touchdown, and was 5-for-15 after the first possession. He also threw an ill-advised interception in the face of a strong rush.

But Campbell also showed a good feel for the pocket, stepping up inside and getting passes off when JaMarcus Russell would have crumpled into a heap and said “uncle.” He got some good plays out of the beyond-green receiving corps and lost one third down conversion on a drop by Louis Murphy.

– Love the way Michael Bush ran from scrimmage (8 carries, 26 yards) and with the third-and-19 screen for 24 yards that set up the opening score.

– Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly and cornerback Stanford Routt, two players I wrote about earlier this week who have pay grades that far outweigh their production to date, were impressive.

– Considering the influx of linebackers, which included the shift of Trevor Scott fulltime to the weak side, I gave Slade Norris zero chance of making the roster. Not sure what his chances are now, but after a fumble recovery for at touchdown and a blocked put out of the end zone, it’s better than zero.

– Yamon Figurs got his chance to shine after a good week of practice and didn’t exactly run with it. A 1.7 average on punt returns, 20.5 on kickoffs and no receptions.

– Yes, it was a basic center field interception which was helped by a terrific pass rush, but coaches just love guys that manage to be around the ball, and Michigan safety Stevie Brown has shown that gift since his first day of practice.

– Other than Marcel Reece going 40 yards with a screen pass, not much to distinguish the muddled fullback competition. Some of you who have speculated the Raiders are watching “Hard Knocks” to see who the Jets cut to get to the 53-man roster may be on to something.

– Cable is going to be mad about the pre-snap penalties on the offensive line. Guaranteed. It’s a direct reflection on him as a coach. He keeps harping on it, the line is his specialty, and it keeps happening anyway.

– Jackson’s addition of blocking schemes other than zone will make the Raiders a better team inside the 20. I like the way they powered their way to the 2-yard Boller run on a 10-play, 51-yard drive that put them up 27-14. A 14-yard pass to Michael Bennett and a 14-yard completion to rookie Jacoby Ford got Oakland to the 21.

From there, they ran it six straight times right at the Bears until Boller scored.

– Center Samson Satele left the game with an ankle sprain of undetermined severity. Seymour sat out with soreness in his triceps, and Asomugha felt ill. (Frankly, sitting them even if they were fine would be a good move).

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • edward teach

    Thec07,

    If I’m AJ Smith and I’ve seen what the Raiders have done to Cutler and Romo the last two weeks, I’m on the phone RIGHT NOW with McNeill’s agent.

    I am, of course, hoping that his stubborn pride keeps him from doing that.

  • mcskinnnylegs

    ILL GET U THE BALL DONT WORRY . THATS IF THERES NO LAG

  • mcskinnnylegs

    LAG AGAIN

  • mcskinnnylegs

    I CANT PICK PLAY IT LAGGING SOOO BAD

  • mcskinnnylegs

    WTF WITH THELAG

  • mcskinnnylegs

    LOLLUCKY

  • http://atm Raider O

    Wide open!! Me me!! LOL

    What!!!!!!

  • http://atm Raider O

    My bad!

  • http://atm Raider O

    I had him beat!!

  • mcskinnnylegs

    DUDE IM REBOOTING MY ROUTER U SHOULD DO SAME TOO MUCH LAG HAD 2 QUIT IT SHOUKD WORK ILL B BACK ON 2 MIN

  • http://atm Raider O

    Where us Rasta?

  • mcskinnnylegs

    I KNOW I COULDNT EVEN CALL PLAYS OR THROW CAUS OF THE LAG ILL BE BACK 2 MIN

  • mcskinnnylegs

    REBBOTING ROUTER

  • mcskinnnylegs

    REBOOTING*

  • BigTed707

    Mcsk, at least turn off your caps man.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Thx bro!!! I’m getting a HS!

  • Raiderbuck

    Nice that Fox sports only had Forte’s run as a highlight and the headline on sports illustrated states Forte had 106 yards. No mention that the Raiders played good solid football for once.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Lol

  • BigLefty

    There is NO way both Goethel and S Brown make the 53

    one if not both is headed to the practice squad.

    Rick Brown is the most versatile LB on the team and is a special teams beast. K Wimbley stayed with the tight ends in coverage down field twice to prove he has some coverage skills too.

    Trevor Scott looked so lost out there. He made tackles on back to back plays but we never heard from him again….Mark my words R Brown will be starting at Weak side LB by the second game, because they will get tired of T Scotts miscues.

  • J Wiggle

    Won’t be long before BEAST Campbell takes over the RG spot. VERY Physical Olineman. Made a rookie mistake that gave up a sack on Boeller. Didn’t pick up the DE on the stunt and stayed engaged with his man. Made up for it with the sneak from Boeller for the TD though. Dude plowed that hole wide open.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Dude, it’s ok! Start a new a one, but don’t be QB due to lag.

  • J Wiggle

    Jacoby Ford looks like a player. Top 5 WR spots are set with Chaz, Murphy, DHB, JLH, and Ford. Not sure who the 6th guy will be who stays on the inactive list each week. Probably Watkins.

  • mcskinnnylegs

    o ok ill try that 1 last time didnt read that b4 last 1

  • http://atm Raider O

    J,

    You should join us bro.

  • mcskinnnylegs

    j u have madden?

  • http://atm Raider O

    Let’s do it. If you want you can be RB and I can switch to WR.

  • mcskinnnylegs

    i sent invite o

  • mcskinnnylegs

    jon the gae raider o i sent inv

  • http://atm Raider O

    It’s on!! I hate the steelers!!

  • SaintKaufman

    Just to be clear…
    You guys are using this blog as an instant messenger whilst playing an online game??

    Geek-out smellas! :D

  • mcskinnnylegs

    yup

  • mcskinnnylegs

    lol yup

  • mcskinnnylegs

    we playing with the raiders so we can do that

  • mcskinnnylegs

    dude im still lagging ur not?

  • mcskinnnylegs

    lol no one plaing qb i think u picked any so u gotta be qb i think

  • J Wiggle

    There is NO way both Goethel and S Brown make the 53

    ——————————————————-

    Goethel is on the roster. No doubt about it. Already on 1st team ST and he has done nothing that indicates he can’t take Ekejubiah’s spot.

    Brown has a good chance to replace Hiram Eugene.

    Not sure how you tie the two together as to who makes the roster.

  • J Wiggle

    You guys are using this blog as an instant messenger whilst playing an online game??

    ——————————————————

    Pretty pathetic O!

    Put on the damn headset and talk to each other.

  • http://atm Raider O

    I don’t gave a HS J, but I’m buying one soon.

  • severeraiderz

    Lefty is gonna eat his words about Brown taking Scotts spot by week 2

  • severeraiderz

    There is a chance that every pick will make this team….that’s a great draft!!!

  • http://atm Raider O

    Smoke session!!!!!

  • http://Noknuckleheads! 909RaiderLifer

    You guys need to get a room…..

  • BigLefty

    Film doesn’t lie Mr. Severe

  • mcskinnnylegs

    madden 11 is terrible

  • mcskinnnylegs

    wayyyyyyyy 2 much lag

  • mcskinnnylegs

    friggin lag off line in a franchise game its retarded

  • fat kidd

    maybe your madden 11 wr has fatigue!!!!

  • http://atm Raider O

    Rasta,

    Smoke my brother and keep smoking till you have lag too!

    Legalize it!!

  • winston99

    I am geting excited too for this year and I RARELY allow that to happen because I am always let-down and disappointed. EVERY YEAR of the last 7 people say”but no, this year is REALLY DIFFERENT.” I’m not doing it, but inside I might be a little. DAMN ME!

    By the way only 7 players on the practice squad. The majority of the players will be cut outright.

    The defense has pomise but I won’t get my hopes up for the team as a whole because of our MISERABLE offensive line.

  • lefty12

    The only reason R.Brown makes the team is ST play.