Big difference in Raiders is at point of attack

Of course it hurts that Nnamdi Asomugha and Zach Miller won’t be suited up when the Raiders host the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday.

But its worth pointing out that neither player was a dominant figure in either of the Raiders last two wins. Miller helped get the Denver rout started with a 43-yard touchdown catch against a blown coverage. Asomugha was Asomugha, covering his man while passes usually sailed in a different direction.

The real heroes for Oakland were the offensive and defensive lines, which put together back-to-back games unmatched by any in recent club history.

One of the big concerns coming out of training camp was the fundamental issue of blocking and tackling and winning the battle at the line of scrimmage. The Raiders haven’t done that well for the better part of the last seven-plus seasons and it’s showed up in the won-loss record.

Which is why the Denver and Seattle games were such a revelation. Coach Tom Cable said the only games that even remotely compare in terms of controlling the action up front were the consecutive wins to close out the 2008 season against Houston and Tampa Bay.

Games that impressed Al Davis enough that he eventually made Cable the head coach instead of the interim head coach.

There are some instances where statistics can tell a story, and Oakland’s work at the point of attack is all over the last two games beyond the combined final score of 92-17.

Like in 91 carries for 567 at 6.2 yards per carry and six touchdowns against 36 carries for 122 yards at 3.4 yards per carry and zero touchdowns.

Like in a time of possession advantage of 74:52 to 45:18.

Like in 12 sacks recorded against four sacks allowed.

You want that old silver and black nostalgia, it’s written all over those statistics, because the Raiders were bigger, stronger and tougher. They went out and imposed their will up front, and the Broncos and Seahawks were helpless to do anything about it.

Kansas City is a much more difficult opponent in that regard. The Chiefs run block as well as any line in the league and have rushed for more than 200 yards in three straight games.

Thomas Jones was a terrific acquisition and had considerably success running into the heart of the Raiders defense while a member of the Jets.

The Chiefs defense is ranked seventh against the run and giving up just 3.8 yards per carry.

So while it’s possible the outcome could hinge on a pass play Asomugha could have covered, or a key first down lost by the Raiders because Miller isn’t there to catch it, more likely the Raiders will win or lose because they win at the line of scrimmage.

The reason Darren McFadden, Michael Bush, Marcel Reece and Darrius Heyward-Bey have had some big moments of late and Jason Campbell has been coolly efficient is because the offensive line made it possible. Oakland’s defensive line, Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly and Matt Shaughnessy in particular, have provided highlight reel stuff not seen for the last decade, albeit against the Broncos and Seahawks.

Do it against the Chiefs Sunday and things get really interesting.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=eb53t3&s=5&hid=3&tag=my+pool Lynn from Snot

    We are thin at TE and WR the RBs are going to have to pick up the slack, maybe more screens or dumpoffs .

  • Dhidee99

    97.The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    November 6th, 2010 at 12:40 pm
    patron gay
    I know that fool but my girl and her friends are drinking with us

  • Guy

    Wouldn’t it be great if Barnes caught a TD? He’d be our next great TE haha

  • priesttj

    OK that’s fair that’s your own opinion but in all honestly any and all comparisons to Russell’s failures is a liitle shortsighted IMO. Campbell has shown that he is dedicated and has shown even before he got here that his career is lightyears ahead of Russells. While I’ll say Russell is extremely talented it hadn’t translated to much in comparison. I put Campbell based on what I saw the last 2 weeks in the middle of the league. Now he can solidify that or undo it in the coming weeks.

  • Plunketthead

    “I know that fool but my girl and her friends are drinking with us”

    I dont know if I should laugh or cry

    MR what did you do?

  • Dhidee99

    IF JC IS Around Next YEAR in the Same system we might see some improvement. lol

  • Plunketthead

    What is Patron?

  • mistic1

    Priestt, Snb,

    im like you, i only want the silver and black to return the rightful spot atop of the nfl.
    I was really firm in my belief of jc becuase i ha e watched very closley throughout his career. I will admit he has been one of my favorites, because of his skilks. I have always maintained with talent around him and some continuity with the same system he could be a really good if not great player.

    I dont blame anyone for not being on his side, especially in light of his early shkwing this season, as i doubt that most peopl have followed him like i have.

    I respect anyone that takes it and makes an honest assesment based on performance. That is fair. I have zero respect for peolpe who use media hype, bleacher report articles, or the old my uncle lives in d.c to make a case against him.

    At least you two are being fair, this is how i tell who the real fans on this blog, the impostors are everywhere!

    Go Raiders!!!!!!

  • Dhidee99

    Pictures with Budlight girls last week did not go over well LOL

  • Dhidee99

    107.Plunketthead Says:
    November 6th, 2010 at 12:56 pm
    What is Patron?


  • mistic1


    I did give bruce extra credit for the bungle game, he hasnt proven squat in his n career other than the fact that he can be a servicable back up.

  • Dhidee99

    110.Dhidee99 Says:
    November 6th, 2010 at 12:59 pm
    107.Plunketthead Says:
    November 6th, 2010 at 12:56 pm
    What is Patron?



  • Plunketthead

    You call your girlfriend “your girl”?
    Thats why I didnt know what to do with your statement.

  • Kirk

    The old cliche is true…

    The game is won in the trenches.

  • Plunketthead

    Unless your teams QB is named Peyton or Philip or Kurt

  • Raiders for life

    Mystic1, you have a good point about JC. The only thing that I knew of him was that the Redskin O-line tried to get him killed. I had high hopes of him coming to the Raiders and thought he would hit the ground running. That didn’t exactly happen. When Bruce took over I think a lot of people got excited, at least I did when he won the Rams game. If JC has a solid game Sunday everyone will jump on the Jason bandwagon and AD will help Cable decide who the starter is.

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    Patron is Gay? huh, never saw that…Ricky Martin is butch!

  • ArchiveTony

    mistic1 Says:
    November 6th, 2010 at 10:32 am

    People please stop trying to find ways to knock campbell. He will continue to be up & down, this is his first year in a brand new system. It takes 3-4 years to master an offense.
    that is beyond ignorant.
    the average span of an NFL player is 4 years, and you think a guy who’s been around as long as campbell has should get a couple more years to figure it out?
    you take stupid pills? is this an act?
    no one can be this ignorant.
    is it possible?

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    I still think our roster is pretty thin. Hue and Marshall are doing a great job of pulling a smoke and mirrors trick with this group. Easier to pull it of with a lead.

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    Ignorance is bliss! ooooo yeah!

  • 100PercentRaider

    What he is saying is that a QB has to know what EVERYONE on the field is doing, whereas most players just have to worry about themselves. Peyton is as good as he is partially because he has played in the same offense his entire career. JC is the opposite, a new system every year.

  • http://raiderchaos.blogspot.com RaiderChaos

    Ive noticed a lot of you on here talking about how this is your first game time experience. If that’s the case, you should read this!


  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    So thats why Rich Gannon took 4 years…errr 1 year to develop!

  • 100PercentRaider

    Gannon sat on the bench for years running the Holmgren West Coast offense that Gruden ran. Besides, the first year Gannon was the started, the Raiders were the #1 rushing team in the NFL. After that, once he was comfortable, they went to more of a passing offense. It may not take 4 years, but its pretty clear if you look at QBs that the longer they are in a system, the more successful they are.

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    Except for Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, Akili Smith, Jamarcus, etc. etc…some kids get it, others don’t. If by the 2nd year it isnt working, its time for change…

  • http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ KoolKell


    Yep, the Front 7 gas been real stout lately. Really impressed with Lamar Houston holding his edge. And Jared Veldheer & Gallery opening up the old US Highway 63.

  • 100PercentRaider

    JC isnt those players. JC is a legitimate average QB, a guy who is dedicated to his job, and will improve if given some consistency in his offense. Going back to college, he has NEVER had the same offense 2 years in a row.

  • ArchiveTony

    # 100PercentRaider Says:
    November 6th, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    What he is saying is that a QB has to know what EVERYONE on the field is doing, whereas most players just have to worry about themselves. Peyton is as good as he is partially because he has played in the same offense his entire career. JC is the opposite, a new system every year.
    yeah, a qb has to know what everyone else is doing, to a point. That “takes time” is what applies to rookies, not players who have been around as long as Campbell.
    kurtwarner stepped in and won a super bowl, after being in the arena league.
    look at brees with N.O.
    look at Farve switching teams, and getting one play away from the super bowl. can go on and on.
    That’s BS you need x amount of years. You don’t.

  • 100PercentRaider

    Brees was in NO for 3-4 years before they won the SB. Warner was in AZ for atleast 2. Favre is running the same offense that he ran in Green Bay. JC has played 6 games here. All those guys have pro bowl recievers on the outside and that helps too, especially when it comes to trusting your recievers.

  • ArchiveTony

    interesting how the grad haters state he will never be more than a weak backup.
    while those same ones run the “give JC 2-3 years before u decide”
    same ones make excuses why grad won, while making same excuses why JC lost.
    remember the scared timid like a mouse buttslide from JC?
    remember the self sack, not getting touched?
    rmember the slide one yard short of a 1st, when JC had the room?
    I do. that you don’t teach. that timid play is why he was viewed as a meek qb in wash.

  • ArchiveTony

    # 100PercentRaider Says:
    November 6th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Brees was in NO for 3-4 years before they won the SB. Warner was in AZ for atleast 2. Favre is running the same offense that he ran in Green Bay. JC has played 6 games here. All those guys have pro bowl recievers on the outside and that helps too, especially when it comes to trusting your recievers.======
    Warner was a backup with the rams when the starter got injured, and he stepped in and won a super bowl that year.
    same offense? what? point was mistic the moron stated JC needs years more to get it. to know where the players should be. brees didn’t need years to immediately make impact. nor did farve, or warner, or montana for that matter

  • ArchiveTony

    coincidentially the same posters that state JC needs years to develop, so lay off, are the same ones who stated russell needs years to develop, so lay off.
    while, again, saying grad sucks, because he didn’t light it up immediately, every game.
    like was pointed out, cable and hue both are aware grad is easily a better option.

  • 100PercentRaider

    I see your point on those plays. But you know what? Bruce taking on a defender instead of sliding, separating his shoulder and missing a month does not help the team at all. All it does is give the fans a reason to like him. JC protected himself, punted, and lived to fight another day. Thats his MO. Take care of the ball, survive, let other ppl win. Isnt that we are asking him to do? Plus, his mobility the last 3 games, SF included, has been much better.

    Honestly, I just want to see the Raiders win. I met Bruce, hes a great guy, I think he deserves to be an NFL starter, but JC can get the job done too.

    I never supported Russell.

  • 100PercentRaider

    JC is playing just fine right now, and so is Bruce, my point is, I think if we were to have both QBs next year in the same system, you would really see the difference btw Grads and JC.

  • 100PercentRaider

    Warner in Stl had a HoF RB, a HoF WR, another perennial Pro Bowl WR, and one of the best offensive minds of his time. Not to mention an All Pro, HoF LT. Please. We are not the 1999 Rams.

  • SnB Production

    JC has work to do…but if you think Gradkowski has “arrived” you haven’t watched a lot of good football.

    Here’s the bottom line.

    Both QBs have struggled mightily and none have just taken the job.

    Campbell is on the cusp of taking the job because the team is 3-1 in the last four with him on the field.

    Gradkowski is not on the cusp because:
    1. He’s injured…a lot!
    2. He’s 1-2
    3. 52% completion and 4tds to go with 4ints

    Anything else you guys are saying is Walt Disney garbage.

    The QB situation will sort itself out!

  • Dhidee99

    Chaz get your butt on the field! stop all this I got an Owwwy! thats monkey crap they pay to play football not games Uconn sucks who knew they had football players there? dont ever draft another moron from uconn or Maryland Al

  • 100PercentRaider

    Schilens played at San diego state. branch is from uconn

  • Dhidee99

    Thanks for the Correction

  • Glutten for Punishment

    we win this for sure!!!! 23 to 17

  • turner42

    All the JC haters keep bringin up the Tenn slide…What about Grads letting the play clock run out on the 1 in AZ, which led to a FG, and ultimately the loss?
    Grad = Hostettler a great change of pace back up. Give teams time to prepare for him, not so good. Giants won the SB with Hoss because he was so different from Simms. What happened when the Raiders gave him a chance as starter, not so good.
    Its a great situation we have, a solid starting qb in JC, and a good back up in Grads. Can we please end this tired debate? Stop hating to hate, and just chear the wins bby!

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