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Peyton back on top of game in time for Raiders

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 at 4:05 pm in Oakland Raiders.

News, notes, quotes and observations Thursday as the Raiders prepare to face Indianapolis:

— Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has recovered nicely since his three-game stretch which (gasp!) actually removed him from the race as the league’s Most Valuable Player.

Manning threw 11 interceptions in three games, the Colts were on the cusp of not making the playoffs for the first time in eight years, and the one of the league’s ambassadors as well as an advertising icon seemed to be on the downside of a brilliant career.

Not so fast.

Indianapolis is back in control of its destiny, having beaten Tennessee (30-28) and Jacksonville (30-24) with an 8-6 record, during which time Manning is 54 of 74 for 548 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.

The two-time defending league MVP will give way to Tim Brady or Michael Vick this year, but it probably has as much to do with an injury-ravaged supporting cast than signs of slippage from Manning.

“Somebody asked me if I was in a slump, and I said, well, yes, maybe I was,’’ Manning told the NFL Network after beating the Titans. “But I’d been on about an eight- and a half-year streak before that.’’

Manning already has career highs in attempts (608) and completions (407) with two games to play and is completing 66.9 percent of his passes.

The Colts are running the ball better of late, but have struggled on the ground and have often played from behind, necessitating an offense even more pass-heavy than usual.

Beyond the sheer numbers is Manning’s ability to dictate the pace of a game. He’ll dominate the game from the line of scrimmage, tricking defenses into having too many men on the field. He can run a two-minute drill to come from behind or a four-minute offense to kill the clock with equal effectiveness.

“I think when you play Peyton Manning, you’ve got to do what you do best,’’ defensive coordinator John Marshall said. “It’s been my experience that you can almost screw yourself up. You can almost get too much into disguising and trying to trick him with this coverage or that.

“Once you go through a series with him you’re not going to trick him anymore. He’s wired into you. So you’ve got to go out and play. You get matched up and play.’’

Here’s how Manning assessed the Oakland defense talking to Indianapolis reporters:

“It’s a pretty classic Oakland Raiders defense. Very aggressive, some great athletes all over the field, a lot of speed, a lot of size. They are playing with a lot of momentum. The Jacksonville game could have easily gone their way. They’re playing at home, are right in thick of the playoff chase as we are, so I know it’s going to be a tough ballgame.’’

– Indianapolis had a 129-yard rushing game from Donald Brown against Jacksonville and gets Joseph Addai back this week, giving the Colts at least a semblance of balance.

But for the most part, it’s been Manning controlling the ball through the air with perennial Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne (99 receptions, 12,47 yards, 5 TDs) and a revolving cast of other receivers.

Austin Collie (54 receptions, 649 yards, 8 TDs) was ruled out for the season after his third concussion and the Colts lost standout Dallas Clark (37-343-3) earlier in the year. When Clark went down, Jacob Tamme was plugged in and has 53 passes for 486 yards.

“I think as long as you’ve got No. 18 driving the car, you can never let your guard down,’’ cornerback Stanford Routt said. “One thing that makes him such a Hall of Famer is that he makes his receivers better.’’

— Turns out Marshall was the defensive line coach in Indianapolis in 1987 when Cable was a replacement player offensive lineman for the Colts.

How good was Cable as a player?

Marshall first said he couldn’t remember, then caught himself, “He was great. Dominant. Big, dominant man.’’

It was so long ago Cable’s memory needs work. He said in a conference call the Colts won all three replacement games, while they actually won two of three.

– Punter Shane Lechler and Richard Seymour, both with hamstring strains, although it sounds the odds of seeing Lechler Sunday are better than seeing Seymour.

Right tackle Langston Walker also didn’t practice and will take a concussion test Friday morning, Cable said.

Lechler has been on the field and took turns throwing to defensive backs today. Seymour wasn’t round during the media window either Wednesday or Thursday and hasn’t been seen in the locker room during media availability.

Cable said of Lechler, “I feel good about it right now. How sure I am, we’ll see tomorrow or Saturday. But I know he’s improving and I feel good about it.’’

As for the level of optimism regarding Seymour, Cable said, “That’s kind of touch and go, still.’’

Those who were limited at practice included cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle), and wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins (ankle). Players listed as injured but with full participation were tight end Zach Miller (foot), cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) and safety Mike Mitchell (ribs).

Cable wouldn’t commit to Nick Miller as his punt return specialist over Higgins, although he had a 22 yard return against Denver. The Raiders are ranked 25th in punt return average at 7.3 per return.

“We’ll see where we are with both of them on Sunday but I thought he did a nice job for sure,’’ Cable said.

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  • 504 Raider

    239.Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 8:55 am
    Pryor sold his charm bracelet so his mama wouldn’t have to answer Delonte West’s phone calls…

    ————————————————————————————————————–

    LMFAO! I should never read this blog while eating. I just had a piece of scrambled egg go out through my nose.

  • DKnight007

    140.buckeyeraider Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 8:19 pm
    ‘Sup fellas.

    NFLN stuck with a lemon tonight. Why the hell is Big Ben Rapistburger still in during 4th qtr? Dudes got a broken foot and a broken nose. The game is in hand.

    Carolina is putrid. Why take the risk?
    Makes no sense to me.

    ^^^^^^^^
    I get a kick how some of these teams have a cake schedule toward the end of the year, like Pitt and the Chargers…..but the Raiders who haven’t made the playoffs in years get J-Ville and Indy, and have to deal with two division foes also??

    Weird…luckliy Denver sucks this year.

  • aig-raiders

    Get pressure on Peyton and keep his a$$ off the field by pounding them into submission is our only chance. You let Peyton gets up 17 points on us and the game is over.

  • DKnight007

    14.The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 4:52 pm
    # DKnight007 Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    12.The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 3:37 pm
    Plunkethead and Nnamdi,

    If the economy’s to blame for the empty seats, what do you guys blame for the empty seats before the 2008 crash? What do you blame for the empty seats in the 1999 season, when America was in its most prosperous time in history?

    ^^^^^^^^
    PSL’S??

    LOL!

    ……….

    Fair enough. That takes care of the late ’90s. What about the time between ending the PSLs in 2005 and the economic crash in the summer of 2008?

    It wasn’t the economy. Granted, Americans should have been tightening the belt, because wages started going down drastically the minute Bush took office, but nonetheless, Americans were spending money like drunken sailors up till the summer of ‘08, everyone had access to credit. Part of what led to the crash in the first place.

    It wasn’t the PSL. It no longer existed. Since 2005 Raider tickets have been available at competitive prices.

    So, riddle me…why were so many games between 2005 and 2008 blacked out?

    Dig down deep, deep, deep into your bag of excuses and let’s see what you can come up with this time. I’ll wait.

    ^^^^^^^
    Old looney man Al’s fault for getting rid of Gruden and putting a piss poor product on the field and going thru coaches like it was his adult senior diapers.

  • PurpleDrank81

    Morning Yall

  • 504 Raider

    On what we should do with our WR situation in the offseason.

    Two guys are expendable: Schilens and JLH

    I wouldn’t mind that Pettis kid and a Veteran. Yeah James Jones like you guys mention is pretty damn good.

    If they don’t have Raider speed I don’t care. There are plenty WR who don’t have Raider speed who get by our DBs time after time. Broncos Lloyd runs a 4.5 and constantly gets open. So does Chargers Gates.

    Pettis: Tall basketball frame and can catch.
    Jones: Physical, precise route runner and can catch.

    These two, along with Ford and Murphy would make JCamp a Pro Bowl alternate. DHB would pave the way for DMAC.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Al drafted a DB in round 2, a RB in round 3 (replace Bush), a WR in round 4 and another DB in round 5.

    And that really wouldn’t be the worst thing.

    Not many trenchmen drafted this year, you can book that.

  • PurpleDrank81

    If we draft a DB in the 2nd then I say we grab Curtis Brown he’s a man coverage guy with speed who can hit

  • 504 Raider

    219.YoungAmerican Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 8:27 am
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/12/24/johnathan-joseph-does-not-mind-the-franchise-tag/

    Joseph might not even hit free agency.

    Raiders might need to bring Routt back by default, unless they decide to move in on Champ Bailey or Eric Wright.

    ————————————————————————————————————–

    I don’t think many corners will get the franchise tag this offseason. Not with Nnamdi and Revis salary involved.

  • DKnight007

    The other WR the Raiders should look at if he falls to Round 2 (which I doubt especially if he has great workouts) is Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin, 6’5, 225, who cna run and catch.

    Needs to work on his route running and still a bit raw….but would be a good 2nd Round pick without a doubt and would have the potential to be a TRUE #1 WR.

  • PurpleDrank81

    Baldwin is great too….I just dont think he’ll fall to the 2nd round

  • YoungAmerican

    Some potential 2nd round targets:

    May fall to the 2nd round:
    C/OG Stephen Wisniewski
    C/OG Mike Pouncey
    WR Michael Floyd
    WR Jonathan Baldwin
    WR Justin Blackmon
    QB Jake Locker

    Likely to be there in the 2nd round:
    OT/OG Darrius Morris
    OT/OG Marcus Cannon
    CB Curtis Brown
    CB Brandon Burton
    CB Davon House
    QB Pat Devlin
    OLB Greg Jones

  • DKnight007

    I would rather see Oakland sign a man style cover corner who also can play zone thru Free Agency instead of drafting a CB in Round 2.

    They have plenty of depth at CB right now, so they can sign a FA if need be to replace Routt, instead of wasting the 2nd Round pick on a CB.

  • PurpleDrank81

    I’ll take Michael Floyd

  • PurpleDrank81

    I honestly think our 2 needs rite now are right guard and a possesion wide out

  • DKnight007

    262.YoungAmerican Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 10:32 am
    Some potential 2nd round targets:

    May fall to the 2nd round:
    C/OG Stephen Wisniewski
    C/OG Mike Pouncey
    WR Michael Floyd
    WR Jonathan Baldwin
    WR Justin Blackmon
    QB Jake Locker

    Likely to be there in the 2nd round:
    OT/OG Darrius Morris
    OT/OG Marcus Cannon
    CB Curtis Brown
    CB Brandon Burton
    CB Davon House
    QB Pat Devlin
    OLB Greg Jones

    ^^^^^^^^
    OT Matt Reynolds may be there in Round 2 and Center Jake Kirkpatrick from TCU may be there as well. DT Sione Fua from Stanford might be there also in Round 2.

  • DKnight007

    I’m starting to think there will be a good chance Boise St WR Austin Pettis may available in Round 3 also.

  • PurpleDrank81

    I hope so

  • YoungAmerican

    Pettis will probably be there in Round 3, yeah. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Al take Titus Young or Chris Owusu in the 4th or 5th round.

  • DKnight007

    265.PurpleDrank81 Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 10:36 am
    I honestly think our 2 needs rite now are right guard and a possesion wide out

    ^^^^^^^
    Well Bruce Campbell is being groomed to be the RG or RT next year without a doubt.

    He should be ready to contribute next year.

    I think they need to look at adding talent to the Center and RT positions.

  • PurpleDrank81

    I like Titus Young but the only thing about him is he’s so small

  • YoungAmerican

    Yeah, Titus Young definitely could use some bulk. But everyone said Chris Johnson was small too, so who knows. As long as he can take a hit I’m not too worried.

  • PurpleDrank81

    Who knows if Bruce will ever get to see the field as RG… He’s sitting behing the terrible Cooper Carlisle. RT should be also be added but I dont see any RT in the draft that I like to much….Free Agent RT???????

  • PurpleDrank81

    Titus Young=Jacoby Ford

    Small Fast Guy picked in the 4th????

  • DKnight007

    265.PurpleDrank81 Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 10:36 am
    I honestly think our 2 needs rite now are right guard and a possesion wide out

    ^^^^^^^
    Well Bruce Campbell is being groomed to be the RG or RT next year without a doubt.

    He should be ready to contribute next year.

    I think they need to look at adding talent to the Center and RT positions.

    Along with adding another talented TE and possesion WR.

    On defense, they need to add talent at DT,CB and maybe another BEAST type OLB.

  • PurpleDrank81

    We gotta pick up a CB in free agency……

  • YoungAmerican

    Joseph, Bailey, and Wright would be options. Joseph would far and away be the best option. Bailey is solid but he’s far beyond his prime. Wright has shown flashes of being a very good player, but also gets burned on occasion. He might be a lateral move if Routt isn’t re-signed. Not sure which one of them would be the less expensive option, though.

  • PurpleDrank81

    I dont know to much about Joseph

  • DKnight007

    274.PurpleDrank81 Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 10:43 am
    Titus Young=Jacoby Ford

    Small Fast Guy picked in the 4th????

    ^^^^^^^^
    I’d rather have Pettis in Round 3. haha

  • PurpleDrank81

    Me Too DKnight

  • YoungAmerican

    Joseph is one of two very solid corners with the Bengals. He’s very frequently left man-on-man with the WR. Solid enough tackler for a CB, and has a nose for the ball.

  • PurpleDrank81

    YA Sign em UP

  • DKnight007

    273.PurpleDrank81 Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 10:42 am
    Who knows if Bruce will ever get to see the field as RG… He’s sitting behing the terrible Cooper Carlisle. RT should be also be added but I dont see any RT in the draft that I like to much….Free Agent RT???????

    ^^^^^^^^^
    I think Matt Reynolds from BYU would be a solid 2nd round pick. He would be able to play RG or RT IMO…..but mainly as a RT.

  • YoungAmerican

    I’d like to have Pettis as a Raider, but I don’t see him as a likely draft pick. In the draft Al tends to go for burners. He only tends to go for wideouts without blazing speed in free agency, and even then he prefers the quicker guys.

  • DKnight007

    I think the main priority for the Raiders this offseason, will be to make sure and keep HUE JACKSON around and RE SIGN as many IN HOUSE free agents that are on the team as possible.

  • DKnight007

    284.YoungAmerican Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 10:52 am
    I’d like to have Pettis as a Raider, but I don’t see him as a likely draft pick. In the draft Al tends to go for burners. He only tends to go for wideouts without blazing speed in free agency, and even then he prefers the quicker guys.

    ^^^^^^^^
    Yeah, but the thing is they already have plenty of burners and team speed….they guys who can catch the ball in traffic on a consistent basis, use their hands to catch the ball and convert first downs to move the chains.

    Pettis would be great fit to the WR corp. He has a different and dangerous type of skill set compared to the others and his skills would compliment the other WR’s.

  • DKnight007

    DT Kendrick Ellis 6’5, 340lbs from Hampton looks like a beast type of DT also, that maybe looked at in Round 2 for the Raiders.

    Look for him to shoot up draft boards though.

  • DKnight007

    Yeah, there looks to be plenty of depth at the CB position for this years upcoming draft.

    No need for the Raiders to pick a CB early on in Round 2.