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Raiders enter toughest part of schedule after brutal loss

Playing the New York Jets and New England Patriots in back-to-back weeks wasn’t going to be easy under any circumstances. Now, Raiders coach Hue Jackson gets the unenviable task of rallying his troops on the heels of a fall-from-ahead 38-35 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
The Raiders allowed touchdowns to the Bills offense on all five of the Bills’ second-half possessions and failed to hang on to what seemed an insurmountable lead.
Raiders coach Hue Jackson was hopeful of returning to Oakland with an unblemished record, a locker room full of confident players and thousands of fans eager to climb aboard the Build-A-Bully Express.
Those hopes were dashed when the Bills turned a fourth-and-goal play into a game-winning touchdown. The Raiders came close to pulling out the victory on a Hail Mary pass from Jason Campbell to rookie wide reciever Denarius Moore on the final play of the game.
In the end, Jackson is left with the consolation of knowing his offense played well, he can rely upon Moore, veteran receiver Derek Hagan and that his defense needs to find a way to get consistent pressure on the quarterback and get off the field.

*Much has been written about Moore in these spaces the past seven weeks or so, about how he was the best player in training camp for the Raiders.
Yet, no one was going to take Moore serioulsy until he performed in a regular-season game. Mission accomplisheed for Moore.
He caught five passes for 146 yards and one touchdown, executed the back-end of a double reverse for 25 yards and almost came away with the ball for a game-winning touchdown.
Jackson summed it up best early on in camp when he said that the game doesn’t seem too big for Moore. Indeed, there is nothing about Moore that indicates he is a rookie.
He caught everything he got his hands on, including a 50-yard pass for a touchdown in double coverage that gave the Raiders a 35-31 lead late in the fourth quarter.
For quotes from Moore on his breakout game, read beat writer Jerry McDonald’s game story in a little while. I was not at the game and have no access to player and coach quotes.

*Moore wasn’t the only wide receiver to make a huge impression. Veteran Derek Hagan was activated for the first time this season in light of the Raiders being without the services of receivers Jacoby Ford (hamstring), Darrius Heyward-Bey (knee) and Louis Murphy (groin/hamstring).
He caught five passes for 61 yards and performed the way he did throughout training camp and Oakland’s four exhibition games, when he was their leading receiver.
It will be interesting to see how Jackson uses his receivers once Ford, Murphy and Heyward-Bey are healthy. That might come as soon as next Sunday in the home-opener against the New York Jets.

*Quarterback Jason Campbell had a quiet but spectacular day throwing the ball. He completed 23 of 33 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns.
The lone blemish came on the final play of the game, when his Hail Mary pass into the end zone was intercepted. He finished with an impressive 108.5 passer rating.
Numerous times, Campbell guided the Raiders on sustained drives, completing key passes on third down that kept alive the drives. He also converted a third-and-one play and scored a touchdown on quarterback sneaks.

*According to STATS LLC, the Bills became the first team to score touchdowns on all five second-half possessions since it started keeping track of such things in 1993.
On those drives, the Bills piled up 366 yards on 40 plays. In doing so, the Bills overcame a 21-3 halftime deficit and improved to 2-0. They have scored 79 points in two games.

*The Raiders felt as if they were on to something when they held the Denver Broncos to 38 yards rushing Monday night.
The Bills rushed for 217 yards, including 43 on one run by running back Fred Jackson in the third quarter. The Bills averaged an astonishing 8.7 yards per rush.

*There was some concern about how the Raiders would respond to playing a game on the East Coast only six days after a road game against the Denver Broncos.
That turned out to be a non-issue, as the Raiders jumped to a 21-3 halftime lead and appeared headed toward their first 2-0 start since the 2002 season.
It’s possible that the long flight and playing three time zones away from home caught up with the Raiders in the second half, though.

*Running back Darren McFadden turned in another fine showing on the heels of his 150-yard rushing performance against the Broncos.
McFadden accounted for 143 yards offense and two of Oakland’s five touchdowns. Overall, the Raiders rushed for 131 yards, but only at 4.4 per attempt.
A second-half fumble that was recovered by the Bills led to one of the Bills’ five touchdowns and overshadowed McFadden’s solid play.

*Raiders cornerback Chris Johnson had a game he just as soon would forget ever happened.
The Bills went after him time and again, especially in the second half, when Johnson was lined up against receiver Stevie Johnson.
In the end, Johnson had a chance to be the hero. He had his hands on a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass in the end zone, only to have it knocked away by Donald Jones.
Johnson had his fair share of Oakland’s eight penalties, as well.
Fellow cornerback Stanford Routt intercepted a pass for Johnson in the first half, and he also broke up a pass at the goal line. That apparently was enough for the Bills to stay away from Routt and go after Johnson.

*The Raiders played penalty-free football until midway through the second quarter. It appeared as if the added emphasis upon reducing the penalties that plagued them the first game was paying dividends.
Lo and behold, the Raiders committed eight for 85 yards in the final 2 1/2 quarters and several of those helped the Bills keep alive drives and get back in the game.

*Raiders middle linebacker Rolando McClain rebounded from a game in which he went without a tackle to post a team-high 10 against the Bills. He also broke up three passes.
However, stats oftentimes are misleading, as was the case with McClain’s overall play today. He missed several tackles throughout the game and struggled in pass coverage, at times, too.

*Fitzpatrick attempted 46 passes against the Raiders without being sacked. This, against a Raiders defense that entered the game tied for the league lead with five sacks.
The credit goes to the Bills offensive line for executing their assignments well and throughout the game, the Bills for running quick-hitting plays that didn’t give the Raiders much time to get to Fitzpatrick, and the Raiders unwillingness to blitz often.
The Raiders blitzed quite often against the Broncos, and it paid off time and again. The few blitzes that were called by defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan on Sunday most times were with two players who seemed more content with taking up blockers and not getting to Fitzpatrick.

*Rookie running back Taiwan Jones touched the ball for the first time in a regular-season game. It came on a run in the first half that netted 4 yards. He didn’t touch the ball the rest of the game.

*Strong safety Tyvon Branch also came up empty on a pass that should have been intercepted. Fitzpatrick’s pass went right through Branch’s hands in the end zone and into the hands of tight end Scott Chandler for a touchdown.

*The injury to Ford necessitated Nick Miller pulling double duty as the punt and kick returner. He, too, had a rather forgettable afternoon.
Miller averaged only 15.3 yards on his four kick returns — Ford is the regular kick returner — and 9.5 yards on his two punt returns. Twice, he slipped on kick returns and was stopped shy of the 20-yard line.

*Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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Steve Corkran

  • RaiderRetribution

    SnB 1441, I do agree with you.

    i’m just say’n.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Some observations about Hue’s play calling.

    Have we ever seen so many QB sneaks ? I’m all for getting a first down or touchdown the easiest way possible in short yardage situations, but feel like we might be going to the well a bit too often with all the sneaks.

    Hue’s favorite play and a staple of his offense appears to be the reverse. The reverse was the closest thing we had to an ‘identity’ play last year, and Hue seems to do a nice job drawing them up. Especially liked the play incorporating Taiwan yesterday and think that might pay dividends down the line.

    TD pass play to DMAC on the right flank was very similar to the one on which Reese scored in Denver.

    Screen passes employed so far have been ever so slightly out of synch, but still quite effective. We will break some long gains on these.

  • raidertalk

    Bottom line is that if we stop them once we can go into ball-control, but as it was, we could not afford not to take points off the board in the second half.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    RaiderRetribution Says:
    September 19th, 2011 at 12:01 pm
    I do think the Raiders having to play a sunday morning game at 10AM our time, on the road to the opposite corner of America (Houston was able to get a late game playing at Miami, no consiparcy yeah right),
    ================================================
    Conspiracy or not….the result is a friggin loss.

    No one is going to hear those complaints.

    If the Raiders know the deck is stacked against them…they could do themselves a favor and limit the penalties…

  • RaiderRetribution

    When you have no legs, your hand eye coordination does not coordinate as well, it is just like when an NBA player is at the free throw line late in the 4th, when you are exhausted (and remeber we had no minicamps or OTAs), you just can’t hit that 10 foot set shot.

  • The Scummy

    What a stark contrast from last weeks game. Yesterday the Raiders front 4 failed to put “effective pressure” on Fitz. CJ looked worse than last Monday. If R. Woodson can’t correct his lack of performance and penalties, time to look at rotation. Safeties and LB’s missing too many tackles. They are on the ball but a half second too early or late. Once again, penalties are killing them, and especially the ones that extend the opponents drive on 3rd down. Chuck B. needs to pick plays that protect the middle and short passing plays. Much of the Raiders lack of coverage is greatly responsible for Chuck B’s play calling. The same goes for the run defense play calls.

    Hey offense looked good. Passing was far improved, but tip the hat to the O line for allowing JC to stay in that pocket. D. Moore was outstanding! Made JC look really good and boosted his QBR. Hagan should get more play time as well. Miller is Miller. He should of been waived, and I think many of us concur. Run game was good once again, but DMC saw too many touches, while Bush, Reece, and Jones should of saw more touches for greater production and kept DMC’s legs more explosive.

    In conclusion, Chuck B should accept the majority of this epic loss. Lady Luck did not shine on the Raiders on Sunday. Johnson could of redeemed himself w/ that last second INT, but it got swiped out of his hands. Branch could of had the INT to prevent the TD, but tipped it into the receivers hands. Branch had another clean INT and went right through his hands. Those are game changing plays that come maybe once or twice a game for the defense, and failed to capitalize.

  • DMAC

    New post

  • RaiderRockstar

    so…

    Jason Campbell goes 23/33 for 325 yards & 3 TD’s

    McFadden, Bush & Jones rush 25 times for 99 yards (3.96 ypc) & 2 TD’s

    Moore & Hagan instead of DHB, Murphy, Ford or Miller at WR gave us solid play from this unit – how long has it been?

    ROMAC was a tackling machine. Routt intercepted a pass. Ryan Fitz only completed 60 % of his passes. Stevie Johnson left the game on the potential game-winning drive (injured). CJ37 looked like Deion Sanders in the last 2 minutes of the game

    and we still lost!

    who is to blame?

    Chuck B? Hue Jackson?

  • RaiderRetribution

    Penalties killed us in the second half, Mr. Johnson being the biggest culprit of all. He had the interception to seal the victory, he played that pass play near perfectly, and he knows it.

    He needs to b emore aggressive in catching the ball than he is man-handling the opponents WRs, and he knows it.

    btw I noticed DVD hobbling again, is he simply to underweight for the NFL?

  • Plunketthead

    Chris I agree with you all the time but I think getting the players to exucute is more important then Hue drawing up great plays. We can only get away with a handfull at the most. Plus we scored enough to win.

    Defense Players need to tackle and quit miffing. FIVE straight TDs in the second half. We can blame the D scheme where we play back to far when QBs start picking us apart on slants. We have to fix that

  • RaiderRetribution

    AFC offensive rookie of the year, Raiders’ Mr. Moore just became one of the front runners.

    Raiders should have Mr. Jones returning punts and kick-offs.

    This Raiders team knows what it feels like to win, knows what it feels like to lose, knows how to come from behind, knows how to run, knows how to pass and recieve.

    Raiders will defeat the Jets!

  • RaiderRetribution

    Plunkett, it seems the Raiders D is always weak against the slant.

    I think the Raiders might need to consider moving Mr. McClain to the outside and Mr. Groves to the middle.

  • RaiderRetribution

    Mr. Wimbley needs to show up.

  • bcz24

    btw I noticed DVD hobbling again, is he simply to underweight for the NFL?
    *******************
    He did something to his knee, I was sitting 5 rows away from him when they bandaged up what appeared to be a significant cut on it, and he only played 1 play after that.

  • CJ Legend 34

    Our team as a whole seems to be getting better but individulas have to get mentally stronger.

    The real good temas in the league don’t have mental lapses as much as we do.

  • Roch R

    Rolando McClain had a BAD game. The second half slide, can largely be attributed to big runs right past him.

    Is he hurt? Was he hung over? What is going on with this guy?

    Quite frankly the winning TD pass was his man. Not only that Nelson took him to school for most of the game in the pass coverage dept.

    Mr. McClain, you need to take a hard look in the mirror. You were terrible yesterday.

  • Tricky70390

    If I remember correctly McClain was a factor on that last Bills drive until the DB’s started giving up those 3rd and 4th downs again.

    Watch the tape if you don’t believe me.

  • Raiderbuck

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/san-diego-chargers-west-coast-teams-lose-going-east-091911

    Since this blog isn’t updating – here is a short read. I like to call it “salt in the wound”

  • justusgod

    THE RAIDERS ALWAYS HAVE THE TOUGHESTschedule THATS WHY WE ARE THE RAIDERS THE LEAGE HATES US.\, WILL WIN, THE RAIDERS ARE BACK, WE JUST GOT ARE ONE LOSE OUTTA THE WAY, PEOPLE STILL THINK WERE WEAK’ THATS THERE PROBLEM’

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