By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, September 16th, 2012 at 8:53 pm in Oakland Raiders.
In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t make the trip to Miami today, instead spending Saturday and Sunday getting my daughter moved in to her dorm for her freshman year in college.
About the time we were leaving campus, Greg Papa informed us on the radio the Raiders led 10-7. By the time I got home, Reggie Bush had broken loose for scoring runs of 29 and 64 yards and Miami had the game well in hand. (I had the game on my DVR, and caught most of what I missed).
Looked a lot like last year’s debacle in Miami, where the Raiders trailed 34-0 after threee quarters and were barely competitive under Hue Jackson.
Or the one before that in Oakland under Tom Cable, where the Raiders lost 33-17. Or even a little like the one two years earlier in Miami, where the Raiders stayed within 17-15 in terms of the final score but were pushed around physically.
In those four games, Miami has rushed for 880 yards, averaged 5.1 yards per carry, and has nine rushing touchdowns. The Raiders have 155 yards rushing in those games, with a 2.5 average, and zero rushing touchdowns.
The Raiders’ zone scheme is incurring the wrath of the fan base and not without justification. Darren McFadden has 26 rushes for 54 yards in two games. Say what you will about Hue Jackson, but he was the one who rebuilt McFadden’s confidence and got him going. Greg Knapp has a lot of work to do in that regard.
Pretty much every objective the Raiders set out to to meet was a dramatic failure. They failed to run the ball and stop the run. Reggie Bush got 11 yards the first time he carried the ball, and had 133 yards on his last 12 carries.
Holding penalties negated 36 and 24 yards punt returns by Phillip Adams.
The Raiders failed to take the ball away. When they had a key red zone possesion at the end of the first half, they had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski.
With Ron Bartell on the short-term injured reserve list until Oct. 27 at the earliest, rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill first went at Pat Lee and then Joselio Hanson, with Hartline catching nine passes after never before having more than five.
With run-stingy Pittsburgh up next in Oakland, followed by Denver and Peyton Manning in Denver, there are very few reasons to suspect the Raiders will be anything other than 0-4 at the quarter turn based on the first two games of the season.
Some additional opinion and observation . . .
– Here is columinst Monte Poole’s take _ and it’s pretty bleak _ on the outlook for the Raiders in 2012 . .
– Monte’s column on offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, which ran the morning game, looks especially relevant now . . .
– Here is Steve Corkran’s on-site account of the Raiders’ second-half fade in Miami . . .
– Here is Steve Corkran’s notebook from Miami . . . missed tackles on defense, and don’t hold your breath for dumping the zone blocking scheme . . .