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Thoughts from afar on Raiders loss to Falcons

Stayed behind for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. For quotes and a first-hand account, read beat writer Jerry McDonald’s game story and notebook. Here’s my take on what I watched before covering the 49ers-Giants game at Candlestick Park.
The Raiders were more than prepared for this game coming off their bye week. Even so, they lost their first game after a bye for the 10th straight season.
Yet, few can fault the Raiders for coming out flat Sunday. They had the ball late in the game, with the score tied, and well within Sebastian Janikowsk’s field-goal range.
Then came Carson Palmer’s ill-advised pass for Denarius Moore that was intercepted by cornerback Asante Samuel and returned seemingly for a backbreaking touchdown.
The Raiders showed moxie by responding with a long drive to tie the game. Their only sin was leaving too much time on the clock, 40 seconds, for the Falcons to mount a game-deciding drive.
Moral victories don’t mean much in the NFL. Yet, the Raiders can take from this game the knowledge that are talented enough to hang with the best teams in the league.

– Beating teams such as the Falcons entails cutting down on the mistakes. On Sunday, the Raiders had plenty, certainly far too many.
They committed 12 penalties for 110 yards, whereas they were called for 19 for 143 yards in their first four games combined. The Palmer interception and fumble, as well as a Darren McFadden fumble, certainly didn’t help, either.

– Tight end Brandon Myers went the first four games without a dropped pass. In fact, he caught 16 of the 17 passes thrown his way in those games.
On Sunday, Myers was unable to hang on to a pass from Palmer in the end zone late in the second quarter. A Raiders official asked if I am sure the ball wasn’t deflected.
Based off the replays I saw, it didn’t appear as if the ball was deflected, though the defender’s arm no doubt distracted Myers.
Either way, I’m sure Myers will tell you that he should have caught the ball, which arrived at the chest region and in position for him to get his hands on the ball.

– McFadden rushed 27 times for 70 yards. He now stands at 271 yards on 84 carries through five games, an average of 3.2
In McFadden’s defense, he played hurt most of the game and had two sizable runs negated by penalty. Still, it’s puzzling how Mike Goodson amassed 59 yards on four carries and seemed to get past the line of scrimmage with relative ease.
Coincidence? Who knows.

– Saw a Tweet before the game that said Janikowski converted a 64-yard field goal in pre-game warm-ups. Given that, it’s a tad surprising that coach Dennis Allen bypassed a chance at a 58-yard attempt in the first quarter.
Allen no doubt didn’t want to give the Falcons the ball at their own 48 if Janikowski missed the attempt. As it turned out, Shane Lechler’s punt went into the end zone, resulting in a 28-yard difference in field position.
You make the call on that one. It says here, Janikowski is on the team because he has the ability to make such kicks. It’s for other teams to punt in that situation.

– Sure, the Raiders are 1-4, a spot where few teams emerge and make it to the playoffs. However, the Raiders are about to embark upon a three-game stretch in which they have a realistic shot at evening their record.
They host the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4), play the Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) on the road, then host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) in the next 15 days.
If the Raiders reach 4-4, the playoffs remain a distinct possibility. Losing any of the next three games puts a damper on the Raiders playoff aspirations.

– The Raiders went their first four games without notching an interception. To a man, the Raiders said they were on the verge of breaking through.
Sure enough, the Raiders intercepted Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan three times Sunday. Michael Huff, Joselio Hanson and Tyvon Branch each picked Ryan once.

– The Raiders made the Falcons one-dimensional by shutting down their running game from the outset.
Michael Turner and the two other running backs amassed only 30 yards on 14 carries. Time and again, the Raiders stuffed the Falcons on short-yardage plays, including a couple of times near the goal line.

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  • SilverAndBlackBleeder

    DKnight007 Says:

    Palmer is better than over half of the QB’s starting in this league right now.

    It’s too bad we weren’t able to see him work with Hue for another year, under Hue’s offensive system.

    ———————–

    Numbers could’ve been huge with Hue one more year, but thats saying a lot saying you’d take him over 15 QBs right now. I’m pulling for him ’cause he’s a Raider and I don’t play the favoritism told ya so game most like to play in here, so until he’s outta the silver&black, I’ll ride w/ him, but in all honesty, when looking at the starting QBs, I probably rank him somewhere between 20-25.

  • DutchRaider77

    Speaking of KC, think the fans want Cassell back now?

  • blackandsilverside

    Truth be told I tuned into the game the last few minutes of the 3rd quarter when they were tied. Did McClain get taken out of the game at any point yesterday ?

  • Marks hair

    743. Thats what i call a wasted season..

  • SilverAndBlackBleeder

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:21 am
    I have watched some Jags games this year, and they are awful.

    No fight, tons of quit and horrendous QB play.

    I think we can blow them out.

    —————————–

    As I’m sure you know; this is still a tough league, and MJD is a trooper. I hope it’s a blow-out, but being they’re coming off a bye (just like us yesterday), you gotta expect a tough effort.

  • Just Fire Baby

    McClain didn’t get benched per se, they finally get Burris up to speed after a bye week, to be the other LB in the 4-2-5 scheme.

    You won’t see that much of all this week against the Jags.

  • bcz24

    704.Just Fire Baby Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:07 am
    Michael Bush only has 50 yards more from scrimmage than Goodson does this season.

    About 10 yards a game.
    *******************
    Considering the differential in the amount of touches that is pretty remarkable. I mean Bush started 2 games and carried the load

  • SilverAndBlackBleeder

    RaiderReggie Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:26 am
    I think Dennis Allen should not have try to ice the kicker at the end of the game. He missed the free kick and made the real kick. I don’t like coaches trying to ice kickers. It does not work anymore.

    ————————————-

    the f’d up thing is it never worked. It’s only worked on us! Lol but not Lol

  • Just Fire Baby

    Thats what i call a wasted season..

    ******************************

    So was 2010 a wasted season than, being we were not playing for anything the last two weeks of the season?

  • Just Fire Baby

    BCZ,

    Goodson is averaging 8 yards a carry and 16 yards a catch.

    Granted, small sample size, but that is doing the most with your opportunity.

    Got to find a way to get him a few more touches a game, IMO.

  • bcz24

    Bingo!!!
    We were getting pressure on Ryan all game long. Why go prevent???
    ***************
    I disagree. I rewatched the final 40 seconds a little while ago. Atlanta was running its WRs down field to clear out the underneath routes. The only play that ryan threw the ball more than 4 yards past the line of scrimmage was the final 1 to Gonzo. You also can’t say we were in a prevent when we blitzed on 1 of the final 6 plays. You have to cover those receivers downfield or you are going to get beat, the real problem was our guys not making the tackles and letting the atl receivers run out of bounds. Had we made 1 tackle on that final drive in bounds it goes to OT.

  • SilverAndBlackBleeder

    McFadden is such a beast….I really really hope we have a super bowl contending team before he’s all said and done…can’t do nothing but like that guy after seeing his early career struggles, then his eventual peaking. Did you see the way he stood up to a full speed torpedoing Peterson on that blitz pickup; got knocked back a bit, but damn he’s a soldier…

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:29 am

    McClain didn’t get benched per se, they finally get Burris up to speed after a bye week, to be the other LB in the 4-2-5 scheme.

    You won’t see that much of all this week against the Jags.
    ==============================================

    Exactly. McClain certainly was in there in the base and short yardage packages. I have openly questioned why the fook he was out there in the sub packages, and sure enough, he was out in the subs yesterday, Wheeler picked up his blitz and coverage assignments and did fairly well.

  • bcz24

    BCZ,

    Goodson is averaging 8 yards a carry and 16 yards a catch.

    Granted, small sample size, but that is doing the most with your opportunity.

    Got to find a way to get him a few more touches a game, IMO.
    *********************
    I agree. You have to find a way to get the ball into the hands of anyone who is making plays.

  • SilverAndBlackBleeder

    Bcz24 Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:35 am
    Bingo!!!
    We were getting pressure on Ryan all game long. Why go prevent???
    ***************
    I disagree. I rewatched the final 40 seconds a little while ago. Atlanta was running its WRs down field to clear out the underneath routes. The only play that ryan threw the ball more than 4 yards past the line of scrimmage was the final 1 to Gonzo. You also can’t say we were in a prevent when we blitzed on 1 of the final 6 plays. You have to cover those receivers downfield or you are going to get beat, the real problem was our guys not making the tackles and letting the atl receivers run out of bounds. Had we made 1 tackle on that final drive in bounds it goes to OT.

    ———

    Agreed. Corners have to be ready to make those tackles on those short outs. And I kept saying the worse thing was Gonzo dropping that one pass off his fingertips cross the middle. Would’ve forced them to burn their last TO and it likely would’ve went to OT after that forcing them to go outside where we could’ve had folks sitting..

  • DMAC

    Blackandsilverside Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:26 am
    Truth be told I tuned into the game the last few minutes of the 3rd quarter when they were tied. Did McClain get taken out of the game at any point yesterday ?
    ======

    Pretty much a nickel D, W/ McJogger on the bench

  • eastoaklandraider

    wheeler is playing lights out goodson is a fit in the zbs which means they might as well trade dmac since he is clearly not a zbs rb its not what I want but he will be a waste of time and money if he stays. keep Huff at corner which huejax was ALREADY gonna do anyway and find a better FS.

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I think the blog needs to turn to it’s secret weapon to get rid of Knapp…enter the “The Beeech Dawg.”

    Knapp+”underage Stripper”+Motel room=righetous coach firing.
    ====================================

    I don’t think Knapp will go for an underaged male model.

  • DutchRaider77

    @Bcz24

    You agree with eastoaklandraider, that Huff looks better at corner?

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    eastoaklandraider Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    wheeler is playing lights out goodson is a fit in the zbs which means they might as well trade dmac since he is clearly not a zbs rb its not what I want but he will be a waste of time and money if he stays. keep Huff at corner which huejax was ALREADY gonna do anyway and find a better FS.
    ============================================

    Enough with Hue Jackson. He was barely hanging on in the league and yesterday his secondary got torched, AGAIN, this time by a winless rookie. Please, dude, come to your senses.

  • DMAC

    SilverAndBlackBleeder Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:37 am
    Bcz24 Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:35 am
    Bingo!!!
    We were getting pressure on Ryan all game long. Why go prevent???
    ***************
    I disagree. I rewatched the final 40 seconds a little while ago. Atlanta was running its WRs down field to clear out the underneath routes. The only play that ryan threw the ball more than 4 yards past the line of scrimmage was the final 1 to Gonzo. You also can’t say we were in a prevent when we blitzed on 1 of the final 6 plays. You have to cover those receivers downfield or you are going to get beat, the real problem was our guys not making the tackles and letting the atl receivers run out of bounds. Had we made 1 tackle on that final drive in bounds it goes to OT.

    ———

    Agreed. Corners have to be ready to make those tackles on those short outs. And I kept saying the worse thing was Gonzo dropping that one pass off his fingertips cross the middle. Would’ve forced them to burn their last TO and it likely would’ve went to OT after that forcing them to go outside where we could’ve had folks sitting..
    ==========

    Whenever I see 3 linemen in…
    I call it prevent

  • The Beeech Dawg

    HaHa, this is so great, party up Wizzles

    Traded whiner Bynum and his busted knees for the power of Superman right at the perfect time, amazing

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/15/andrew-bynum-to-have-another-routine-injection-in-knee/

    Another splendid move by the Purple N Gold, shout out to Mitch, Jeannie and Vonda (our personal concierge in the Lexus luxury box)

    Taking this jam to the NEXT LEVEL, “Gettin’ Mean with Ring #17″ (patent pending)

    WRECKS FULLY N EFFECT

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    DMac is considerably more talented than Goodson, but Goodson is a better fit for the system we run.

    And Reggie got him for a third-string lineman. That trade is bordering on genius right now.

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    I don’t think the Raider coaching staff felt that Atl had enough time to win it. Obviously they did. 40 seconds and a time out is an eternity and now every kicker in the league can routinely make 55-60 yard kicks. Especially off turf.

  • DutchRaider77

    770.Seymour Bush Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:42 am
    eastoaklandraider Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    wheeler is playing lights out goodson is a fit in the zbs which means they might as well trade dmac since he is clearly not a zbs rb its not what I want but he will be a waste of time and money if he stays. keep Huff at corner which huejax was ALREADY gonna do anyway and find a better FS.
    ============================================

    Enough with Hue Jackson. He was barely hanging on in the league and yesterday his secondary got torched, AGAIN, this time by a winless rookie. Please, dude, come to your senses.

    ________________________________________________

    That isn’t fair…he is only the assistant DBs coach. If you looked on the sideline, all the water bottles were filled, Hue did his job!

  • Plunketthead

    748.Marks hair Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:26 am
    Tarver and knapp arent rookies… they’re àssholes

    Thats a little strong especially for the MS

  • aig-raiders

    fingers Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Smith got Abused yesterday….
    ———–
    It wasnt just yesterday either. Been abused sinc he’s been with us. He has major issues against speed rushers. Reason why he was cut by another team too. Never thought I’d say this but Smith makes me miss Barnes. Until we get our Oline fixed, we aint going any where.

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    RaiderDuck Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    DMac is considerably more talented than Goodson, but Goodson is a better fit for the system we run.

    And Reggie got him for a third-string lineman. That trade is bordering on genius right now.
    =========================================

    I keep saying it is not a “system fit” situation at all. Goodson runs harder. Yesterday, McFadden started out running hard, then reverted back to the 2012 version of McFadden which is two yards and dive on the ground. When McFadden let a pass bounce off his dome, Palmer didn’t look his way again. Goodson is just a more productive player right now. The best plays McFadden made all day yesterday was a tackle and a block. Maybe we should delegate him to special teams.

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    That isn’t fair…he is only the assistant DBs coach. If you looked on the sideline, all the water bottles were filled, Hue did his job!
    =================================

    hehehe. good one.

  • eastoaklandraider

    Seymour Bush Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:42 am
    eastoaklandraider Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    wheeler is playing lights out goodson is a fit in the zbs which means they might as well trade dmac since he is clearly not a zbs rb its not what I want but he will be a waste of time and money if he stays. keep Huff at corner which huejax was ALREADY gonna do anyway and find a better FS.
    ============================================

    Enough with Hue Jackson. He was barely hanging on in the league and yesterday his secondary got torched, AGAIN, this time by a winless rookie. Please, dude, come to your senses.
    ————————-

    you obviously will never get it bush. but huejax with cp3 and dmac healthy this offense would be a terror to deal with but somehow you cant see that. and to bring up where hue is at now is a moot point as many coaches have failed and come back to have success later in their career. and hue is not even a D guy so who ever hired him in the bungle org was a dumbass for hiring him in that capacity.

  • aig-raiders

    IMHO, they should take the quick out route and throw it out of the playbook. Never understood that route and the potential of pick 6 involved with it. The ball has to travel a long way for a few yards gained.

  • DutchRaider77

    @eastoaklandraider

    What do you think Hue did to get black-balled so badly…thought he did a good job playcalling to end up an OC somewhere.

  • eastoaklandraider

    i dont feel like bringing up all the stats but Hue as an OC had better numbers than DA as a DC and Hue as a HC 8-8 season filled with turmoil will be better than DA a season where he got a full offseason and cp3 with a full training camp.

  • Plunketthead

    Klas I found it. Same page same blog DOH!!

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    you obviously will never get it bush. but huejax with cp3 and dmac healthy this offense would be a terror to deal with but somehow you cant see that.
    ================================================

    No, what I SAW was a team that went 1-4 down the stretch, should have been 0-5, a team that did not score in 6 games in the second half, and a team that basically quit on Jackson. THAT’S what I saw.

  • DMAC

    After a tough lost, I wonder how the troopers will come out next week?
    Hungry and ready to play or roll over and throw in the towel?

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    HUE,NORV,ART,LANCE,WHAT THE HELL..

  • hwnrdr

    DMAC Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:56 am
    After a tough lost, I wonder how the troopers will come out next week?
    Hungry and ready to play or roll over and throw in the towel?

    History shows that is what they do…hopefully infront of a home crowd, that doesn’t happen!

  • https://bigswede.com Klas Tjorborn

    Klas had Hue Jackson sighting yesterday. He was standing next to head coach. Probably has more input than just coaching DBs.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:54 am
    @eastoaklandraider

    What do you think Hue did to get black-balled so badly…thought he did a good job playcalling to end up an OC somewhere.

    =============================================

    Becoming power-hungry, trying to order the owner around and then supplying Mike Silver with material for a thinly-veiled hit piece will do that.

  • r8eray

    DKnight007 Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:09 am
    Just Fire Baby Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Who will be the Raiders top 4 pick, if they choose to keep the pick?

    ************************

    LOL at top 4 pick.

    This team wins no less than 6 games this year, and will draft in the 13-17 range, again.

    ^^^^^^^^
    Nah. They will definitely be picking in the top 7….at least.

    =========

    If the season were to end today, we would be drafting 3-6 range!

    Chiefs 1-5

    Browns 1-5

    Raiders 1-4

    Jaguars 1-4

    Panthers 1-4

    Saints 1-4

  • bigsnow81

    “If” Hue Jackson was coach the team would be 5-0. “If” I had a 12 inch kielbasa I would be a porn star.

  • bcz24

    769.DutchRaider77 Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:40 am
    @Bcz24

    You agree with eastoaklandraider, that Huff looks better at corner?
    *****************
    He did yesterday for sure. He looked much more confident in the roll. He surprised me yesterday for sure.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    I don’t fault the playcalling for Carson’s pick six.
    Nothing wrong with trying to put Atlanta away. As we witnessed the Falcons can score quickly.

    Overall a solid effort but still a loss at the end of the day.

    I can’t tell you how many of these Raider heartbreakers I have watched in my day.

  • DKnight007

    Seymour Bush Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    you obviously will never get it bush. but huejax with cp3 and dmac healthy this offense would be a terror to deal with but somehow you cant see that.
    ================================================

    No, what I SAW was a team that went 1-4 down the stretch, should have been 0-5, a team that did not score in 6 games in the second half, and a team that basically quit on Jackson. THAT’S what I saw

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Bush just doesn’t get it. He is a Hue Hater…period.

    Bush forgets that we had Chuck B as a DC last year. That hire alone cost the team the playoffs.

  • DKnight007

    DA and Tarver going to a soft prevent with 40 seconds was stupid of course.

    They should know better….especially the freakin physicist in Tarver?

    Ugh

  • bigsnow81

    Tarver is a chemist.

  • DKnight007

    r8eray Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    DKnight007 Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:09 am
    Just Fire Baby Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Who will be the Raiders top 4 pick, if they choose to keep the pick?

    ************************

    LOL at top 4 pick.

    This team wins no less than 6 games this year, and will draft in the 13-17 range, again.

    ^^^^^^^^
    Nah. They will definitely be picking in the top 7….at least.

    =========

    If the season were to end today, we would be drafting 3-6 range!

    Chiefs 1-5

    Browns 1-5

    Raiders 1-4

    Jaguars 1-4

    Panthers 1-4

    Saints 1-4

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Panthers and Saints will wind up winning more games than Raiders for sure.

  • eastoaklandraider

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 11:54 am
    @eastoaklandraider

    What do you think Hue did to get black-balled so badly…thought he did a good job playcalling to end up an OC somewhere.
    —————-
    hue was AL’S guy and where was hue before the raiders not an OC. But he came to this org with a horrible O in place and turned it around rather quickly I guess most of you forget that. if other teams dont want to hire him they have a problem because all Hue did was produce numbers and if he were still here I GUARANTEE we would have a top 5 O and be 4-1 at the worst right now and this blog would be on his sack but he never got his chance and now all of you who said he had to go must now deal with this crap situation we are stuck with now rebuilding after we as fans have waited 10 plus years for a winner.

  • bcz24

    796.DKnight007 Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 12:01 pm
    DA and Tarver going to a soft prevent with 40 seconds was stupid of course.

    They should know better….especially the freakin physicist in Tarver?
    ******************
    Yeah, for the 93rd time they weren’t in a prevent defense. Atlanta was running receivers down the field to open up the underneath stuff. Were the supposed to let Roddy and Julio just streak down the sidelines? Would you have been happier if they brought a zero blitz and Ryan hit Julio for a 50 yard TD pass? Watch the plays again. Really watch them, and you will see what I am talking about.