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Raiders ‘becoming a football team’

By Steve Corkran
Monday, October 28th, 2013 at 10:58 am in Oakland Raiders.

Veteran safety Charles Woodson knows a thing or two about what a Super Bowl-caliber team looks like. He played on one for the Raiders and Green Bay Packers during his illustrious career.
So, when he talks about where this Raiders team stands after seven games and on the heels of an impressive victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s worth listening.
“We are becoming a football team,” Woodson said. “That’s a good way to put it. We have some good players that have been assembled on this team, and we’re learning how to play together. We’re learning each other and what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are. We’re just making some plays out there.”
People made plays throughout the game, from the outset. It started with quarterback Terrelle Pryor rambling 93 yards for a touchdown on the first offensive play of the game. It ended with Rashad Jennings securing an on-side kick.
In between, there were interceptions by Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins, five sacks of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a blocked punt by Jennings, two touchdown runs by running back Darren McFadden, two key third-down receptions by Denarius Moore that yielded first downs and so much more.
Added up, it’s what coach Dennis Allen talks about all the time, when he says that the key to turning the corner is putting yourself in position to win games time and again and then learning how to close out those games.
Sunday’s game is one the Raiders would have lost almost every time the past 10 seasons, if not earlier this season. Sure, it came against a 2-4 Steelers team, but it still counts as progress.
The Raiders can build on that with a victory over the reeling Philadelphia Eagles on this Sunday. The Eagles are 3-5, playing without starting quarterback Michael Vick and bearing little resemblance to the team that started off so fast under first-year coach Chip Kelly.
And if the Raiders get to 4-4 with a sweep of the Pennsylvania teams, who knows? Winning the AFC West is a long-shot, given the Kansas City Chiefs are 8-0 and the Denver Broncos 7-1 — the Raiders lost to both teams already this season. A wild-card berth is wide open.

– Fullback Marcel Reece averaged three touches per game before the Steelers game. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson again, during the bye week, talked about the importance of getting Reece more touches.
So, naturally, Reece got only three carries against the Steelers and nothing has changed. Hard to find fault during a victory, but it still begs the question why the Raiders paid Reece so much money if they don’t have any intention of making him more of a focal point of the offense.

– Steelers kicker Shane Suisham missed two short-range field-goal attempts Sunday. Entering the game, he converted all 15 of his attempts on the season.
How fortunate were the Raiders to have Suisham miss not just one from inside 40 yards but two? Of 245 such attempts this season, only 15 missed the mark. Two of those came from Suisham on Sunday.

– Jacoby Ford fumbled a punt return, fumbled away the ball after a short reception and came close to having a punt bounce off his leg and into the hands of a Steelers player.
In other words, Sunday wasn’t Ford’s best day as an NFL player. It remains to be seen whether his glaring gaffes cost him playing time moving forward.
The Raiders tried Taiwan Jones at kick returns Sunday after Ford handled that role the first six games. Make of it what you will, Ford needs to start making plays and soon.

– Rookie linebacker Sio Moore recorded two of Oakland’s five sacks. He has three on the season and is looking more and more comfortable in the Raiders defense each week.
Along with Nick Roach and Kevin Burnett, the Raiders linebacking corps is as strong as it’s been in years. Throw in Kaluka Maiava and Kaelin Burnett, recent addition Martez Wilson and the potential return of Miles Burris and the Raiders have admirable depth, to boot.

– The Raiders impressive run defense turned in another sterling performance by holding the Steelers to 35 yards on 19 carries.
The Steelers longest run netted only 8 yards. Therefore, the Raiders still haven’t allowed a run longer than 19 yards all season, something that no other team can boast of the first half of the season.

– Allen gave the players the day off today, something that isn’t uncommon on the heels of impressive victories. They also are off Tuesday.
The players hit the field Wednesday for practice in advance of the Eagles game. It’s a safe bet that this game is going to sell out, too, given the Raiders are a win away from reaching .500 and thrusting themselves into serious contention for a wild-card berth.

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  • r8ter4evr

    A LOT of crucial chain stopping drops

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Its not a compliment at all!

  • rioderek

    Streater and Moore have played decent football, but far from outstanding. Neither guy is highly rated among league receivers.

  • rioderek

    I watched the Chiefs and Browns yesterday and they talked about that. Josh Gordon is better than any WR coming out of college. He’d be a great pick-up. Cleveland is also reportedly looking to trade TE Jordan Cameron who’d also be a nice addition.

  • rioderek

    The Raiders without Pryor who be a disaster. Most QB’s would be killed behind that o-line. The team has no running game (primarily because they run up the gut 98% of the time). The team has a poor receiver corp. The best WR’s Moore and Streater who be 3rd guys on most teams. The TE’s blow and can’t seem to get open consistently. A QB needs weapons and a coach with vision. The Raiders have none of that.

  • rioderek

    Super Bowl teams are loaded with talented players, the current Raiders are not talent laden. In fact TP is the best player on the team. Danny; your comparison is ridiculous. QB’s do not win titles teams do. Example; Fouts and Marino were great QB’s but never won super bowls because they lacked quality support.

  • rioderek

    Those are rational observations. On this blog their are several idiots who expect the guy to be Superman. In his 6th NFL start with virtually no support on offense the guy is a 1 man offense thus far. Not superman but damn good.

  • rioderek

    You’re finally right about something

  • Mallowcup

    Will DA send a message and bench Ford and Butler?? Their screw ups severely impacted the team. Not sure they did anything particularly impressive to show they deserve more playing time…

  • Raider Rick

    Yeah Tp2 Cant throw or read defenses yet, But dammit We won……. just Win baby!!?? And we still have people complaining…..lol…..Geezuz! Ford gotta go …and Reece needs to move to Tight end….Mc Fadden More in wildcat And Jennings for power plays.

  • Raider Rick

    Too bad reggie aint got no more chips or Josh Gordon would be a great pickup….No on Hakeem Nicks….not sold on him.

  • Que

    Stay with the Program, don’t sell the farm. I have seen the raiders and our once great maverick sell the farm for players who didn’t …..

  • mkyd1963

    Like Matt Flynn?

  • Raider Rick

    If We get no real NO.1 Wideout, the verdict will continue to be on Pryor…..Against all odds, and still winning. But without on O line and someone to throw to….its impossible. We got a shot this year when everyone counted us out…lol…gotta love it…

  • krawfdadd

    dude cut the krap already,we won an ugly win beats a pretty loss any day of the week

  • Que

    Stay with the program Reggie. draft , keep the draft picks. take the best talent player available. Build

  • mkyd1963

    Being pleased with the overall TEAM effort, something that’s been severely lacking from the Raiders for over a decade does not equal “happy with mediocrity”.

  • rioderek

    Reggie hasn’t fared well drafting. Proven guys might be the better option. Reggie hasn’t drafted a single above average player in 2 years

  • Que

    how can you draft ” above average” with a late (given by the nfl 3rd round pick as your first pick in year one! This year, yes you hold reggie to this draft and don’t forget he Choose to take that pick and trade down for more picks. Considering Again he didnt have all his big picks to DRAFT ABOVE AVERAGE. these guys are just fine and they took the job no one else would and wanted it. Now things might be getting bright and shinny other people who didnt wanna be with the raiders during the bad and hard time, might want the job. Sorry i like loyalty

  • rioderek

    All exceptional players aren’t 1st and 2nd round picks. There are many undrafted FA all-pros and a few Hall of Famers. Your point/excuse is ridiculous

  • MapleLaugher

    Matt Flynn? OK, jokes aside, you’re an idiot Dr. robert

  • MapleLaugher

    So dumb

  • MapleLaugher

    You should alert the organization, don’t waste your time on this message board… go save the Raiders from TP2! Imagine how great our record would be without him? like 1-6, 0-7… like I said save us!

  • MapleLaugher

    You seem pretty gay yourself with this man crush on every QB not named Pryor

  • the electrifying dr robert

    Why are you chasing me around on posts from yesterday morning?

    And your posts are ridiculous. I have a man crush on any quarterback other than prior? That is too stupid for words. Doesn’t even make sense.

  • MapleLaugher

    Maybe if the fans were a bit more realistic towards where we are at this year, they wouldn’t be so quick to discredit the few players on offense we may be able to move forward with for next year. You can say what you want about stats, not too many QB’s in this league are going to win any games with a fisher price offensive line and very close to, if not the worst recievers and TE’s in the league. It’s so easy for someone to look at the stats and say we only had__ passing yards, and ___ total yards, but when you put it in the context of the circumstances of the game you really can’t complain, because we won. If we had a better line and WR’s, maybe the coaching staff and conversely the fans would be well served to sit here fixated on offensive stats and putting up big passing numbers, but since we are lower than worst talent wise everywhere on offence aside from QB, RB, FB… pretty foolish to sit here and debate how we should be comparing our 1st year QB to those who have protection and people to throw to in other situations.

  • MapleLaugher

    Ok Matt Flynn. I know, I know… Tp2 took your job, now he’s your sworn arch nemesis. But, shouldn’t you be at the bills practice instead of commenting here?

  • the electrifying dr robert

    Ur jokes are really lame and unoriginal. Stop trying to be funny. It’s not ur thing.

    Pryor has us with the WORST passing attack in the league. Hope ur laughing about that hyena.

  • Que

    Not really, the first two picks are supposed to be blue chippers but after that . Its a wait game of developement. No one said the rest of the players dafted or signed after that couldn’t become ALL Pros but the 1 and 2 round are expected studs.

  • MapleLaugher

    Don’t ever say us Matt Flynn. We cut you, Nation pass revoked.

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    I see him reading some, and not others. He is extremely inexperienced, so I don’t expect him to have Manning or Brady like reading abilities. I hope that if/as he continues as the Raiders QB that he gets better at reading defenses. Due to his work ethic and desire to excel, I expect it will be the case.

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    I disagree. In his first and only draft with the staff he put together, he drafted Hayden (while gaining a pick), and Moore, both of whom I would say are better than the average rookie player at their position. Then there’s Watson whom in his only playing looked better than the average rookie at his position. Rivera too has looked better than the average rookie at his position.

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    There weren’t/aren’t any “quality nfl qbs” available on the market. He was and is the best option that the Raiders had/have on their roster. Flynn was hot, wet, stinky garbage in a paper bag. The only other options are the undrafted FA rookie, or bring up Wilson from the PS. Out of those options, Pryor gives the team the best chance to win games due to his athleticism.

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    That is true, I have seen him start to scramble slightly before getting pressured. Can it be attributed to inexperience, how about a lack of trust in the offensive line? Do you believe that this is an unchangeable trait in Pryor’s game?