234

Raiders ‘becoming a football team’

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.

  • Share/Bookmark

Steve Corkran

  • RediaR

    Less than a minute later he called Pryor our best player. I don’t get it.

  • tuckrulefool

    Hold on there ‘Dr.’ Steam-Whistle…

    You question why TP2 ….yet you have no similar questions for the OTHER points you made…?

    eg why the heck did we go with the WRs we have, the OC we have, the OL we have…

    Maybe because they ALL represent the BEST we had?

    For a Sel-proclaimed d0ct0r you aren’t that bright…

  • Carl weathers

    Reece arguably has the best hands on this team. He should be getting at least 5 pass attempts per game

  • the electrifying dr robert

    Pryors run was “putting on the gas”?

    We didn’t have any “gas”.

    It was a huge hole. Defensive breakdown.

    Was Olsen supposed to call “the 93 yard read option play” again?

  • alex7

    did it look like this? Looking down when WRs are open?

  • RediaR

    Gabbert has won NFL games.

  • the electrifying dr robert

    Pryor was NOT the best we had.

  • tuckrulefool

    So the obvious answer is to run DMC into a wall 452465802734 times (for -8yds) ?

    Congrats! You have a future as an OC with the Raiders.

  • Jayhawk_Raider

    No, but running DMC or Jennings up the gut 3 times in a row is pointless and playing scared.

  • the electrifying dr robert

    Yes. Exactly like that.

  • The Beeeeech Dawg

    I’ll address this conflict of interests in my upcoming reggae rap

  • Standsintherain

    Gabbert will not be entering the NFL record books anytime soon

  • the electrifying dr robert

    Gannon has heard about his supposed anti raider bias.

    I can tell that he’s trying to be nice now. Trying to handle raiders fans gently.

  • tuckrulefool

    Who then FLYNN?

    HHHHHAAAAA! Thats funny….

    Wow, you are stup1d.

  • DKnight007

    Uhh….TP is still developing buddy. You act like he has been playing QB in the NFL for 3 years. This is what this year of for TP. Evaluating him and seeing if he can be the QB of this team beyond this year.

  • The Beeeeech Dawg

    Seriously, whens the last time a female touched your ding dong?

  • the electrifying dr robert

    Qbs need to pass. Pryor is a runner.

  • Raideraholic

    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
    ———————————————————————-
    They must be keeping him fresh for 2014 lol

  • Jayhawk_Raider

    I would bet it was the last time his mom changed his diaper as a child?

  • the electrifying dr robert

    He was never ready for it. Should never have gotten the call. It’s not in him.

  • DKnight007

    You use some play action misdirection and throw the damn screen to Reece or DMC. They have run that play before. Stop making excuses.

  • RediaR

    So far the answer is no. He had to improve substantially to get to this point, but he had a very low starting point. I hope he can double his improvement and be a viable starter, but I’m not wasting 2014 hoping he can.

  • the electrifying dr robert

    Why are u talking about ding dongs on a football blog? Again.

    Oh yeah. Cuz u like girls.

    Wait. That doesn’t really make sense does it?

  • Carl weathers

    Gannon wears chiefs jammies to bed

  • The Beeeeech Dawg

    That was an epic blast, JR!

  • DKnight007

    You right. DA should be telling his OC to run some screens or some reverses or some 5-8 yard quick outs or play action roll outs or bootlegs.

  • Standsintherain

    He came out v the Chargers and proved that he can spray accurate passes all over the field with a 3rd string OL

  • DKnight007

    Yeah. That was one of the old mans major mistakes.

  • tuckrulefool

    AMEN (again)

    Anyone who watches our games sees…clearly…that the play calling and ‘leash’ they put on TP2 and the O in general…is OFF…in 1st half…then ON if we are winning by >10pts …if we are losing or its close the leash stays off (see DEN see INDY)

    VERY clear to see ….if thats not evident you arent watching very closely.

    Pryor suddenly doesnt start sucking in 2nd half..then good again in next game 1st half.

    Saddest thing is they are really impeding progress for our newbie O. No confidence (leash) = lower output = less confidence. Yet our staff says no killer instinct

    Pot? Kettle? Black?

    DA needs to nut up and show some killer instinct directly (or thru Olsen)

  • the electrifying dr robert

    No. He proved he can throw ten short and intermediate passes with no pressure before completely disappearing.

  • http://Raiders.com/ Dan78

    We should have traded Moss for Rodgers….. drafted Calvin Johnson…. Oh well, what could have been….

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Probably the biggest one since falling out with Marcus Allen.

  • Jayhawk_Raider

    We just better win the next three. Hopefully Pryor can get back to looking like he did against SD.

  • the electrifying dr robert

    We have the NFL’s worst passing offense.

    We could never ask our qb to win a game with his arm.

    But u guys like it. Ridiculous.

  • Carl weathers

    You nenver know if Green bay was going to make that trade, I doubt it. But 2007 we have the first pick and we tanked. I wanted Calvin Johnson. Hell Joe Thomas would have been a solid pick over the old #2

  • kenchun24

    Yup…wish Lance Kiffin got his way that draft day and Al slept in for just a 1/2 hour more. Would have been the one good thing to come out of the Kiffin era…shed a tear every time I see Megatron have a day like yesterday.

    Al took Jabustatron instead…still shocked by that pick as Al covets freaky fast athletes like Calvin was coming out of Georgia Tech and did well with high 1st rounder Timmy Brown. It was a no brainer IMO. I blame Notre Dame too for making Russell look good in the Sugar Bowl game that year prior to the combine/draft etc…

  • AbusedByAl

    Dr Robert the clown notwithstanding, it was a good game by the Raiders. Offense in second half better find some plays next time, but D was very good and in the end the win was deserved.

  • RediaR

    Just because we hope he’s good, doesn’t make it true.

  • the electrifying dr robert

    We have a very weak sked.

    Should contend.

    If only we had a qb.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Joe Thomas was my pick at the time. Then Megatron.

    And then, I will admit, JaMeatloaf was my 3rd choice, because of how much more upside he had than Brady Quinn.
    LMAO what a crap QB draft 2007 turned out to be, huh?

  • the electrifying dr robert

    I tell the truth.

  • Carl weathers

    It seemed like a no brainer he was gonna pick CJ, especially with the whole Moss packing it in midway through the year. He was the one player who could replace Moss… Grrrrrr its gbnna hurt until long aafter he retires

  • The Beeeeech Dawg

    You cry and whine as much as this chick I used to date.

    She’d get all worked up because I wouldn’t take her to sushi and would sit on the toilet for an hour trying to squeeze out a turdpie

    True story

  • http://Raiders.com/ Dan78

    Yes they wanted Moss… But I guess Al saw Russell as the next Elway…. But it was documented Lance was trying to convince Al to take Johnson… But don’t forget Peterson was also available…

  • the electrifying dr robert

    Sio starting to look like a player.

    We are playing a lot of 3-4 with Houston standing up.

    DMc showed a couple flashes of his old self but quickly went I to his turtle shell.

  • the electrifying dr robert

    Fascinating

  • http://Raiders.com/ Dan78

    If I could up vote you twice I’d do it my friend… Excellent post

  • Standsintherain

    Come on man theres barely a running-game to support him

  • Carl weathers

    I wanted CJ over AP because I thought he would be injury prone, clearly he heals faster than anyone coming back from a blown knee so fast. So many studs at the top of that draft..

  • tuckrulefool

    I think its odd how olsen is VERY creative at kickoff then ZER0 creativity with a lead…u dont think DA, as CEO, is shutting things down? I think he lets Olsen know what he wants in certain ‘game situations’…and no that doesnt mean (literally) calling or not calling specific plays…bottom line DA is afraid of his shaddow and is letting his DC colors come through on O (and through and through)