Sunday, October 02, 2011

Raiders Bring Knives To Gunfight

At Sunday's showdown with New England gunslinger Tom Brady the Raiders just didn't bring the right weapons. The weapons they did bring might have nicked the Patriots early, but overall were ineffective and overmatched

In keeping it short I'll point out the obvious. Quarterback Jason Campbell, coming in with a very impressive quarterback rating, threw two interceptions and appeared undecided on many a play. If he'd let his legs do more running upfield it might have softened up the Patriots secondary enough for receivers to get open more. Campbell was good much of the day, but he wasn't great when he needed to be. He looked rusty minded with a slight case of happy feet. He threw very few passes downfield, seldom challenging the suspect Patriot secondary. Mind you his offensive line was superb in giving him the time.

Stupid defensive penalties returned for the Raiders in this game, again at the worse times. Defensive pressure on Brady was key for the Raiders to win the game, yet they couldn't get to him enough. Brady kept the Raiders defense off balance most of the day. They'd play the pass and the Patriots would run. They'd play the run and the Patriots would pass. The Raiders were trading field goals for touchdowns in this game, which is a recipe for failure. Red Zone offense hurt the Raiders chances of matching up with a gunslinger.

In the second half the Patriots let loose with their ultimate weapon, wide receiver Wes Welker. The Raiders finally had to lay down their knives and surrender to a an opponent with superior fire power.

In a game against one of the elite NFL teams, the Raiders showed they could play on the same field with the big boys. What they didn't show was the ability to slay a beast. Hopefully by the end of this season the Raiders will have overcome their shortcomings. They have the talent and the coaching, it comes down to execution under pressure.

Final Score
Patriots 31
Raiders 19

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