Monday, October 12, 2015
Raiders Defense Comes To Life in Loss
Offense disappears and a game the Raiders are winning, due in large part to a stingy defense, is lost in final minutes again. There a many things that can be blamed for this one; turnovers, missed field goals, play calling, quarterback play. But the one thing that gets caught in my craw is the lack of knowing how to finish a game. They're so close.
Sure the Denver Broncos came in with the number one ranked defense in the league. But the Raiders managed to come up early with ways to move the ball against them. The Broncos seemed to make adjustments defensively and the Raiders offense, after a few fantastic Marcel Reece plays, lost all creativity and came across as intimidated.
Once quarterback Derek Carr was strip-sacked by a monster edge pass rushing play, the Raiders became content playing not to take risks and/or make mistakes. Never thought I'd see the silver and black go into a shell offensively against any opponent, but there it was out on the home field.
Bottom line, this loss falls on the head of coach Jack Del Rio. It's his job to not only motivate players but also put a foot in the butt of all coaches under his umbrella as well. He did it after last week's tough loss and got a huge game from the Ken Norton coached defense against the Broncos. (Charles Woodson two interceptions)
If this Raiders offensive coaching staff cannot consistently put their players in position to make plays, then it's gonna be a long disappointing season with fewer and fewer highlights to hang our hats on. Again!
Come'on Man! Try something, anything offensively that the opposing defense doesn't expect that'll get your offense pumped and restore their confidence. Nobody is unbeatable in this NFL season, not even Peyton Manning.
Only when a coaching staff runs out of imaginative options does it seem a team is doomed to defeat. Don't lose your creativity and imagination Raiders. You've got some play makers. Figure out some schemes to help them make plays. Sometimes the timing of a reverse flea flicker or wide receiver screen can be genius when the defense is expecting the same old Raiders.
Maybe I'm too harsh on the team. After getting home and watching replay of the offensive drive before Derek Carr's interception in the 4th quarter, I saw the Raiders were moving the ball with a no-huddle shotgun formation. With 6:53 left in the game, the team was in position to take the lead and win the game. One costly mistake might've been the difference.
The Oakland Raiders are a much improved team from past recent teams. I thank Jack and company for that. We can only get better.