Let me ask you this......Whos' thrilled with the way things have gone this year? How many of we fans went into this season with a sense of optimism that was greater than years past?
I know I was one of the fans that had that sense of optimism. However, I was talking to my dad on the phone during he fourth quarter of today's game and the first thing he said, as I was explaining to him what was transpiring during the game was, "So, basically, it's the same situation as the past couple seasons?" (As far as my dad's concerned, he actually has things to do in his life and finding a way to sit around and watch the Raiders stumble over themselves is not high on his priority list.)
What the heck else is there to say? I am struggling to type anything for this entry because the effort by the entire team was so bad. Let's look at the passing games first......
Kyle Orton = 13/23; 157 yds; 56.5%; 1 TD; 0 INT; 92.1 rating
JaMarcus Russel = 12/21; 61 yds; 57.1%; 0 TD; 2 INT; 22.6 rating
61 yards? 22.6 rating?
You're getting paid $32 million in guaranteed money, man.
The Raiders averaged 1.8 yards per pass play.
But hold up a second, here.....I will not throw it all on Russell's shoulders (just the vast majority of it). The first INT was not his fault (DHB fell down). It's not his fault that McFadden can't hold onto the ball (2 fumbles, 1 lost), including one little fumble in the red zone that hurt.
I can hear the fans now....."It's not Russell's fault. The defense can't stop the run. They can't defend the pass. Stanford Routt is no good."
Well, I will agree that Routt is sturggling mightily. However, it's not the defense's fault. The past three years, Al has drafted for offense in the first round. Russell, McFadden, Heyward-Bey. He's thought about defense second and as something that can be filled in via free agency (Gibril Wilson, DeAngelo Hall). Al's longed to have an offense that drives fear into opponents since the 2003 Super Bowl year. His (and we all know they are HIS) picks in the first round scream offensive desperation. He is not satisfied with the low-key success of Robert Gallery or the late-breaking success of Michael Huff. Fairly, it should be the offense that is scrutinized.
Our offense wouldn't scare your local high school team. I've seen all the comparisons to Petyon Manning in his first year and I don't by a second of that nonsense. If you're throwing out those comparisons, ask yourselves this......
Does JaMarcus Russell really appear to be anywhere near the same type of player that Peyton Manning is?
That is one area where statistics are definitely misleading.
Cut the junk.
Opposing defenses are not scared of our offense. Period. They've figured it out.
No matter how many solid backs you have, when you're the defense and you expect a running play and get a running play it's pretty darn easy to stop it. When you're the opposing defense and you expect a running play and the Raiders pass you still don't have to worry, so you might as well still stack eight or nine in the box and blast the QB or the RB on the screen that's thrown.
Cable, Tollner and Russell all need to get better. Obviously. Russell may progress. Russell may regress. But, either way, due to the fact that he's only on the field for about 20 minutes (23:45 against the Broncos), he just ends up a player who only is able to get anything done in practice. If you want a practice player playing under center in games, you might as well give Gradkowski a chance.
If not, well, the whole of the organization might as well just jump on the first Air Asia plane out of the Bay Area.