Why the Raiders victory over the Eagles was not a fluke


Marshall: The man of the hour.

It is the day after and most of the talk is about Andy Reid going, well, Andy Reid again with his mismanagement of the clock. The discussion revolves around Donovan McNabb going, well, Donovan McNabb again with his mismanagement of the NFL rulebook.

In fact, if you didn’t watch the Raiders defeat the Eagles, and have only read the synopsis, you’d swear that Philly just rolled over without even attempting to put up a fight.

Quite the opposite. This was a thorough lesson in the fine art of football as taught by Tom Cable.

This was not some instructional course in X’s and O’s. This was the essence of the game; a physical battle dominated by the Silver and Black. Plain and simple.

Yes, McNabb is playing behind an O-line that is substandard even for the UFL. Yes, Reid had another one of his moments of madness when he abandoned the run despite the Raiders being among the NFL bottom feeders of run stoppage.

Don’t confuse the facts though. The Raiders won this game on the strength of a sucker punch delivered by D-coordinator extraordinaire John Marshall and four other very key elements. Here they are:

5. JaMarcus Russell – He was supposed to put this game on a platter for the Eagles. He was supposed to seal his Ryan Leaf status with another sub par showing. Instead, Russell made good decisions, was elusive in the pocket, made plays and took what the defense gave him. Maybe this is not the kind of stuff that is going to take Russell to Canton, but it sure was more than enough to beat the Eagles on Sunday. Baby steps.

4. Jeremiah Trotter vs. Zach Miller – Seriously, who thought this was a good idea? No matter how bad the Raiders may have looked on film, Miller is the one guy who jumps out at you. Taking away Russell’s favorite target s is like taking media attention away from Brett Favre. He just can’t survive without it. One 86-yard catch and run later, you’ve got yourself a full fledged upset alert in the East Bay. Taking advantage of match ups is what the pro game is all about. (Louis Murphy gets props for plowing the road on Miller’s TD but his hands of stone that cost Russell an INT can’t be ignored.)

3. Stanford Routt – Let’s be honest, when Nnamdi Asomugha went out and Routt came it, it would appear that the rout was on. Instead, Stanford did his best impersonation of #21 and didn’t give McNabb any sort of a window to throw at. His coverage was great and were it not for a questionable PI called in the first quarter that took Routt’s pick-six off the board, this game would have been over before it even started.

2. Tom Cable – There have been plenty of jokes out there surrounding the Raiders, their head coach and the broken jaw of a former assistant coach. Say whatever you will about Cable; just know that he could motivate a waif to down an 8-ounce steak and then eat the fat for good measure. Cable wasn’t a happy camper this week and his team responded with a performance that matched the coach’s demeanor. This team still has not yet turned the corner, but with Cable in charge at least you know the players are aware that the road bends.

1. John Marshall – I wish NFL films was following around Marshall all of last week. Just imagine the grin on his face whenever he passed Al Davis in the hallway. Cut to Davis on Sunday, choking on his Diet Coke after Marshall sent Thomas Howard off the edge. Then pan over to catch Andy Reid gasping for breath after seeing Trevor Scott get to McNabb twice before even realizing what just happened. Maybe Davis was on board with this game plan all along. Maybe Marshall went rogue. Whatever the case, the outcome was a masterful scheme that caught the Eagles off guard and sent their entire week of prep down the drain after the first possession of the game. Straight up gut punch. First round knockout scored for the Oakland “D”.

Naturally, the Eagles made major mistakes that cost them dearly. David Akers went Scott Norwood twice in a game decided by only four points. Missing both wide right and left for good measure. You do the math.  

This might not be the moment when everything came together for Cable and his squad. There is still a mountain of work to be done. Just remember this game when you’re trying to get a clear image of the playoff picture. Maybe Philly has been exposed. Maybe the Raiders have stepped up to the challenge. Who knows? All I know is that the Eagles were out coached, out played and out right abused by a hungry group of Raiders who were being instructed by a coach in a foul mood.

Rex Ryan, you’d better hope this week was better than last for Tom Cable.


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Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Andy Reid David Akers Donovan McNabb JaMarcus Russell Jeremiah Trotter John Marshall Louis Murphy Rex Ryan Stanford Routt Thomas Howard Tom Cable Trevor Scott Zach Miller

  • Snoopy

    Rex Ryan, the TWIN…

    We Wanna Take’Ya OUT!!!!!

    We are salivating at the prospect! Sanchez, DUDE, as an SC fan I luv ya but son… You playing maRaiders now and if we do what we did last game your gonna wish you stayed at SC where you would win the Heisman and a national championship…

    If we don’t revert to the ol listlesness then Dude, you’re in trouble son!!!

  • Serginho

    I accept the premise that the win over the Eagles was not a fluke. They did earn it. But what it also tells me is that the Eagles are not a very good team. Because, face it, the Raiders aren’t all that great. They still only scored 13 points, and while Russell’s numbers weren’t as ugly as they were they previous couple of games, he still threw a couple of picks.

    They might match last season’s 5-11 but that’s about it.

  • south bay fan

    Its meant in good fun, i for one is stil bragging about our new “player”.


    GREAT READ! I Love this article. This is one of my favorites of all time. I love the swagger in the speech and the way you show the attitude in the way you wrote it. I LOVE my Raiders and man was that a site for sore eyes watching those pressure schemes. I haven’t even seen other teams with that exact package when Howard started on the right side of the line then before the snap, went accross the whole O-line and ended up coming in on the left. It was BEAUTFIUL. Keep it going RAIDERS!!!!

  • http://justblogbaby.com/ Chris Shellcroft


    Thanks for the props! I appreciate it.

    Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come. With the way things have been the last 6 years, I’m just glad to see a team play with heart. I’ll settle for ugly wins over ugly losses any day.

  • Dogen

    Oh give me a break! All this does is prolong he JR experiment. He still sucks and is NOT an NFL QB. what are you, a Broncos fan?

    Have we so soon forgotten how miserable this team has been the last several years?

    Before I start my rant, I want to give props to the defense. They stood up today and proved they were worthy. I said long ago, that the Raiders need to stop worrying about penalties and rules and just kick some ass. A ref can penalize you, but can’t rub away the knots on your head from a tackle.

    NOW……Raiders are still a team on the colapse. On ANY given Sunday a team can win. The Eagles just came in way overconfident and did not bother to prepare. Shame on them.

    The Raiders will not catch anyone else by surprise. Next Sunday, the Jets hand us our ass again.

    JR was again dismal overall and by all rights, the Raiders should have lost this stupid game.

    Ok, I could go on but I will put my head on the line…..if the Raiders beat the Jets, I will come on here and everywhere else and eat crow…

    If not………..


    I will be eating crow with you.

    Russell still sucks as a QB, and he is not done screwing us out of wins this year.

    He still has 10 games worth of crap to play.

    Maybe he can pull one good game out of his a$$, but I still see a 4-12 team.


    Great article though.

  • PantyRaider

    A small dose of reality here regarding “Kid” Russel….

    He was drafted a “JR” while speculation was he was not yet NFL ready but had a tremendous Up-Side that was off the charts…He sat his first season on the bench and has started one full season minus a few games due to injury…So now comes this season where he now has 6 starts…

    For the most part he looks very bad…Very bad indeed but with exclamations…

    #1…The “OL” or whats left of it…Shambles -n- Make-Shift describe it fairly well so how many young “QB”s could come in and perform well in that environment…

    #2…”WR”s…Sense Chaz when down “Kid” Russel has just not been the same…We have 2 rookies starting at no fault of the “QB” and communication has definitely been a problem…

    #3…”RB”s…Injury and failure is the key here and that’s also on that “OL”…Our run game is the worst so this puts more pressure on a young “QB” still trying to find his wings…

    #4…Coaching…Now why the hell Cable has almost abandoned the run early on and concentrated on a passing game is totally beyond me…We saw it in the pre-season and until this week we have been a pass-happy “O” that is failing miserably…

    But…Fumbles/INT’s/Over-Throws/sacks are the fault of the “QB” for the most part…But not entirely…He needs to learn to feel the pressure and grow the eyes in back of the head that the old timers have developed…He needs to find a rhythm…He needs to get accurate and develop better communication with his young “WR”s -n- “RB”s…

    These are all things that could come in time but we have to live with the Mis-Firings until that happens…

    So would you rather have Smith from “SadFranchise”…Or Quinn perhaps…Not to mention Vince Young -n- Matt Lianart who have also struggled to develop…Ya know you can always find a “QB” who comes in and performs well in the right program but more often than not the teams who have a shot at the top talent are also the teams who don’t have all the pieces in place to make the “QB” a winner….

    PantyRaider…”Kid” Russel Will Develop -n- Will be A Winner In Due Time!!!!/_

  • Dogen

    Hey NERAIDER, thanks for your comments. If we win I won’t mind taking back my remarks.

    Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE THIS TEAM!! But just like a parent who loves thier child, you have to snatch a knot in thier butts once in a while to get thier attention.

    Losing is part of the game. What I cannot abide is: Poor preparation, laziness, being out of shape and having a poor attitude. Lets face it folks, these guys are getting paid millions to basically play a game for 3 hours on a Sunday, and practice for half a day 3 days a week. Comon,’ get your butts out on the field and give 100 per cent.

    Regarding the comments by PantyRaider, this is exactly the attitude that allows the Raiders to continue being underachievers. The comments you made regarding Russell are right on. Why can he not master these simple things? Because he is not built mentally to be an NFL QB. He certainly has all the physical tools, but his QB IQ is lacking big time. An NFL level QB has to do many things all simultaneously, and he has trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time.

    The sooner we get rid of him, the sooner we can be on the road to respectability again.

    One thing I like about this win is it gives Cable some breathing room. I have a gut feeling that he bucked Davis and drew up his own game plan last week. If he keeps winning, it will be hard for the old brain dead geezer to screw with him. I think he is the kind of coach we need.

    To Hanson: Go away you sniveling little p***y! What kind of man gets hit and goes to the media and police like some slack-jawed pencil pusher? Be a man. Go to Cable and settle the issue and if you can’t whip him, take your ass-whipping and get lost. Don’t drag the team through a bunch of BS.

    And whats up with this “Felony Assault” nonsense? Last time I checked, this was reserved for assaults on law enforcement officers, attacks on defenseless persons (the elderly or undersized), or experts in Karate or boxing that assault average opponents. Sounds like a trumped up charge to me.

  • Dogen

    One last thought:

    The great QB’s don’t make excuses for having poor offensive lines, rookies or having to deal with poor-play calling. They are LEADERS and find ways to get it done on the field.

    See; Farve, Elway, Staubach,Aikman,Montana,Marino,Brady, Manning etc………

    Even average QB’s show some kind of consistency and leadership qualities.

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