Last night’s ownership of San Diego was by far the best total team effort the Oakland Raiders have put together this season. You could put every name on the active roster on a dartboard, blindly toss a dart and most likely wherever it lands you’d be able to say something that individual did well last night.
Ok…so maybe the dartboard thing is bit of a reach. But so too is any bet on the Chargers at this point. Perhaps we shouldn’t be reading too much into the win. The Norv Chargers are a mess and all Oakland did was lift the rug so the world could he how ugly that mess is.
Still, there is plenty of praise to go around. Let’s take a look at some of the better performances last night in no particular order.
Michael Bush – What can you say about his 242 total yards? About all you need to know is that he pushed Bo Jackson out of the Raider record book last night. Bush and the O-line really set the tone for the entire night. The bully building process is still a work in progress but last night was a great day on the job.
Stefen Wisniewski – His first start at center and I saw plenty of promise. Young Wiz is looking like a real weapon on screen passes. Get him in space and watch as the bodies fly. Samson Satele’s job was in jeopardy from the second the Raiders took Wisniewski. If Stefen gets another start it could be curtains for Samson. Whoever said you can’t lose your job to injury never played pro football.
Carson Palmer – This is what we’ve been waiting for. There is still more work to be done as two more turnovers didn’t help Oakland’s cause. Overall it was a great night for Palmer who showed great pocket presence, a solid grasp of the offense…oh…he also threw the rock around the yard a little bit too. Hard to tell who was supposed to be the All Pro and who was the guy sitting on his couch a month ago between Palmer and crybaby Philip.
Rolando McClain – Where has this guy been all season? The McClain I saw last night was around the ball about as often as the officials. He stuffed the run, pressured the QB and was an all-around menace. More moments like this out of McClain and there is no doubt the Raiders’ run defense will improve to playoff caliber.
Denarius Moore – More of Moore is a great thing! He burst on the scene early, had a bit of a rookie slump and now looks poised to reintroduce himself in the rookie of the year campaign. Moore abused Quentin Jammer all night. His route running is crisp and his ability to make circus catches is going to please plenty of NFL Films editors. Palmer’s presence has ignited the Raider receivers. Last week it was Jacoby Ford, this time around Moore. Can I get some Darrius Heyward-Bey love next week, please?
Kamerion Wimbley – Welcome to the party, Wimbley! I never thought he was slacking off thanks to that big payday her got. You saw the effort there on every snap, the results just weren’t coming. To be fair Wimbley is a sack specialist so unless he’s racking up 4 sacks at a time he’s pretty invisible. Wimbley did what all bullies do. He exploited an unfair matchup and made the Chargers pay dearly. Well done, sir!
Stanford Routt – He’s no Nnamdi Asomugha. He might be better…well…he just takes more risks…let’s leave it at that. Routt and the entire Oakland secondary get major props. About all the Chargers had going for them in this game was their aerial assault. Thanks to Routt, the passing game was grounded. A lot of the credit goes to the pass rush. Still, Vincent Jackson throwing in the towel about summed up how much he was harassed all night long by Routt and company.
Hue Jackson – He’s been taking plenty of heat in recent weeks. Funny how winning cures all. Coach Jackson stuck to his guns, put together a winning game plan but more importantly got every man in the locker room to commit. There is still plenty of work to do. The Raiders are hitting the road for three of their next four. Not every team is going to roll over like the Chargers. This was a crucial win but there is no time to enjoy it. On to the next…
Topics: Bo Jackson, Carson Palmer, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, Hue Jackson, Jacoby Ford, Kamerion Wimbley, Michael Bush, Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders, Philip Rivers, Quentin Jammer, Rolando McClain, Samson Satele, San Diego Chargers, Stanford Routt, Stefen Wisniewski, Vincent Jackson