The reason why I can make the statement that the Oakland Raiders will contend in the AFC West is due to the many weapons on offense and defense. Opposing teams are going to have to game plan against Terrelle Pryor, Darren McFadden, Rod Streater, Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford, Brice Butler, Jeron Mastrud, Mychal Rivera, Marcel Reece, etc… My friends, that is an arsenal. Opposing teams may be able to shut down one or two of our weapons, but they will not be able to cover all of them. The Raiders have only scratched the surface of their offensive diversity.
On defense, NT-Pat Sims and DT-Vance Walker spearheaded the penetration into the Colts backfield. This allowed for blitz packages and edge rushers to sack the quarterback. The linebackers contained the running game by shutting down gaps, and they didn’t allow sweeps or screen passes to fully evolve. LB-Nick Roach led the team in tackles (9) as he captained the defense. DB-Mike Jenkins, for the most part, shut down his side of the field. S-Charles Woodson almost had his first interception of the year, and S-Tyvon Branch clobbered ball carriers. Once the first quarter ended, the defense tightened up and only allowed one touchdown (7 points) to the Raiders 17 points.
I’ve played the tape about 10 times now, and I still see Colts WR-Darius Heyward-Bey holding Raiders DB-D.J. Hayden, which allowed Luck to get into the end zone. Yet, no Referee called the holding penalty. As is the case in many, okay, all of the Raiders games, the officials will not give us the calls, and they will give other teams all the calls. If it had been called, who knows what the outcome may have been, but I don’t think the Colts would have scored a touchdown.
Sebastian Janikowski missed a field goal at the end of the 2nd quarter which would have placed the Raiders in a better position to win the game with another field goal, but you never know. Don’t blame Marquette King Raider Nation, it was a good hold. Seabass just pushed it to the left, and it never came back.
It takes a team to win football games. The Raiders stood together and faced a formidable opponent, and they almost came out ahead with the win. This was a good game to humble the Raiders. They will be in the film room a lot this week to correct the mistakes that were made. The Raiders will come away from this game with more knowledge and confidence. The winning way is returning to the Silver and Black, and Raider Nation will have a front row seat. Get excited about this season, and I will see you at the game on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Go Raiders!