Watching the game on Sunday night was interesting for me. I was excited and calm all at the same time. Usually, I’m fired up all day long, and I let all my emotions pour out at the game or at the television. However, this time I reserved a lot of my emotions for the fact that the Oakland Raiders tend to start fast and lose in the end. With the exception of the third quarter, I was extremely happy with the outcome. A Raiders win!
As a Raiders fan, who wouldn’t be happy. They won. Not only did they win, but they maintained the lead in the game throughout the duration of the game against a team that, according to all the pundits, should have beat the Raiders. This is new to us Raiders fans. This is the first time in a long time that I have really been more than just optimistic about the potential of this team.
Yet, I still see something that worries me. The usage of Terrelle Pryor. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying TP2 is the cause of this. It’s the coaching staff and their play calling that has me worried. Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson is running the Pistol Formation too much, and the Read Option for TP2 is causing him to run to the same side often. Teams like the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers keyed in on this fact. That’s why the third quarter of the Sunday night game fell into a lull.
Simply put, TP2 is a threat and a viable option to run the football, but there are other weapons on the Raiders offense that must be used to open up the Read Option for TP2. If Darren McFadden comes back, use his skills to get the ball in the hands of playmakers like Marcel Reece and Jacoby Ford. If he is still out, Marcel Reece and Rashad Jennings can pull some double duty. I just don’t feel like Olson is utilizing the Read Option to its full potential. If an opposing defense knows that TP2 is going to roll to his right most of the time, design some plays that use a roll to the left.
I know, it’s difficult when the Offensive Line is in such a flux, but there has to be a happy median. Get a little pass happy with the team. Throw some short slants and crossing routes. Get the defense to bite on the receivers a bit. Then, throw the big bombs. Maybe even implement some more screen passes to Reece. Reece has proven that in space, he can get it done with his legs. Again, there are so many weapons being under-utilized right now.
In any event, I am very happy with the way the Oakland Raiders Defense is playing. Not too sure about the “Prevent” defense they ran, because it allowed for Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers to score too much. Still, Lamarr Houston is getting to the quarterback and turnovers are being created. Charles Woodson is who we thought he was! The “D” is beginning to come into their own and mesh quite well. No doubt this is due Woodson and the other veterans bringing it all together on and off the field. The Kansas City Chiefs will be a huge test for our defense, but I’m sure they will be up for the challenge.
I just hope that OC Greg Olson can implement some new plays that utilize a mixture of the talent pool he can pull from. Run it yes, but use the passing game to open up TP2’s Read Option running. I take solace in the fact that this offensive scheme is being built as the year progresses. Every week there is a new twist to it. Let’s not forget the weapons that will be available in the passing game (Denarius Moore, Rod Streater, Brice Butler, Jacoby Ford, Andre Holmes). I haven’t even touched on the tight ends. Like I said before, the offense has the potential to dominate the NFL. This season is not lost by any means, and there is still a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s go Raiders!