The defense continued it’s struggles as it allowed the once floundering Geno Smith and company to drop a huge 37 points on them in a game with missed tackle after missed tackle. While the Raiders’ offense tried to keep up with the hole the defense was digging them, they couldn’t catch a break as miscues from all three phases piled up.
Here are my top takeaways from the game, which is right up there with the Eagles’ game as as the worst win of the season.
As Charles Woodson put it, “We were like the Bad News Bears out there today, defensively, we went out there and basically peed down our legs.”
The defense is becoming a liability- Earlier in the season the defense was a top-10 unit in the NFL and was the backbone of this team, keeping them in most games while the offense always fluttered in the second half. This has not been the case in recent weeks as they have allowed mediocre quarterbacks like Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick to look like pro-bowlers against them.
“I do think the defense is worn down,” Allen said. “But we’ve got to go out and tackle … we’ve got three more football games, and we’ve got to tackle better. We’ve got to do the things that we have to do to be able to get off the field.”
While a lot of the blame can be placed on the fact that injuries have plagued the secondary so that they are with their first round draft selection DJ Hayden and there always solid safety, Tyvon Branch. Still, the pass rush has been terrible these past two games as Lamaar Houston has retreated into the shadows and been really quiet.
The defense technically “only” allowed 30 points and held up nicely when Matt McGloin was picked off at his own 2 yard yard by safety Ed Reed, limiting them to only a field goal.
More special team miscues- While this loss cannot be put on the shoulders of Seabass because the Raiders lost by 10, if Marquette King’s kick was not blocked and returned for a touchdown, the game could have been very different. Jano continues to be terrible this season as he missed another kick, this one a 51 yarder that went far right. Janikowski just signed a big deal this offseason and so far he is showing us that he is not worth the money by far.
Thankfully, Janikowski has rebounded in the past from terrible seasons.
His 2005-2007 season he kicked 66, 72 and 71 percent, respectively, then his next four seasons never shot below 81 percent.
Besides his blocked kick which was not his fault, Marquette King had is worst game of the season with an average kick of only 42.5 yards and a net average of a measly 21.7 yards.
Marcel Reese plays well- Don’t let the stat sheet fool you, Marcel Reese did not that amazing of a day, as his stats were inflated by a 65 yard scamper up the middle for a touchdown that was allowed by a key block from who else, Lucas Nix.
On multiple occasions Reese ran into the line for little to no gain, but as Dennis Allen says, that is how he imagined this offense working. Running up the middle for 1, 2, 3 yard gains and them bam, they pop a big one, and that has certainly been true this season they have had touchdown runs of 93, 80 and 63 yards already this season.
While everyone is praising Reece for his 6.5 YPC this game and saying how deadly he is whenever he touches the ball, I personally don’t understand why.
He has dropped a lot of passes this season and his stats have been mediocre at best when you take away his huge touchdown run this game where he was not touched even once.
That touchdown was a credit to amazing blocking by the offensive line on that play. Take that away and he is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry for this game and for the season. That is not that impressive.
Although where he does excel is in a check down role where he can use his great open space running ability to gain tremendous yards after the catch. He is averaging 9.7 yards per reception this season with only one catch going beyond 12 yards, so the stat is not inflated by a huge downfield throw.
Dennis Allen needs to kept another season- Keep calm Raiders fans, be patient with coach Allen. His record might not indicate it, but he has been doing a really good job this season given his predicament.
He has 70 million dollars this year going to players that aren’t even on the team this year, has had to pick up players that many teams in the league have just cast off, and install a new system, not just in the organizational stand point, but with on and off field discipline as well.
He put a system in place for the players that has worked well this season and made the slated “worst team in the league” competitive in most games this season. They have blown many second half leads, but if you watch the tape, you see that it is mostly from a lack of execution, while you can coach the hell out of any player, you can’t control how he eventually executes on the field.
With a couple of bad kicks or other miscues going their way, this team could easily have another couple of wins under it’s belt.
He and GM Reggie McKenzie need the next season when they can work with ample money and a full selection of draft picks to really prove to the fans their full potential. Keep in mind that they have been competitive all this year with mediocre quarterback play, which leads lots of “experts” to believe that all the Raiders are missing are a great QB. Unfortunately great quarterbacks are hard to come by and they need to focus on adding talent across all positions.