Raider Recap: Offense (Week 9)


The Oakland Raiders lost their fourth straight game, finishing the first half of their schedule.  The Raiders have suffered from the same mistakes all season: turnovers by whoever’s playing quarterback and an inability to stop their opponents on third down.  Last Sunday the Raiders put on a clinic for the Houston Texans, showing them exactly how to lose miserably; you must have your quarterback throw the ball to the other team, and let the opposing offense (led by the second string QB) convert 50% of their third downs.

The offense ran the ball well (153 yards, moving them back up to 4th in the NFL in rushing), and would have racked up more yards if it weren’t for the pitiful Josh McCown.  The only game McCown hasn’t thrown an interception in was the only game he didn’t finish (because he got injured).  In 3½ games McCown has thrown 8 interceptions.  He hasn’t even been able to finish a game without throwing at least two INTs.  Although Daunte Culpepper’s numbers aren’t as bad (4 INTs in 4½ games), he threw an ugly ball when he got his chance to start, and he made horrible decisions.

At this point I’m ready for Head Coach Lane Kiffin to start JaMarcus Russell, but this week might not be the best idea.  The Chicago Bears come to town on Sunday, and this might not be the best time to start the first overall pick, but if he does start, I think he’ll give the Raiders the best chance to win.  Russell’s getting more snaps in practice than ever before, and the uncertainty that he could bring to an opponents’ game plan is a better weapon than anything McCown or Culpepper can offer.

The Raiders have lost 6 games this season, with Culpepper and McCown making huge mistakes in every one of the losses.  But the thing is the Raiders still had a chance to win every one of those games (except for the Chargers game), even with poor play from the quarterback position.  Culpepper’s 4th quarter errant and telegraphed throws single-handedly lost the games against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans.  McCown has started and finished three games this season.  He helped the Raiders lose the season opener by giving the Detroit Lions 14 points off two turnovers, and all within the last 5 minutes of the game.  McCown would follow the opener with three interceptions in Denver in a game that was lost in overtime.  McCown threw three more INTs last week against the Texans, with 7 points coming off one of the interceptions thrown within the Raiders 20 yard line.  I hope you see what I see, because I see a team that’s one play, one confident leader from being 7-1.

Yes, the Oakland Raiders could easily be 7-1 if it weren’t for the QB position.  So that’s where Russell fits in.  When, where, and how he fits in will be up to Baby K (AKA, Coach Kiffin).

Raiders Week 9: Offensive Winners and Losers.

Josh McCown – Enough said… – Loser
Justin Fargas – 104 yards on 23 carries for his first start of the season. He ran hard, and blocked well – Winner
LaMont Jordan & Dominic Rhodes – I don’t know what they did to get in the Kiffin’s doghouse, but if they’re losing time, and nobodies speaking up, then it means the rest of the team backs the decision, or do they?  More to come on this topic in the next few days, but until then, due to a lack of production – Losers
Sebastian Janikowski – He was inches from an easy NFL record breaking 64 yard field goal that could’ve been made from 70 yards.  Even though he missed it – Winner