Oakland Raiders Week 2 Primer: Not So Raven

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Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece (45) is congratulated by tight end Mychal Rivera (81) after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Bengals defeated the Raiders 33-13. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the bad football Raiders fans have had to cope with over the last few seasons, this may have been one of the worst opening week games in recent memory. To lose 33-14 to the Bengals with the first game being a home game is extremely frustrating. Even more frustrating is how this team lost. Everything we thought we learned about this team went right out the window and instead of meeting our expectations we saw a train wreck.

What Happened?

The beginning of this week’s column is very upsetting, but before I get into everything about this game it should be noted that what happened in this game can be reversed.

On the first play from scrimmage, Derek Carr took the snap from shotgun and fired a quick pass to Amari Cooper who was running a slant to his left. The pass was a little behind him and just above his shoulder, but he uncharacteristically dropped the pass. Officially, the Raiders had five drops in the game, however it can be argued that number is closer to eight.

Throughout the course of the afternoon it was one gaff after another. If it was not a dropped pass then it was a penalty. Take for instance Jamize Olawale’s 50 yard run that was called back due to a holding penalty that was very controversial. As a team the Raiders averaged 3.9 yards per carry for the game and held Jeremy Hill to 3.3 yards per carry. If the Olawale run was not called back not only would the stats be drastically different, but the Raiders would have likely scored and changed the game.

Of course, we cannot change what did or did not happen in the game. Offensively, the Raiders flashed some real upside. The formation offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave came out with that had four receivers to the right and an isolated receiver left was very well conceived. It also lead to the best gain through the air the Raiders had as well when Amari Cooper took a short out route, broke a tackle, and racked up some yards after catch. That is exactly what this offense is designed to create and we saw that, just not enough.

Michael Crabtree looked as if he has healed well from his achilles injury from a couple years ago. His movements and routes were well run and tight. He caught several balls in this game and had one exceptional snag on a 3rd and long with Carr rolling to his right. Reece was the only other consistent target the Raiders used and he also had at least one drop. He will continue to be a guy that is used in many ways and it seems as if Raider fans will get their wish to him used on a consistent basis.

The offensive line was fairly solid in this game. Cincinnati recorded two sacks both against Matt McGloin. The first sack could have been easily avoided had McGloin simply stepped up in the pocket and been more aware, but the second sack was a typical late game garbage sack with a team down big and passing on every down. In the run game, the front five were getting a solid push. They were very successful with the shotgun trap play.

Surprisingly, the combination of Webb and Howard on the right side was a successful duo. Webb does struggle in pass sets from time to time, but considering he was lined up across an elite three tech in Geno Atkins, he played a solid game.

Next: Week 2 Primer: Defense Did What?