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Raiders again inept in loss
NFL: Oakland Raiders vs. Houston Texans 12/21/08


The Raiders could generate no rushing offense, nor could they generate a consistent passing offense. The defense, on the other hand, had three breakdowns in the first half that put them in a deep hole, along with the usual two drives where they were gashed for chunks of yards.

This was a matchup that favored the Raiders on paper, but as the saying goes, the games are not played on paper. The Texans entered the game at the bottom of the league in rush defense, and the Raiders were supposed to be a very good rushing team, however the Raiders could only generate 45 yards on the ground.


Early on, it looked like Russell would have a solid game, but after a few drives that fell apart. He was hindered by several dropped balls by rookie receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy, but then Russell found his usual accuracy issues.

The Raiders defense had moments where it held strong, but they had just enough breakdowns to set up big plays to give the Texans three of their scores. Two of those big plays only resulted in field goals after the Raiders stiffened up, but the third set up an 18 yard reception by Steve Slayton. That was part of the second quarter implosion the Radiers defense experienced. In another drive, they allowed the Texans to run down the field for a 78 yard drive that ws capped by a 32 yard run.

The back-breaker was in the middle of the third quarter when the Raiders took over at their own one. The offensive line got absolutely no push, which was a common theme every time the Raiders tried to run the ball, and Fargas was trapped in the endzone for a safety. The Texans crushed the spirit of the Raiders as Jacoby Jones returned the ensuing free kick for a touchdown.

The Raiders offense has become a disaster of 2006 proportions. Russell was 12-33 128 yards. The team rushed for a total of 45 yards, meaning the they could only manage 165 total yards of offense once the sacks were tallied for the negative. This was an average of a whopping 2.9 yards per play.

Russell was not helped as his receivers could not hold on to the ball. Louis Murphy had more drops (4) than he had catches (3). Darrius Heyward-Bey had the most combined yards of any Raider with 20 yards rushing on an end-around and one catch for 18 yards, but he also contributed to the drop parade with two.

The Raiders defense shut down the Texans for the second half, but that seems illusory as they were primarily running out the clock after the nine point safety-touchdown swing in the middle of the third quarter. It had become painfully obvious that the Raiders could not score in the Moonlight Bunny Ranch with JaMarcus Russell’s signing bonus, and they could sit on a 23 point lead. In fact, since week one the Raiders have only scored a total of 19 points.


You can also find Patrick Patterson on EXAMINER.com

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