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Raiders Week 15: Ballers & Busters

Each week I think it can’t get any worse and then, it does. Every week I say “what’s the point” and yet each week the endeavor gets more and more pointless. The only thing that helps me keep my sanity when watching these games is the analytical perspective.

I find it interesting that just last week after I put out my Ballers and Busters, Rob said something to the effect “When a defense plays this bad, no one should be given credit.” Last week I disagreed with that statement. This week was the definition of a complete collapse. I feel sorry for many of these guys. Because of a few glaring weak spots, this team is a complete failure offensively and defensively. The level of frustration must be at an all time high. If I were on this team I would be so damn angry I would either kill someone or have a brain aneurysm. The terrible schemes and overpaid worthless players on this team have taken any sense of pride or passion they might have had away from them. So let’s just get this over with.

Darren McFadden– He was the only part of the offense that really looked like it was working. He had three catches for a 68 yards to go along with 46 yards rushing and a touchdown. One of the problems that has been with the offense is there are very few designed screens. Normally what happens is when there is no one open, Russell drops the ball off to the running back as a last option. Aside from simply running the ball, screen passes and play action should be the core of this offense. All of McFadden’s three catches went for considerable gains but his best was on the Raiders first posession of the 2nd half where he ran to the right side and laid a textbook chip block on the defensive end to give Russell more time and then took the screen pass for 27 yards.

Trevor Scott– I know the entire defense played horrible but before we get into that, I would like to leave Trevor Scott out of it. This guy is a gem. He works his tail off on special teams and on the few times he is put in the game, he makes his presence felt. I only saw him out there a few times but he still had 4 tackles, 2 were sacks and 1 was a tackle for a loss. In fact he was the only Raider with any sacks at all on the day. I think the NFL stat gurus need to do like the NBA does. They have a “per minute” stat and in the stats they always show how many minutes a player had. Whether it be points, rebounds, assists, etc. The NFL can call it an “Play Impact Ratio”. Find out who has the most impact per play. Trevor Scott would have an extremely high PIR. And next year I would think we will see a lot more of him.

Mario Henderson– What do you know. He started over Kwame Harris and he didn’t give up a single sack, have a single holding call, or a single false start. What does this guy have to do to get a start? He made my baller list a couple times when Harris was hurt earlier in the season and yet Harris got his job back when he got was healthy again. Let’s hope that Henderson has the job the rest of the way so we can get a more accurate barometer of his skill set. This team can’t draft two Tackles and they are too expensive in free agency so we need to know if Henderson can be the guy at either left or right tackle. He is certainly a better option than Harris.

Jonnie Lee Higgins– He had 3 catches for 66 yards but he earns his spot on this list for just one of those catches. He took a short slant pass 56 yards to the house. And 50 of those yards were YAC thanks in part to a great Zach Miller block and in part to pure speed. Those kind of big plays are what this offense is starving for.


The ENTIRE Defense (But let’s break it down)-

There was not a single member of the defense that wasn’t victimized on Sunday. Every single one of them either gave up a TD, multiple big plays, or had big penalties to keep drives going. The Pats are good but they are not as good as the Raiders defense made them look on Sunday. Complete disgrace.

First Pats drive– Chris Johnson gave up TWO first down catches to Wes Welker and BOTH were on third down to keep the drive going. Then Kirk Morrison gave up a catch to Kevin Faulk and Stanford Routt was easily blocked as Faulk took it in for a touchdown.

Second Pats Drive– After a Lechler muffed punt to give the Pats the ball on the Raiders 35 yard line, it took them THREE plays to score. Sammy Morris ran right through where Tommy Kelly wasn’t, and right past where the linebackers weren’t and gained 15 yards. Then two plays later, Rashad Baker gave up a 20 yard touchdown to Randy Moss.

Third Pats Drive– Morris ran up the middle where Gerard Warren wasn’t, for another 14 yard gain. Then on third down, Nnamdi Asomugha gave up an 8 yard, first down catch to Faulk and on the very next play he is called for holding. Two plays later Aso gives up an 11 yard catch to Moss in which he was called for holding AGAIN but it was declined in favor of the Moss reception. Then Sammy Morris ran the ball up the middle, right past Tommy Kelly to go 29 yards for a touchdown with Morrison out of position and Routt and Johnson both missing tackles along the way.

Fourth Pats Drive– Gerard Warren missed a tackle that would have been for a loss on a Faulk catch that went for 6 yards. Derrick Burgess was called offsides on third and 2 which resulted in a first down. Baker and Johnson were lost on a Welker 31 yard catch and run. Then Thomas Howard and Jon Alston were bystanders for a 13 yard Welker touchdown.

Fifth Pats Drive– Ellis Hobbs 95 yard kickoff return touchdown. This came right after a 91 yard kickoff return TD by Justin Miller for the Raiders. So much for that.

So if you were keeping track you may have noticed that the Pats scored TOUCHDOWNS on their first FIVE STRAIGHT POSESSIONS. That should NEVER happen with any team EVER! And by half way through the second quarter, this game is already over.

Let’s review the busters on this list so far:

Nnamdi Asomugha

Chris Johnson

Kirk Morrison

Stanford Routt

Tommy Kelly

Rashad Baker

Derrick Burgess

Thomas Howard

Jon Alston

Gerard Warren

Jay Richardson- was blocked on a 23 yard Faulk run and also whiffed on Lamont Jordan 49 yard run to give up the final touchdown of the day.

Gibril Wilson- Had an interception off of a deflection in the first half but no one cares about that when you give up an easy touchdown to Randy Moss in the back of the end zone on third down.

Kalimba Edwards- Had only 2 tackles on the day and was routinely handled on the block on runs and screens to his side of the field.


JaMarcus Russell– He overthrew Curry to end the first drive with a three and out. Next posession he overthrew Schilens on one play and then the next play he fumbled the ball. Next posession he threw behind Schilens for another three and out. Two drives later he overthrew Schilens and then throws a terrible pass that Curry drops. Next drive after the Raiders get into scoring position, he under throws Schilens again resulting in an interception on the 1 yard line. The Raiders have two good pass plays in the first half. One was all thanks to Higgins YAC and the other is to a wide open Zach Miller. Then on the Raiders first posession of the second half, he has one of his patented phantom fumbles in which he goes back to pass and the ball falls out of his hand. Luckily it was recovered by the Raiders but it still ended the drive. He then has the one really good pass on the day which was a fade to Ronald Curry for a touchdown. But by then it was too late. After that he had a near interception and on a Wildcat pass from Michael Bush he had a Bad-News-Bears-esque bobbling dropped pass that just made me want another drink. His stat line looked good with 242 yards and 2 Tds but most of that was on screen passes to McFadden and that 50 yard run after the catch by Higgins. You take those away and he had 124 yards and one garbage time touchdown. Only the defense looked worse on the day.