Darren McFadden again ran hard but this time there were some holes to run through. He looked quick and hit the holes hard. He ran for 129 yards on 19 carries. Rashad Jennings and Marcel Reece also looked good. The offensive line did a good job run blocking against the struggling Jags.
This was a good week to work on the passing game but the Raiders didn't do it. They are playing the worst team in the NFL but they were as conservative as Bud Grant in a snow storm. Twice on third down in the red zone the Raiders settled for an off tackle play and kicked a field goal. I don't know who needed to be slapped behind the head more; coach Dennis Allen and offensive coordinator Greg Olson, or announcer and former Raider Steve Beuerlein for telling us what great moves they were.
The Raiders can't score touchdowns in the red zone. That is on the quarterback. Pryor was 15-24 for 126 yards and no touchdowns. They have to get the tight end and full backs involved in the passing game. If the Raiders think they are going to beat teams just throwing to wide receivers and running backs, they are losing it. A shovel pass and quarterback draw would also help. Tight ends were targeted only 4 times all day with 3 receptions by Mychal Rivera for 30 yards. Marcel Reese was targeted one time all day.
Denarius Moore had ANOTHER easy drop on a crossing pattern because he continues to catch balls with his body and not his hands. He had only 2 targets all day. Rod Streater had 3 catches with 2 of them being really tough ones. He is now learning to catch with his hands and it is showing with less dropped balls.
The Raiders have to get Marcel Reece and the tight ends involved and they are not doing it. A total of 32 yards passing for Reese and the tight ends combined is not cutting it. The running game improved, but the passing game was a bust at times.
Marcel Reece has to be utilized better in the passing game and the Raiders have to establish a tight end or they will not be scoring many TD's this year. One TD against the worst team in the NFL at home isn't a very good showing.
When Maurice Jones-Drew went down, the Jags literally no longer had their top 3 offensive weapons. This is one bad offense. Add tackle Luke Joeckel's growing pains and quarterback Chad Henne not being able to hit the broad side of a barn sometimes, and it's tough to watch. The Raiders handled the Jags running game and the pass rush was really improved this week. The front 4 played well and Lamarr Houston is the real deal.
The Jags did what the Colts did last week. They went after rookie DJ Hayden in the second half. Hayden rarely looks at the ball when he covers and has a lot to learn. I was never thrilled with picking him and I'm still not, but time will tell.
I love defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and he's done a nice job. He knows the Raiders are undermanned up front so he's doing various stunts to try and fool the offense. The Raiders ended up with 5 sacks.
The Raiders stopped the run and did fairly well against the pass until the second half. Last week the Chiefs defense stopped the Jags from going past midfield until 9 minutes left in the game. The Raiders defense will have it's ups and downs this year.
Sebastian Janikowski was 4 for 5 in field goals, but he did miss a chip shot. Last weeks miss from 48 yards out in a dome was a bad one because the Raiders would have won the game if he hits that. The Raiders did the right thing by keeping Marquette King who continues to punt well. The coverage and return teams were nothing special but also not bad.
Special Teams have been doing a pretty good job so far.
Jason Tarver has done a really good job with the defense and he was a great hire for defensive coordinator. The Raiders defense played with fire and were physical and the fans definitely enjoyed it. I'm not so thrilled with Dennis Allen and Greg Olson. The Raiders still struggle with getting the plays in on time and then when Pryor has to audible, it's too late.
Offensively the Raiders were way too conservative against a bad team like the Jaguars at home. This was a game to hone the skills of Pryor but the Raiders played it safe which was a bad move. Marcel Reece and the tight ends have to be involved in the passing game to help out Terrelle Pryor.
The Raiders played with heart but their offense played scared when they had to throw the ball. You wonder if this is the type of team that plays up or down to the competition. The next 2 weeks will really tell the tale on how good; or bad; this team will be.