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Monday, September 30, 2013

Final Grades Redskins v.s. Raiders, Week 4:

With Pryor out, the Raiders were in for a long day.  Even the strongest Matt Flynn supporters did their best disappearing act after Flynn struggled so much.  He holds onto the ball way too long and stared down his receivers all day.  Matt Flynn is not a starting NFL quarterback.

The offensive line struggled to block with Flynn at quarterback.  They gave up seven sacks and seemed frustrated all day.  I don’t think the pass rush of the Redskins was that great, but with Flynn not being able to move much, he was a sitting duck.  

With both starting running backs going down early, Rashad Jennings came in and played well and he played hard.  The Raiders turned to such a conservative passing game that even Alex Smith may have gotten bored.  It did lead to Jennings making 8 catches for 71 yards.  

Fox executives must have been so happy when Mychal Rivera caught Matt Flynn’s only touchdown pass.  His sister is in the series Glee and if you didn’t think Fox had enough commercials promoting their shows, it allowed her to get in some more PR.  

The Raiders were outscored 24-0 after the first quarter.  

Matt Flynn is what he is.  He’s not a starter and is probably a third string QB on a good team.  The injuries to McFadden and Reece were deflating.  McFadden’s days are numbered I think and this was the last straw.  Without Pryor, the Raiders offense is one of the worst in the NFL this side of Jacksonville.

Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver had another good day.  His two blitzes on third and fourth down resulted in big plays.  Charles Woodsen’s blitzing is a big time weapon.  Sio Moore had a couple of dumb mistakes on penalties and misreads but it was good to see him out there and he should grow.  

The Raiders defensive line had a good day with nice pressure on RG III.  They turned the game into an ugly type of game but without the offense’s help, this defense isn’t good enough to do it alone.

When RG III scrambled the defensive backs struggled to keep in coverage and it cost them several times.  

The Raiders defense did a nice job under the leadership of Tarver.  There were still a couple of dumb penalties which need to be fixed.  

Special Teams:  
Sebastian Janikowski was 0-1 in field goals but it was a long kick.  Marquette King was consistent in his punting and the Raiders made the right decision to keep him.  A great blocked punt by Rashad Jennings that lead to atouchdown started the game off right.  The punt and kickoff coverage was good but the return game has yet to gel.

Special Teams have been doing a pretty good job so far.

Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver has a bright future ahead of him.  He knows this defense lacks depth and talent at some places and he is doing his best to be aggressive and unpredictable.  The blitzes today were really timed and masked well.    

Offensively I’m still not getting it.  At the end of the first half the Raiders pretty much ran out the clock with 1:48 remaining when they should have tried something.  In the red zone against the Jaguars, they pretty much conceded to making field goals instead of trying for touchdowns.  The offense is way too conservative.  The Raiders have been losing for years so what is the problem?  You don’t run fake punts if you are then going to lie down on offense.  

The Raiders also didn’t do anything to help Flynn.  How about 3 step drops or rolling out in the pocket to protect him.  Even a double reverse, half back passes, or do more misdirection plays.  They just seemed to do the same 5 and 7 step drops all game.  

The fake punt call was a good one and I liked it whether it worked or not.  It was a well designed play.  


Defensively I love what is happening but offensively there isn’t enough imagination.  Even with Flynn at quarterback you have to change it up and put the ball in others hands.  You also have to play to win, not play to hopefully not lose.  

Up next:
With the NFC east being so terrible, the Raiders schedule looks a little easier but the AFC West has improved.  Unfortunately their next opponent; the Chargers in Oakland; can score a lot of points and it will be interesting if the Raiders can keep up.  Pryor should be available and hopefully the Raiders offense will come to life.  

Jim Jax

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