Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Firstly, did that feel good or what?

For the second year running the RAIDERS went to Arrowhead and came away with a win, a win that had plenty of positives.

Darren McFadden looked the real deal, so did Micheal Bush.Mario Henderson was more Super Mario than Donkey Kong, and Rob Ryan's ass kicking materialised with the defense putting pressure on the Chiefs quarterbacks, while shutting down LJ and Dwayne Bowe.

It felt good alright, especially considering the circumstances that surrounded the team all week.Anytime you can go to a divisional rival and beat them on their turf is a sweet feeling, and it was enjoyable viewing to say the least.


And for me there is a but.I don't want to get too excited by a win over this Chiefs team.While it was great for morale, and a little belief could go a long way for the RAIDERS right now, it must be said that Sunday's opponent's were plain bad.I accept that we looked just as bad in week one, but looking at the two teams coming into the game the RAIDERS still had the better talent, and it was down to whether the coaching staff could use that talent in the right way.

Rob Ryan did his bit, after the no blitz zone of week one, we blitzed early and often and with Damon Huard knocked out of the game early, it would have been criminal to lose that game to a Tyler Thigpen lead offense.And despite a convincing looking scoreboard, the game was still in the balance after the Bush fumble that gave the Chiefs the ball back and down by a score.Thankfully Cpt. Kirk held onto that interception and Bush atoned for his mistake with a great TD run to kill it off once and for all.

Kiffin's playcalling was better than week one, but still I wasn't convinced.Tyvon Branch's interception in the first half gave us the ball at the nine, and we had to settle for a field goal after Kiffin had called two passes and one McFadden run up the middle.Where was Bush?Russell's stats aren't pretty either, 6 / 17 for 55yds going into Buffalo who are allowing only 91 rushing YPG is a worry.

Trust me I am over the moon with a win in Kansas City, I just don't want to go from thinking that we are terrible, to all of a sudden we are great, because the truth will be somewhere in between and the visit to Buffalo will answer many more questions than the Chiefs game did, and the 0-2 Chargers (oh that sounds good) have played better than their record suggests.The RAIDERS ground game will give us a chance in Buffalo, although they have been stingy against the run, San Diego on the other hand are 25th against the run and no doubt Kiffin will put the ball in the hands of McFadden and Bush again in Oakland.If that D turns up again for the next two weeks who knows....

So some optimism, but very very cautious optimism.


kigleigh said...

It did feel good didn't it Martin?
If the Donkeys hadn't got so lucky with the 'malfunctioning equipment'and bad call on the obvious fumble by Cutler at the end of their game, we somehow would be on the same record as both Denver & San Diego!,which looked very unlikely indeed after the Week 1 drubbing at home.
We've waited a long time to find out what Michael Bush has got and it seems he has plenty,which is a relief if Fargas's groin injury turns out to be a slow healer and DMC's toe gives him some problems.
For now though lets just enjoy the numbers....300 YARDS RUSHING !!!!
Did THAT get the rest of the league's attention do you think??

Leighraider said...

Maybe, but the 6 of 17 for 55 yds from Russell is worrying to say the least.Buffalo and SD will key completely on the run and dare Russell to hurt them.Hopefully one of two things will happen, either our ground game is the real thing and we run all over them anyway, or Russell takes the invitation to throw it all over the field, even better BOTH things happen!
I'm not sure Kiffin can come up with a passing gameplan to use what we have though.We shall see.300 was still nice though.

Calico Jack said...

It was nice to see the Raiders execute the gameplan and play with emotion. Both points are a credit to Kiffin and Ryan leading the men into battle.

We have a large hill to climb to get the passing game in gear. The only WR who can create separation is Lelie who has been with us for 13 days. Our only sure fire receiver is Miller. Will the pass protection improve over the next few weeks? It will need to for Russell to put up decent numbers. With a subpar WR corps (no true #1 or #2 WR) and shaky OLine in pass protection, and basically a rookie QB at the helm, it will need to be baby steps in terms of improvement.

In the meantime, I am hopeful that the rushing attack and an aggressive D can take us to a higher ground.

The Buffalo game will be an excellent test to see just how good we are vs. a quality opponent. My general feeling is that we are definitely not as bad as we were vs. Denver nor as good as were were vs. KC.

We shall see ...

Keep up the good work Martin.