Well well well,
Schilens is starting over Curry. This is a great thing. Schilens size and speed make him a better outside target and Curry thrives in the slot. Too bad we have Yvonne Walker still will start, catch two passes, and find his divot mark on the bench. I like Schilens and I am glad he is getting his shot.
It has been a while since I posted, my apologies, I had two weddings back-to-back weekends so I was sparred the agony of the New Orleans defeat, or I was live anyways.
The Saints were underrated going into last week. It was my hope the short week/long week thing would go in our favor, but it turns out the Saints took out their Monday night frustrations on us. Too bad.
I don’t think anyone is noticing how poorly our offense has been when McFadden isn’t full strength. Provided he is back to 100% soon, our offense will start rolling. If it wasn’t for some late game collapses, this team could be 3-2. We aren’t, but it is important to notice this, because clearly we can win in this league. We just need to finish games when we get on top.
One thing I would like to see as McFadden gets healthy is splitting him out wide and doing more misdirection. I know the latter isn’t common in our offensive scheme, but I believe anything can be worked in if you believe it can work.
After going back and watching the game, I think Russell obviously has a ways to go. Usually rookies (which we all now have to understand Russell is) take some time to grasp the NFL level. At best, it starts in the second half of the season, see Peyton Manning, and others. Sometimes it takes longer. We shouldn’t give up on Russell and I think Cable and Knapp used last week as a test for Russell, to see where he is at. It can be tough to determine what a young QB is good and bad at without seeing it in a game. That should mean more of what Russell is good at and the coaches can work with him on the bad and slowly work that back into the offense as he gets better.
You can either grow with the young QB, or hide him until he is ready. I believe this is one area Cable and Knapp may have disagreed with Kiffin. Obviously Kiffin had to win, so hiding Russell and trying to win by running was his only hope. Cable thinks this team can win and I think they can as well, because Russell will probably be inconsistent, but that can also mean he could get hot.
I know this is a stretch, but remember that one night back in training camp where Russell was lights out great? What is going to happen when that happens in a game? It will in time, we just don’t know when.
When the Raiders Have the Ball:
We don’t know when, but if Russell is going to have a good game, one would assume a game against the secondary of the 28th rated pass defense in the league would be the time to do it. Also, opposing QBs have a 89.9 Passing Rating against the Jets, only a fraction ahead of the Raiders at 90.5. Good for 21st and 22nd in the league respectively. If the passing game is going to wake up now is a good time. The secondary for the Jets is average at best.
Running the ball could be a much more daunting task as the Jets are third in the league with only 69 yards game allowed on the ground. However, I don’t believe the talent lives up to this ranking. Kris Jenkins could cause big problems for Jake Grove, but usually the tackles in the 3-4 don’t hurt us and the Jets don’t have the talent at LB to do significant damage to Green or Harris. Gholston isn’t starting and Jay Richardson has said off-the-record (Not to me) that Gholston could be so much better if he worked hard, but he doesn’t. Also, the Packers haven’t faced a ZBS (Zone-Blocking Scheme) yet this season. McFadden is getting healthy, don’t temper expectations too much, but don’t expect the world either. 163 yards and a 1 TD is a pretty good prediction from Accuscore.
When the Jets Have the Ball:
The secondary will be tested with Cotchery and Coles. Both have the ability to do some damage to our Hall and Huff/Eugene. The good thing is that Farve is crazy enough to throw to Asomugha’s side and his propensity to be a bit of a gunslinger could be big for our talented Linebackers. Brett Farve is statistically having a career year completing 71% of his passes with a rating of 103.0. He is on pace for the most TDs in his careers and in line with his career average in interceptions. He will give up those turnovers, and only failed to throw and INT in his week one debut against the hapless secondary in Miami. The good news here isn’t just the turnovers, but that sooner or later, he is going to have a game that drags these numbers down to his career levels.
Thomas Jones hasn’t been scaring many people lately. He is a average starting RB in this league and the Jets only average 86.4 YPG on the ground. Our much improved run defense is allowing 115 YPG. I don’t expect them to get much going on us on the ground, and the hope here would be more Farve passing means more turnovers and less amount of time the defense is on the field.
I’ve listened to many people this week that think the Raiders match up very well against the Jets. Numerous people have picked the Raiders as upset winners. I can also tell you a lot of betters like the Raiders this week.
I’ll be headed out to the Collesium EARLY Sunday. I’ve never been in the Press Box in Oakland, I’ve heard it is a small and cramped, we’ll see.