Brace yourselves for blackouts local fans. 2-5 is hardly the kind of product that people are going to pay $100 to watch.
With the most recent installment of Raider Football ending in a complete destruction what can you expect. It was a game moslty bad, as always I will attempt to find whatever hint of a silver lining there may be.
QB: Russell didn’t have a fantastic day, but considering the offensive line’s struggle to keep defenders out of the backfield or even make their line calls in time, he did what he could. There was only a couple of errant throws and I’d say all but one came before we had to throw on every play. I think he is growing, but the Ravens defense were in his face all day. Can’t really blame Russell much for this loss. His WR didn’t exactly get open either.
RB: Fargas & Bush got nothing against the Ravens. That isn’t a surprise to me. You have to wonder why McFadden was inactive. I think the coaching staff finally realized he isn’t going to have much of an impact until he is healthy, and rest is the only way to do that. Don’t be surprised if he sits next week as well. The only way to run on the Ravens is to start by making them respect the pass a bad matchup for us in that regard.
WR/TE: Schilens looks like our #1 and that is scary. Miller continues to show that when he is allowed to get into the passing game he can impact the game. Walker, Curry, etc didn’t do anything until garbage time. This has to be an area of considerable concern. Was Drew Carter the answer? Messy position that I don’t see improving much as the season goes on even if the production goes up as Russell develops. I have some hope for Schilens, Higgins, which kinda contradicts what I said, but hope shouldn’t be the same as realistic thought. Miller will develop as a threat when the OL gets fixed entirely, not there yet.
OL: Absolutely abused. All of them, even Carlisle and Gallery who have been the pillars of strength so far. Mostly Cornell Green and Harris though. What is going to happen if we change scheme again next season? The only starters that would likely remain are Gallery and Grove. Scary. I’m afraid.
CB/S: I thought Hall played pretty good. It was Wilson who got beat a couple times and was caught out of position. He isn’t really known for playing the pass well, I guess we see why. The unit as a whole was victim of a couple big plays, but I thought they played better than in past weeks, which is two weeks straight.
LB: Howard was a monster today. No doubt about it, he was a beast. Morrison missing a couple tackles on Ray Rice, so it wasn’t one of his better days. Ricky Brown was solid. This unit had a lot of pressure put on them considering the defensive line’s poor play.
DL: Trevor Scott really got under my skin. On a play where he was driven backwards, he released and a Raven RB ran outside where he gained 10 yards and the tackle was made by Wilson I think. Well, I watched him on the play and after he was blocked and the RB released he jogged towards to ballcarrier, no hussle at all. If he hussled he makes the tackle for a gain of only five yards. The unit was unspectacular as a whole and I don’t remember any of them really making an impact with RBs running through holes. I think that they again got tired as the game went on. Can’t put it all on them, but certainly one of the weaker spots of the team on the day.
ST: Coverage was suspect; returns were short. We lost the field position game which is hard to do with Lechler on the team. Or so you would think. There wasn’t much here to help the other two phases of the game.
Coaching/Scheme: I question the gameplan. Knowing how hard it is going to be to run, why not open up the passing game early, while the OL still has energy to pass block. Once the passing game gets going (The Raven’s weakness) then you can run some draws and misdirection runs. I wonder what ever happened to the screen pass. Seems to me they work when we run them, but we don’t do it enough. The defensive gameplan was pretty good, but we made too many mistakes. I think evidence of the defensive scheme being good was Cam Cameron resorting to Wildcat and throws to Flacco and such. Cam really had to pull some crazy stuff to get yards. Once the defense got tired he was able to go back to drop back passing and running between the tackles. I know people want to see blitzing, but the fact is, often times when you blitz there are either open guys or you play zone. So far the opposing QBs have found the open man or we have blown the zone coverage.
West coast teams continue to lose on the east coast. This trend is disturbing. Someone has to break it eventually, but it didn’t happen today.
More to come after we hear from Cable.