Denver Domination. They beat the Raiders in just about every way possible. Interesting observations abound from the Black Hole.
1) The defense never did adjust to the Denver offense. The Broncos spread the field and lined Marshall up in the slot. The outside receivers cleared the corners and got the safeties to move back. They then would pick the linebackers with the tight end and run the slot receiver through the middle of the formation one-on-one with the linebacker. The linebackers either couldn’t hang with the receivers or would be sinking too deep into coverage. It happened all day. At one point Nnamdi Asomugha was shadowing Marshall, but he never shadowed him in the slot, which is where he hurt the Raiders.
2) No pressure. The defense didn’t get any. The offensive line also was easily handled by the Broncos defensive line. Both lines were out played and out hustled. When that happens it is very hard to win.
3) Vanilla offense. It almost looked like the Raiders ran the same five to ten offensive plays the entire game. Maybe a different player was blocking here or there, but there was a complete lack of any type of creativity. With the speed on offense as WR screen, HB screen, reverse or something would have been nice. Running the ball with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter down 23-3 isn’t going to make Cable popular.
4) It wasn’t just Russell. Wide receivers weren’t getting open. They basically doubled Miller and had single coverage outside on the rookies all game. The rookie just weren’t getting open. I really only observed two horrible throws. You can put it on Russell if you want, but he is going to continue to be the starter for this team, so get used to it.
5) Interesting sight: Gannon and Russell jersey’s side by side in front row of Black Hole.
6) One frustrated member of the black hole ripped off his Authentic Russell jersey and threw it in the air. It was snagged by another member who was exiting early.
7) The stadium was about three quarters full and about three quarters of the people who showed up booed Russell heavily.
8) A heated (in words only) argument erupted in the black hole late in the fourth quarter regarding if this was a Russell problem or a bigger team issue. Both made valid points. I liked this one: How come Kerry Collins goes elsewhere and is successful? He wasn’t successful as a Raider. Look at the team that is assembled around Russell. Good running backs, a suspect offensive line, rookie receivers, changes in coaching, etc. The other point was that it just doesn’t seem like Russell understands what needs to be done. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t.
Cable said in his postgame press conference that the fans deserve better. I hope he takes that to heart, because there will be a lot more blackouts this season if the Raiders continue to play the way they did Sunday.
The Raiders game was blacked out locally, but I received a report that the game was indeed on Sunday Ticket in Sacramento. You have to wonder if it was a mistake or if this is some kind of new development in regards to black out enforcement. The game will be available on NFL.com at midnight. I plan to watch it tomorrow to break down the game even more.