9 Drops, No Blocks

As badly as the fans want to blame JaMarcus Russell for the things that are wrong with the Raiders, it just can’t be completely put on his shoulders.

I’ve been forced to defend Russell against unwarranted criticism. Obviously, some of the criticism is warranted, but lets not kid ourselves, the Raiders have plenty of problems.

By Tom Cable’s count, the Raiders dropped nine passes. Maybe more.

Does Russell’s 12 for 33 looks so bad if those nine passes are caught?

21 for 33 and approximately 224 yards? Not to mention what getting into a rhythm could do for the offense.

There is a lot of truth to Cable’s statement, “This is not on JaMarcus today…clearly his best game of the year.”

Those nine drops are a major concern. It wasn’t just Heyward-Bey today. Murphy, Lawton, Miller, Watkins all had at least one drop.

McFadden, Bush, Fargas three-headed monster that wasn’t. Hard to blame it on them. There was a complete lack of playcalling diversity and the line couldn’t block anyone.

The offensive line was embarassingly bad blocking. There were absolutely no holes.

The great Raiders teams had great lines. Offensive and defensive. The defensive line has been solid with the addition of Seymour and Ellis. The offensive line has been nothing short of terrible since the first game against San Diego. In fact, it wasn’t great in the second half against San Diego.

The loss of Gallery adds to the terrible play. Cable admits Barnes may have to step in. Why hasn’t he already?

The defense played…okay. It wasn’t a good first half and the Raiders were down big. That isn’t a good defensive performance, but it was a decent day. A few big plays and the failure to have Asomugha shadow Johnson may have had a significant impact.

I’ll post more observations later, but clearly the blocking and drops doomed the Raiders.

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