Studs and Duds From Week 4

The dog ate my homework. Yes, even the grown adult can have his homework eaten and shredded apart like confetti.

I figured I'd finish watching the game for a second time and write my weekly game review on Wednesday night.

As I settled into my spot on the sofa and fell asleep, tired from an exhausting day, my four-month-old Border Collie Maximus decided my notes looked like a good jaw workout.

Thirty minutes later the notepad was barely intact and the first two few pages were missing.

I finished watching the game, so I submit to you the studs and duds from week four, without the added benefit of grades for good and bad plays.

STUDS

Darren McFadden

Before he pulled up lame with another hamstring injury, he was the only offensive player producing for the Raiders. McFadden had more yards himself than the rest of the offense and the Texans were having fits trying to stop him.

When healthy, Darren McFadden is exactly what the Raiders hoped he would be when they drafted him. The only challenge is keeping him healthy. Perhaps it would be wise for the Raiders to spell McFadden with Michael Bush to reduce his load.

Zach Miller

He nearly tied a Raiders record for receptions and the Texans were powerless to stop him. Once McFadden exited the game Gradkowski kept finding Zach Miller open on five to ten yard out routes. Linebackers couldn't cover him and neither could the cornerbacks.

He's a stud and the Raiders need to keep using him like they did. Either he will kill defenses or they will have to adjust to him, which will hopefully free up the young receivers and lead to a more productive passing game.

Nnamdi Asomugha

Not difficult to call Asomugha a stud on any given Sunday. Last Sunday he allowed one reception, although he was blatantly picked. He recovered to make the tackle.

Even Matt Schaub doesn't attack Asomugha and Andre Johnson is probably glad he didn't have to deal with this guy and his team still got the win.

DUDS

Langston Walker

It is amazing how long the Raiders have stuck with the current offensive line given its struggles. Obviously the other options are no better. Walker had to deal with Mario Williams most of the day and was playing so bad I wanted to close my eyes. Didn't I tell you? You probably already knew.

Trevor Scott

He is providing little pass rush from the defensive end position and is getting pushed around in the run game. He will likely start at weak-side linebacker this week with Quentin Groves and Thomas Howard hurt. It's there he should remain.

He may be a liability in pass coverage, but he had more impact on the game last season as a rush linebacker and did pretty well against the run. He's versatile, but the Raiders need to put him in a position where he can impact games.

Louis Murphy

The receivers were horrible last Sunday. If Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey can't get open against the Texans secondary they have serious issues. The pass rush obviously limited what the Raiders could do in the passing game, but when given opportunities the receivers need to make the play.

Murphy dropped and tipped a pass as the Raiders were attempting to march down the field to tie the game. Not only must he catch catchable balls, but he can't be hanging the quarterback out to dry by tipping it in the air.

Michael Huff

Huff makes this list because of the impact of his mistakes. He made a few plays, but the missed tackles and poor angles are killing him. Last season he played relatively well, like his partner in crime Tyvon Branch, but has been so bad this season fans are clamoring for rookie Stevie Brown or even Hiram Eugene.

The Raiders are carrying five safeties and the time is now, the Raiders can't afford to go 1-4. Cable insisted the right players were on the field last week, but perhaps a symbolic benching would kick Huff and Branch into gear.

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