“You definitely don’t want to ever feel like you’re letting your offense down and yesterday we did.” -Stanford Routt
“We have a good group of men in that locker room who hopefully have learned a very valuable lesson that we can learn from this and move forward. That we have to play Raider football all the time. Not just for a half, but you have to do it for 60 minutes.” -Hue Jackson
“Don’t say you’re sorry, just change.” This is what my mother would say to me when I apologized for doing something wrong, for the millionth time. This is the same message that needs to be conveyed to the Raiders.
Following Sunday’s total meltdown, many players from the team tweeted their apologies and promises of a stronger showing next week. Some veterans said in interviews that it was the worst game in their careers. While the Raider Nation was appreciative of the players acknowledging that the end of the game was a huge disappointment, that doesn’t change anything. The Raiders blew a 21-3 lead at half-time and are now 1-1. The Bills are much like the Raiders in that their talent and skill level is frequently overlooked by the national media; they are a good team, but that’s no excuse.
All the negatives aside, there’s a ton of positives to be examined. The first is the improvement from game one to game two in terms of penalties. There were 15 penalties for 131 yards in the first game against the Broncos. There were only eight for 85 yards against the Bills. They saw where they needed to improve and made the necessary adjustments.
Rest assured that the defense will work harder than ever to improve and clean up their game where mistakes were made. If last week really was the worst of their careers, there is nowhere to go but up.
Riddled with injuries early in the season, we’ve seen players step up and players show their true colors. If Nick Miller doesn’t become an entirely different player in the next week, expect to see him benched or released. Wide receiver Shaun Bodiford working out for the team today and may be signed to take Miller’s spot.
The biggest positive is the Raiders are finally getting the respect they deserve. As any Raiders fan knows, the national media likes to make the Raiders the brunt of nearly every joke. However, the defense and offense has finally stepped up to the challenge. Today, instead of people talking about the implosion on D, they were talking about what a fight the silver and black put up and talking about what a great game it was. Darren McFadden, minus the crucial fumble, has been absolutely phenomenal, rushing for 72 yards and one touchdown on Sunday.
Jason Campbell passed for 323 yards and two touchdowns and while the game was lost, 35 points were still scored by the offense. Rookie Denarius Moore received some necessary playing time and public recognition which is great for developing confidence. Moore was second in both rushing (25 yards) and receiving (146 yards) with one touchdown.
The Raiders just need make the necessary adjustments and change. Get stronger. This week the Raiders are going up against the undefeated New York Jets and their hot dog-eating quarterback Mark Sanchez. Sanchez likes to throw the ball, but if the correct adjustments are made, the Raiders will come away with a victory.