The pain of defeat had a nasty sting to it Sunday when the Raiders blew a big lead in the second half and were downed by the Bills in the final minute.
This game, unlike the first game, had many more standout performances. Unfortunately for the Raiders, some of the performances were horrible. Fortunately, many are correctable. Luckily, the team now comes home for five out of the next six games where they were 5-3 a year ago. Thankfully, the Raiders found out important things about their team in the process.
Yes, the rookie can play. He proved it Sunday. It’s going to be hard for the Raiders to keep him off the field. Who’s playing time does he cut into? It would be logical for him to cut into Darrius Heyward-Bey’s time, but that won’t be the case. Most of the damage done by Moore was from the Z receiver position. Jacoby Ford plays this position. Certainly the Raiders will not rob from Ford to give to Moore.
Moore is cut into the playing time of the Raiders third receiver. Chaz Schilens is holding down the third receiver role, but things get more complicated when Louis Murphy is healthy. That pushes down Derek Hagan even further on the depth chart.
Probably one of the best games of his career. He was comfortable with the Raiders receivers even with Ford, Heyward-Bey and Murphy out with injuries. Campbell is proving that when given time he can deliver. He was far from perfect, but it was the passing game that kept the Raiders second half meltdown on defense from looking even worse. Even Darren McFadden looked human with a critical fumble. Jason Campbell made the Raiders offense go on Sunday to the tune of 25 points.
143 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. He was overshadowed by the rookie Moore and his critical fumble. It wasn’t a great day rushing for McFadden as he rushed for just 3.6 yards per carry, but he proved yet again to be a versatile weapon contributing a 10+ yards average per reception. If McFadden continues to put up 150 yards per week he’ll continue being listed with the Studs. He’s vitally important to the Raiders offense.
Recorded his first interception on a great read of Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills mostly stayed away from him after that. He’s playing well and was the only guy on the field that could cover Stevie Johnson. Naturally the Bills lined Johnson up on Chris Johnson and Michael Huff. Routt was the only stud on defense in week two.
Missing tackles are not something you want to see from your middle linebacker. McClain lead the team in tackles and made a nice deflection on a seam route pass that would have been a touchdown. It wasn’t all bad, but McClain needs to get better quickly. Poor angles, incorrect reads and missed tackles aren’t going to be tolerated for long. He’s a sophomore and he’s still learning, but linebackers unlike receivers are typically coming into their own in their second season. McClain needs to show he is coming into his own and soon.
I incorrectly assigned the blame for the game-winning touchdown to Rolando McClain. I had assumed the Raiders were in zone coverage. This was incorrect, McClain’s responsibility was the running back. So while it was a bad game from McClain it wasn’t as bad as I initially believed.
In fact, the poor coverage on the last Bills touchdown was the responsibility of Chris Johnson. Johnson also couldn’t cover Stevie Johnson most of the day. He was repeatedly beat in the passing game. Normally Johnson’s risk-taking way serve him well and he’ll give up plays, but make a few as well. That wasn’t the case Sunday. The pressure from the loss of Nnamdi Asomugha was placed on Stanford Routt, but in reality it is Johnson who was taking over at cornerback for the all-pro. Johnson immediately took to Twitter to take responsibility for his place and vowed to get better. The Raiders need him, behind him is youth and inexperience.
What happened? Five sacks to zero sacks. The Raiders have Kamerion Wimbley, Lamarr Houston, Richard Seymour, Matt Shaughnessy, and Tommy Kelly and none could break through the Bills offensive front and put pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick. As with many quarterbacks, Fitzpatrick can carve up a secondary with no rush. That’s just what happened Sunday in Buffalo. After obliterating the Broncos offensive line in week one the “vaunted” Raiders front four did nothing in week two. They should be hungry in week three and let’s hope they eat the offensive line and the quarterback and not a hot dog.
Slip, slip, thud no way you should be a returner, bud.