The more things change, the more things remain the same apparently as Raider Nation tries to get over the hangover of getting smacked down in their season opener against the Tennessee Titans 38-13. Whats was suppose to be a new version of the Silver and Black looked liked a replica of the past seven years in the Black Hole. If a team ever needed amnesia to begin a season this is a perfect time to use it, as their were only a few positives to take from Sunday’s ball game.
The game couldn’t have started out better with new acquisition LB Kamerion Wimbley stripping Titans quarterback Vince Young for a fumble which was recovered by defensive tackle Richard Seymour as the Raiders had the ball at the Titans 34 yard line. They would get three points from the turnover luckily after cornerback Cortland Finnegan jumped offsides on a Sebastian Janikowski kick that went wide right, giving him another chance to connect on a 34 yard field goal. After that everything went down hill for Oakland.
On the Titans next series Young hooked up with wide receiver Nate Washington for a 56 yard bomb, as he somehow snuck behind the Raider’s secondary. Besides that miscue the pass defense was solid as Young went for a modest 13 of 17 for 154 yards and threw for two touchdowns, but it was the run defense that stayed true to form from past years. Initially they held running back Chris Johnson in check, while Young did the most damage with his feet early on. As the 1st half was winding down Johnson went off for a 76 yard TD run to close out the 2nd quarter as they lead 24-6 at halftime. For the game Johnson rushed for 142 yards on 27 touches and scored two touchdowns as well. This was not a good look for the Raiders revamped D at all. If you were to text a fellow Raider fan during the ball game the text would consist of one phrase over and over again SMH (shaking my head)!
The offense was equally unproductive as the offensive line continued to struggle yet again. With only one addition on the O-line during the offseason, did the Raiders really feel like the upgrade at quarterback would compensate for the lack of blocking down in the trenches? Jamarcus Russell might as well been behind center because nothing changed on offense as far as I’m concerned. Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell went 22 of 37 for 180 yards with one touchdown and one interception from the field on Sunday and would have been more efficient had he been able to receive more time to throw the ball down the field. Campbell still had his miscues with two turnovers in the ball game, as well. Everything that could go wrong went horribly wrong for the Raiders on Sunday.
The one bright spot was the play of running back Darren McFadden who rushed for 95 yards and had 6 receptions for 55 yards, scoring one touchdown and becoming that dual threat that Raider Nation anticipated him becoming, accounting for more than half of Oakland’s total offense. One things for sure the rest of the team needs to get on the same page with McFadden in a hurry if they expect to seriously contend in the AFC West. As for now, Oakland and Raider Nation must do their best to get over “Hangover Monday” and prepare for next weekend’s match-up against the St. Louis Rams.
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Written by Arthur Kai