Raiders Recap–Preseason 2010 Week 1

After 6 months, NFL Football has returned, at least in preseason form.

Screw hyperbole. I am already in midseason form. Let’s play some football.

The Oakland Raiders went to play the Dallas Cowboys at the Jerry Jones metropolis.

On paper this would appear to be a complete mismatch in the regular season. A bad team on the road playing a team with Super Bowl aspirations. It has all the makings of a Dallas blowout. So as tempted as I am to keep reminding people that preseason means nothing, I will try to gleam some information from a game that had positives and negatives for the Silver and Black.

Over the last several years the Raiders have had a decent defense but a pathetic offense. Even an average offense would make this team a .500 team, but the offense has been awful, with few if any black and silver linings. The defense would get exhausted from having no help, and the Raiders would collapse in the fourth quarter of winnable games.

One analysis of this game would say that the trend continued.

Jason Campbell had the Raiders going three and out, a couple of deep balls failed, Jim Plunkett and Tom Flores recalled the glory days while praising Shane Lechler, and Tony Romo moved Dallas down the field with ease.

Another analysis was that the Raiders hung tough, and the defense did look impressive with 5 sacks in the first half. Back to back sacks on Romo kept the Cowboys out of the end zone for the entire game.

By the time both teams pulled their starters on offense, the Cowboys led 3-0. It is impossible to say for certain of the Cowboys would have won a blowout had they stayed in, or if the Raiders still would have hung around.

Darren McFadden was held out of the game as a precaution due to injury. Michael Bush ran well, but we need to see McFadden. Backup quarterbacks Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye were also injured, allowing Kyle Boller to get plenty of playing time.

The backup quarterback for Dallas is John Kitna, so technically when Romo left the game they still had a veteran leader on the field. Only when the 3rd string quarterback came in did the Cowboys truly have a backup playing.

The Raiders did give up chunks of yardage, but in the red zone they clamped down. Despite having no offense, they only trailed 9-0 with 10:40 left in the entire game.The Raiders brought in a back up kicker to try a makeable field goal, which was no good. Sebastian Janikowski is a great kicker, and he will not be replaced.

Coach Tom Cable has very respected Hue Jackson as his offensive coordinator. Yet one play call still has me scratching my head. Campbell had moved the Raiders to a 4th and 1 at the Dallas 30. Cable decided to go for it, which was fine. Yet rather than bang Michael Bush up the middle, Campbell lined up in the shotgun and fired an incomplete pass.

Again, the Oakland defense deserves some credit. One particularly dysfunctional offensive drive followed by a bad punt in the second quarter had Dallas starting at the Oakland 32 late in the first half. On 4th and 1 from the 13, Kitna fired complete, but a perfect tackle led to no gain and the Raiders stopping Dallas cold. In the second half a muffed punt turnover inside their own red zone had Dallas starting at the Oakland 11, but the defense held.

Some would say that since the Cowboys led 9-0 late, the game was effectively over. Even if the Raiders were to come back, it would be meaningless since only backups were playing. Yet the Raiders used to brag about Pride and Poise, which they have lacked in recent years.

Despite trailing 9-0 and having little to zero offense, Boller finally got the team going late. After the third Dallas field goal, the Raiders took over at their own 20. Boller fired 20 yards to Cartwright to begin a 14 play, 5 1/2 minute, 80 yard drive. Bennett than ran for 14 more yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Dallas 46, Boller hit Figurs for 18 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the 15, Boller hit Cartwright for 8 yards. On 4th and 1 from the 7, Boller picked up 2 yards. Boller hit Miller from 4 yards out. The play was initially called incomplete, but reversed on review and called a touchdown. With 5 minutes remaining in the game, the Raiders were within 9-7. It was up to the defense.

The defense did not disappoint. A 3 and out took only 30 seconds and the Raiders had the ball back at their own 36 with 4 1/2 minutes to go. Boller hit Johnny Lee Higgins for 9 yards, and the Bennett picked up 4 yards and a first down. Just shy of midfield, Boller fired a short screen pass to Bennett that he took for 33 yards to the Dallas 18. On 3rd and 2 from the 10, Boller fired incomplete. Cable took no chances this time, with the decision or the person to execute it. Seabass naield the chip shot field goal and the Raiders led 10-9 with 2:24 left. A penalty on the ensuing kickoff had the Cowboys in a deep hole starting at their own 6 yard line.

The Cowboys faced 4th and 1 at their own 30 with 1:21 left. Nicholson hit Johnson for 5 yards. 2 plays later, Nichols fired for Johnson again. The pass was tipped and intercepted by Jerome Boyd, who raced 48 yards for a defensive touchdown. The Raiders led by 8 points with only 37 seconds left.

Dallas took over at their own 20, and on 2nd down Nichols fired deep to Hudgins for 40 yards to the Raiders 40 with 16 seconds left. With 4 seconds left from the 45, Nichols fired deep to the end zone and was intercepted again.

An odd statistic has the Raiders going to the AFC Title Game in 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000. Yet implying they will get there in 2010 is ludicrous. However, if the team breaks the losing streak and is a significantly improved team, maybe this game will matter as a turning point. If the 2010 season is awful, then this comeback meant nothing.

Yes, it was backups. However, the Raiders did show a lot of heart. They did win the game, and that should not be minimized. The Raiders had their 4th string quarterback in there, although he is a former 1st round draft pick.

There is plenty of room to improve, but the Raiders started their preseason on the road with a win. It is a good start. As for the Cowboys, Wade Phillips is already on the hot seat because that is what it means to coach the Cowboys. They have no offensive touchdowns in two preseason games.

As for the Raiders, they got it done in the fourth quarter.

17-9 Raiders


3 Responses to “Raiders Recap–Preseason 2010 Week 1”

  1. Well, I wouldn’t read too much into this first pre-season game. It’s hard to say how the Raiders will look this year. It’s a tough division, and an even tougher conference, so it’s fair to assume that .500 would be about the best one should expect, but the changes at QB might help, and some of the solid, conservative draft picks are promising.

    We shall see…


  2. Dav Lev says:

    At a time like this, who cares about pre-season games of football teams?

    The real news is mayor Bloombergs approval of a mosque and cultural center to be built on what is really a historical site AND as we all know,
    less than one-half mile from the WTC bombings.

    Folks, our dear President just corrected himself, first appluding the
    mosque, then adding that he is did not comment on its location
    so near the disaster (caused by Saudi Arabian Muslims connected
    with the notorious Al Qaeda).

    We can also change our voting patterns, by remembering this incident
    next Nov at the polls, and pluck his political power forever.

    I am a proud Republican, but tend to think independently. I voted
    for John Mccain/Palin..and all my forecasts about this President
    came true. Yes, we now are straddled with socialized medicine (our children that is), and yes, Wall Street had ITs feathers plucked ( derivates
    now are transparent whatever that means-how many of us own derivatives?), but 20% of US are still unemployed or underemployed
    while 11m illegals still are free to roam and take our jobs ( 1200 border guards? What a joke!

    What is Israeli Jews bombed the Empire State Building or other landmarks in NYCity, then US Jews had erected a temple (and cultural center

    Im sure we all know how the Muslims and others would react to that.
    Would Bloomberg be so quick to approve the construction..claiming
    religious freedom?

    Food for thought everyone.

  3. blacktygrrrr says:

    Dav Lev,

    I understand and share your political frustrations, but this column is about preseason football, and plenty of people do care. I would not have written it if I did not care.

    In about 3 hours my Monday Political column will be up.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.