--J-Russ is going to be a fantastic quarterback in the NFL if he can ever be able to consistently drop back to pass without being forced to start running for his life after 4 nanoseconds have passed. He might be able to swat away a CB coming on a blitz, but a charging defensive end is quite another thing. The O-line might be able to runblock beautifully, but the Raiders won't win 5 games this year unless the pass protection shapes up soon. Like NOW.
--Way to earn that money, DeAngelo Hall. I certainly hope you're embarrassed this morning because I know I certainly am. Eddie Royal is clearly talented as hell, but you're supposed to be an elite shutdown corner. He turned you inside out all night long and you had no response except to get frustrated and take dumb penalties.
--Mike Ditka said it best: You've got to help out your young quarterback. That MUST start next week. Russell is not at the stage yet where he can steal a win or two all by himself. That involves making that extra effort to catch a ball that might be a little under or overthrown. I'm looking at YOU Ronald Curry.
--Darren McFadden is going to be fucking DYNAMITE. Let's all sit back and enjoy the show.
--Zach Miller is essential to any success the offense will have. Long may he be healthy.
--Chaz Schiliens may be one of the steals of the 2008 draft. Only two catches, yes, but good ones. Wouldn't surprise me to see him move up the depth chart as the season goes by.
--Gibril Wilson was a damn good pickup.
--Where was the D-Line all night? Jay Cutler could've cooked himself dinner, went home and mowed his lawn, showered, then came back and thrown a pass last night before any pressure would have gotten into the backfield.
--I'm still with Kiffin. We'll know whether to blame him or Ryan as the weeks go by...if the defense improves and they still lose, it's Kiff. If the defense keeps bombing out, it's Ryan. I think Ryan is a good enough co-ordinator, but his defenses are so vanilla. Contrast that with a guy like Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh who has so many crafty blitzes and multiple looks to keep the other QB guessing.
--The most frustrating thing about the Raiders is their tendency to shoot themselves in the foot at the worst possible times. Every team will make dumb mistakes. But the timing is the killer. Whether it was Curry dropping the pass on 3rd down to kill a promising drive or Fargas throwing the ball at Higgins on that reverse that had got the defense to bite in the opposite direction or any number of other things....they need to suck it up and not make mistakes when the chips are down.
Of course, the ref not calling blatant defensive holding to kill another promising drive doesn't help things either.
--I repeat: JaMarcus Russell will be great. Give him pass protection and some defensive support and the wins will come.
Let's hope we can all put this behind us and move on quick. There's a big test next week in Arrowhead. Can we stop Larry Johnson and Dwayne Bowe and keep Glenn Dorsey in check? If we can, this season is still very promising. If not...we're in a whole heap of trouble.
Keep the faith, Raider Nation! (The only true sports nation.)