This will be unbiased, and fair for both sides. Im going to post this same exact thing on the Pulpit. This is just a write-up on the game overall.
The Pats went into Oakland, and showed them why they are perhaps the most dangerous team on offense in the NFL. I don't need to go into stats to tell you this. The Raiders wanted to come in and show why they can become a contender, and truthfully I thinked they helped their case. First, some tid bits before I explain that.
The Raider's defense was plagued by penalties, and could not stop the run, let alone the pass which was expected from the Pats, and the pats capitalized on their defensive woes. They were strong in the first half, but after the half Brady knew just where to throw the ball. Benjarvis Green Ellis ran the ball very well, as well as Ridley, and I have said before to not underestimate their running game. However it seems like our run defense is about the same area as last year. Rushing the passer is not much of a problem, we can do that, but teams seem like they can run all over us. When the PATS can run on you, you can't stop their offense because they'll tire you out and become multi-dimensional. When the pats ran the ball today, the Raider's D seemed to not be able to stop their offense overall, and that was the case of many teams the pats faced this year and last year.What was most alarming to me was Seymour's two penalties on the pats first drive. Very uncharacteristic, and he basically handed the pats a TD drive, when they could have stopped them, and got the ball back being up by 3.
The Raiders kept Gronk in check, and that was something I was not expecting at all. The only catch Branch had I remember was the TD catch. Ocho was in a couple receptions too. Welker was the star though, and the Raiders had no answer for him. Whoever was on Welker, I feel sorry for the guy. Brady and Welker have this special connection that has looked to be apparent for the past few weeks, and pretty much through each other's career. This year Welker looks to be putting up record numbers, and tonight showed why, and makes me glad that I have Brady and Welker on one of my fantasy teams.
And that was mostly the Story of the Raider's D and the Pats offense. Raider's also couldn't stop the pats in the redzone, which was ultimately a bad thing when you play an offense like the pats.
From the pats defensive point of view, they did play bad, but I have to give it to the Raiders. Despite a couple INT's, the Raider's offense looked like it had the first 3 weeks of the season. The Raider's have dependable WRs in Moore and Hagan, but the one guy that stepped up for the Raiders was Hey Bey. However, Campbell targeted McFadden and newly acquired FA Boss more, and they have done well with the ball in their hands. Boss looks to have filled the Miller role nicely, displaying solid route running and hands, and much better blocking ability. Despite McFadden's 40 yard run, the Pats did well against him, although McFadden had his moments as well running the ball AND catching it.
The Pats defense still needs to fix heir 3rd down woes though. And although the pats have struggled to get pressure this season, the Raider's OL performed like they did all season, which was above average, and Campbell showed some vision in throwing the ball away and running it when he was pressured. Without Bodden, and Ras-I Dowling, Arrington, like last year, did well in coverage although hey Bey seemed to mostly have his way.
For the Pats, Wes Welker and Brady were the names of the day. For the Raiders, it seems penalties and mistakes caught up to them again, but their DL is still disruptive at least. I feel like this game should have been closer than it is now though. I already mentioned Seymour's mishaps in the Pat's first drive, but regarding the Ford PI thing, it wasn't PI. But it should have been holding. The replays they showed me looked like Arringotn (I think it was arrington) held Jacoby's Right arm, and I have basically put my face RIGHT up to my HD television to try and confirm this. THAT drive, imo, should have yielded a TD, but in the end it yielded a field goal instead. Another thing I noticed was Campbell's first INT. The second one was all Campbell, but the first one was weird. he was throwing the ball away, but he thrown it too low..... That's just mind boggling. That drive should have at least yielded a FG at the least. The score should have been on the lines of 21-20 Pats, but as the unexpectedness of football, things are hardly perfect in a game.
Overall, the Pats are still an offensive juggernaut that COULD get rattled, but a team they face must play virtually mistake free football to beat the pats, and when your talking about mistake free, the Raiders are the furthest from your mind. The Raiders shown that they have the offensive power to stay close to teams, but mistakes like what happened today will keep you away from the elite. Defensively though, both teams still are trying to find their identities. The pats are hurting without haynesworth and Ras-I and Bodden, and in the future maybe even their captain Mayo (God please let it not be IR worthy), and are still not improved on third downs. The Raiders D still hasn't solved their rushing problems, and is missing OLB play overall, and I don't think I have seen John Henderson that game.
The pats are a superbowl caliber team, so its no surprise that they have won, but their defense may keep them from achieving that goal. The Raiders still have a long way to go. Getting penalties constantly will not yield you much of a chance to get into the playoffs, and they must limit their mistakes on both sides of the ball. Still though, the pats sit at 3-1 about to face the Jets, and no doubt that game will be a matchup to watch. The Raider's are at 2-2, which is still a good record considering they HAD to beat the Jets to get where they are now. They are off to face Houston, and after this game, its hard for me to say how much the Raider's have a chance against a team who is as much on fire as they are, with something to prove, although they will likely be without Andre.