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For the record, I was always in favor of keeping Samson Satele at center and Wisniewski at left guard. It was a proven formula so I saw no reason to mess with it. For that matter, so was the power blocking scheme. But the new staff wanted to tinker and now there are some serious issues.
Lil Wiz's problems started early. On the Raiders' first offensive series, they found themselves in third and 11. Then Jaguars' linebacker, Paul Posluszny came shooting in on a blitz and Wisniewski stood there as he ran right by him. Palmer had to get rid of the ball and he was hit hard as the ball fell incomplete. A very bad start.
In the second quarter, Wiz would give up another pressure on third down for another incompletion and another three and out. A few drives later, with the Raiders in scoring position, Wiz was double teaming a lineman with Mike Brisiel which left a huge hole for a Jaguars 2011 sack leader, Jeremy Mincey, to run in and nail Palmer. It looked to be a sack/fumble but luckily Palmer was able to get his arm moving forward so it was ruled incomplete.
There was also the issue with Darren McFadden finding no room to run through the line in the first half. Wiz doesn't shoulder that blame alone but he certainly takes a good share.
Carson Palmer can defer credit to Knapp all he wants but the truth is once the plays were called by Palmer on the field, this was a completely different team. Think of it this way; you know how the presidential candidates always talk about not going back to the failures of previous administrations? The first half of this game was the Knapp administration, the second half was the Palmer administration. Which administration would you want running this offense? The one where Palmer gets beaten up, McFadden averages 1.3 yards per carry, and the offense can't convert on third down or score a touchdown? Or the one that was down 20-6 and turned the tables to outscore the other team 20-3? That would be what we call a landslide victory for one candidate.
For not being on the field but 30% of the plays, he made his share of mistakes. In the first quarter he gave up a 19 yard catch that set up the Jaguars first touchdown. In the second quarter he gave up a 10 yard catch. But his big "Oh, Sh@t!" moment was when he muffed a punt that gave the Jaguars the ball at the Raiders' 16 yard line and the Jags scored their second touchdown three plays later. Those were the only touchdowns of the day for the Jaguars and give Adams an assist for both.
For the second straight game, Veldheer gave up a sack and forced fumble to the opposing team. It was the first play of the fourth quarter with the Raiders already down 13-20. The Jaguars recovered at the Raiders 24 yard line, already in field goal range. They would convert the field goal to go ahead by two scores. Trevor Knighton was the oncoming rusher and against Veldheer on that occasion but usually it was Jeremy Mincey on that side and he had a pretty productive day. He finished with two quarterback hurries, a tackle for loss, and a sack of his own.
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