I wish I could say I was surprised that the Raiders lost this game to the Browns, but it just wouldn't be true. This is the 5th straight loss for Oakland and they have Denver coming up quick with this week's Thursday Night game.
This team is just showing no signs of improvement to me. The secondary was already not performing well coming into this game. The injuries during the game really hurt but still 364 yards to Brandon Weeden is pretty sad. The season is already lost but the team needs to perform better than this.
I have defended Carson Palmer many times for his gunslinger ways but it gets harder and harder with every boneheaded game ending interception he throws. I am a fan of his anyways but there is no way you can throw that awful throw to Juron Criner when the game flow had finally turned in your favor. Palmer obviously feels like he needs to do everything himself to win, and that type of thinking for a gunslinger is extremely detrimental.
The time management in this game was just terrible. You can not throw the ball to midfield every time like that when you need two scores. Yeah sure, the middle of the field is open but it is open for a reason. The opponent wants you to go there so that you do not have time to get your second possession. The Raiders fell right into that trap and it cost them the small chance they still had to win.
The coaching staff was quick to pull the trigger on under-performing players like Ron Bartell and Denarius Moore though which I do think is a positive. Denarius Moore has not been playing up to the standards he created for himself for awhile now and the coaching staff benching him let him know that the team needs more out of him. I expect him to react well to the benching and show he learned his lesson come Thursday Night.
As for Ron Bartell, he just is not the player that Reggie McKenzie hoped he would be. He will not be on this team next year, and if the team wasn't so depleted in the secondary he would not be on the team next week. I don't blame Reggie for taking a chance on Bartell post serious neck injury because of how high of a reward he might have given the Raiders at his cheap price but it turns out to have been just risk with no reward.
With how physical of a team the Browns are I am glad that the coaching staff made the decision to wait on playing Darren McFadden. Despite the reps at practice he got this past week I wasn't expecting him to play anyway. I do hope that they play him this Thursday against Denver, where he used to always be counted on to perform well. Not playing DMC this week though was a good move by the coaching staff.
Brandon Myers sure had some crazy impressive stats this week with 14 catches for 130 yards and a TD. I really think it proves that he can be the workhorse tight end that the Raiders have been known for. I know a ton of his catches came on that poorly managed final drive but still those numbers of his are impressive. He needs to be utilized like this more often. He has the talent to be a star and now just needs the chances to prove it.
This was another game that the Raiders were just plain beat in. The run defense was pretty good to only allow 122 yards but the pass defense was still terrible to give up 364 yards to Weeden. Carson Palmer's INT was a backbreaker though and cost this team dearly. The coaches are showing more discipline with the players but it was not fruitful in this game.
The coaches are still making rookie mistakes that they can not afford to make, but they did do some things that I respected in this game. There is a ton that they need to do and they only did a little bit of that work this past Sunday though. The staff and the players were put on notice by Reggie McKenzie and they did not do enough to satisfy him. There is going to be a large amount of turnover on this team come the off-season.
This next game against Denver is coming up very quickly and the Raiders are going to need a heck of a great job by the coaches to have a chance Thursday. There is no time to waste and this will be the best chance the coaching staff has to prove themselves worthy to the powers that be. If they can show up big on Thursday it will go a long way to improving their status among McKenzie and Raider Nation.
A win against this year's conference champion would do wonders for the team and their fans. The Broncos already won the AFC West this year but they have bigger goals in sight and will not let up on the Raiders. They will want to embarrass the Raiders and the coaching staff can not let that happen. I have little faith for the upcoming game but improvement absolutely needs to be seen. This season is lost already but it could still get worse and it is up to DA to not let it..