R3ZZ BR3AKDOWN (Only Starters)

The Cowboys and Raiders met in what might be the most boring game in the history of football. As some of you know I was a former OC at a JC and watching terrible offenses bug the hell out of me. What I saw at first was frustrating, so I figured I'd take a second look, then I took it upon myself to break down all the 1st team offensive snaps and post it here for all of you who were lucky enough not to see it. Ready or not here's the jump.

First play of the game- Kickoff return

Facepalm. The wall goes right and Ford tries to pull a trick out of the Madden (video game not the legendary coach) playbook and go left.. Straight at the sideline.... Into about 13 defenders... Just, facepalm.

First Drive

1.Sprint Right

This is the right call for a player like McFadden, let the left side of the defense through and go right. It's going to be hard to catch McFadden from behind. RT does a good job of sealing the edge, McFadden gets three yards out and Reece screws up his block on the ILB. Gain of four.

2. Screen Right

McFadden motions out wide and the ball is snapped shortly after. Ford sets up a nice screen and the Cowboys pass rush bites on hard, McFadden cuts it up field and is sprung up field by a MONSTER block by the TE on Brandon Carr. The O line does a solid job of sealing up linebackers, the play gets all the way up to the safety. Solid play.

3. Counter Left

The Cowboys defense at this point is entirely composed of dumbasses, either that or they respect the hell out of McFadden. Counter fakes right (which the defense bites hard on) and goes left. The left side of the line seals off the NT and RE allowing Mcadden to get to the second level. Solid gain.

4. Deep Strike to the Left

Richard Gordon gets DOMINATED right off the snap. LE gets an expressway to Palmer who panics and throws it into a blatant double coverage to a small receiver in Ford, easy pick. Just a horrendous throw by Palmer and plays like this are why I worry about our QB situation.

Initial thoughts

you'd better hope to high heaven that McFadden doesn't get injured this season, he is the entire offense.

Second drive

1. Sprint left

You don't get away with this play with Lonyae Miller. I hope McKenzie feels like a dumbass watching this play and realizing his depth at RB sucks and he did nothing about it. It's the same play as the sprint in the first drive just in the opposite direction, Miller just gets caught before he even gets to the line by the free LOLB.

2. 34 Draw

Palmer sells the pass well enough, the right side of the line gets obliterated because the Cowboys stacked their whole D line on that side, no matter because the play is going left. Except 2 mile an hour Miller is running the ball and fails to take advantage of some nice blocking by Veldheer. Miller's slowness would have been okay if Reece didn't get dominated by a LB who made a play with Reece hanging all over him.

To sum this up, this was a perfectly called play against the look they got, but top to bottom just failed to execute. Should have been a 10-15 yard gainer, we'll settle for 6. Ooooor not, looks like the refs caught that hold by Reece too. Just what an ugly perfectly called play.

3. Quick Curl route to Gordon

Barnes gets dominated off the snap, he doesn't have Gordon to help out as he goes out on a curl route. Not sure what the ILB was looking at but he wasn't doing his job, this pass should have been picked but the ILB's day dreaming results in a solid game. To his credit though, Gordon sat in the perfect spot to get that pass.


At this point Gordon should never be allowed to pass block again. Lining up on the left side he geets dominated again, Brisel does a solid job of fending off both the NT and LE with chips on both of them, but the pressure from the left is too much.

To be fair Gordon is blocking DeMarcus Ware, but why in THE HELL is a TE blocking the best pass rusher in the league by himself? Stupid call or terrible awareness by Veldheer, pick your poison.

Palmer attempts to scramble, but get's caught by the LBers (who are giving the passing game ZERO respect right now).


Initial reaction

Looks like my fears following the first drive are confirmed here. Without McFadden this offense is garbage. We're going to be looking at Matt Leinart starting if the line keeps playing like this.

Check that , roughing the kicker call, offense gets another shot.

5. Quick curl to "-"

The offense spreads the defense out wide then - does a quick curl right under the safety away from the linebacker. Palmer reads and reacts, solid play

6. PA crossing route to Ford

Palmer does a nice fake to Miller who the defense is apparently respecting as they ALL bite on it, this frees up Ford (who makes Carr look like a freaking rookie) over the OLB, except Palmer throws a horrendous pass. People are blaming this one on Ford for some reason, this is the kind of pass I hate to see from QB's. Palmer laid Ford out to dry, he's just lucky Sean Lee bit on the PA or Ford would have hit the IR that second. That said, it did hit Fords hands and he had a lot of cushion to go up for it because of the PA, so he should have caught that.

Another perfectly called and executed play that just falls apart when it counts, just disappointing

7. Incomplete "4" route to Ford

Again people are blaming Ford for this one but I have to look at Palmer on this one, Ford makes a nice cut for an opening right under the safety (they are certainly attacking that damn safety right now) and Palmer leaves him out to dry again. You shouldn't have a receiver that open having to reach that much for the ball, you're going to get him killed like that Palmer.

Initial Re-Reactions

I am hating on Palmer so hard right now, especially because everyone is trying to play this off like it's everyone's fault but his own, I'm glad we're seeing the ugly this early hopefully he can get the kinks worked out. The Cowboys were giving the Raiders some gifts on defense and they just failed to take advantage in any way. Just frustrating to see.


K nevermind another penalty, Leinart comes out though, I'm done.

Complete re-cap and grades


Palmer has a long way to go, I was hoping with a full training camp he would come out looking more crisp but he's behind schedule as I see it. Forcing passes, missing easy throws, and locking on to reads is something I'd expect out of Matt Cassel not Carson Palmer.


Reece is horrible at blocking, but he didn't have any opportunities to showcase his pass catching ability. This game doesn't tell the whole story, but I have to give this grade based on PERFORMANCE.

HB: Mcfadden: A+, Miller: F

McFadden was in mid season form, looks like a man among boys out there, and showcased why he is the heart and soul of this team. Miller on the other hand, is proof that we waited too long to act on our backup situation, we're in a bad spot with hardly any options left, hopefully roster cuts bring us some good ones.

WR: Incomplete

Ford was given a bad rap by the announcers but he wasn't given a fair shake given how bad those passes were. "-" ran a nice route but one completion just isn't enough to give a grade right now.


F for blocking and B for receiving averages out to a low C. Not sure why they kept saying Gordon is a solid blocker he regularly got destroyed at the line of scrimmage, but he did look very intelligent running his routes.


Barnes is probably the worst starting RT in the entire league, there is just no positives to his game.

Brisel looked solid in his first outing, playing next to Wisnewski

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