On one hand, this week's Ballers & Busters was difficult. Not because of having to recount the game but because in such a monumental collapse, it can be difficult to pin down the worst offenders among the many. On the other hand, this is the kind of game B&B was designed for.
Over the past few games before this one, the Raiders held tough through the first half of football. This one was a defeat from beginning to end. The Raiders were unable to get on the board on their first drive and then watched the Eagles drive down the field at a dizzying pace to score a touchdown on their first drive. In fact, they would score a touchdown on their first four offensive possessions.
The Eagles would continue to have their way with the Raiders throughout the game and even with the blowout 49-20 score, it still didn't accurately depict the dismantling of the Raiders as the Raiders final touchdown was garbage time window dressing.
We can get into more details as we go through the individual performances. But as we always do, let's start with the good news. Believe it or not, there was some.
He took over in the second quarter for the injured Darren McFadden and finished the game with 102 yards on 15 carries to average 6.8 yards per carry. He also led the team in receptions (10) and was third in receiving yards (74). If you take away his yards in the second half, after the Eagles were up 35-13 and there was not much chance of the Raiders catching up, he still had good numbers running for 39 yards on 6 carries for a 6.5 yards per carry average. This compared to Darren McFadden who had just 12 yards on 5 carries (2.4 ypc).
Jennings has proven to be a far more effective runner in this offense with this offensive line. He has done incredibly well in yards after contact this season and it showed in this game. On his first drive since entering the game, he ran three times for 17 yards including the drive capping 8-yard touchdown run. It was the only Raiders touchdown that actually mattered and it put momentarily gave some hope down just 10-21. In the third quarter he added a 24-yard screen catch and run.
While the secondary was getting torched and the pass rush was non-existent, Burnett actually had two tackles for loss on the Eagles' first drive. He had another run stuff for a one yard gain on the Eagles' next drive. In the third quarter, he had another tackle for a loss of seven yards followed by a play in which he held the edge to force a run inside where it was tackled for a short gain. It forced one of the few three and outs of the day by the Eagles. He finished tied for the team lead with 8 tackles (5 solo).
He caught five passes on six targets including a huge 66-yard catch in which 60 of those yards came after the catch. It set up the Raiders' first score on a 24-yard field goal. That one incomplete target hurt his overall day a bit as he had it bounce off his hands where it was intercepted. But it didn't mean much in the scheme of things because at that point as the Eagles were already up 49-13 at the end of the third quarter. He finished with a team leading 98 yards receiving.
Menelik Watson - Came into the game in the second quarter for the injured Matt McCants. It was Watson's first game action of his career as the rookie was injured for the first seven games of the season. He more than held his own. It is all the more impressive considering the Raiders have worked him exclusively at left tackle - not right at all -- in his handful of healthy practices since training camp.