Well, that was a giant pile of suck. The Oakland Raiders got out muscled and ultimately whooped by their Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco 49ers. This game looked remarkably similar to the two times these two teams met last year. And ultimately, that is what was so discouraging. In the end, amounted to a 17-3 loss.
I was confident that this year the Raiders would be ready to take the fight to the Niners, but they didn't. The Raiders could not exert their will in this game. San Francisco was gaining positive yards on almost every play, and they were doing it in the air and on the ground. If it wasn't for the first team defense once again looking great in goal line situations, this score would have been worse.
The starting defensive line was able to get a good push on passing plays, but the lack of coverage in the secondary made Alex Smith look like a pro bowler. In the running game, the linemen were holding their ground, but there were too many gaps for the 49ers to shoot through. And shoot through they did. The Niners ended this game with 239 yards on 41 carries. Jump over for more....
Offensively, the first team looked good—until it came time to put points on the board. All three of the Raiders points came by the second team offense. The offensive line had its moments, but they also got pushed around.
Campbell was fantastic until he fumbled and while bending over to grab the ball got nailed and either got another stinger or a concussion. There is now word on the injury, but my money is that it is a nick.
Still, when he was getting passes off, this passing game looked better than it has since Rich Gannon was here. And they were doing it with three of their main receiver unable to play. DHB played as well as I have ever seen him. He appeared to roll his ankle, but that should be fine as he entered the game later.
Denarius Moore continues to impress. He looked good on two catches and great with one kickoff return. Michael Bush looks to be at his beastly best.
Defensively, the biggest bright spot for me was Rolando McClain. He got sealed off on a couple of runs, but he also came off of blocks better than he did at any time last year. He even drew a holding penalty on one.
DVD was not targeted as much in this game as last game. He was beat on a comeback route by Braylon Edwards. Edwards was able to easily push him off, and while that was worthy of a penalty, DB's seldom get that call.
It was good to see Chimdi Chekwa on the field. Chekwa definitely looked like the raw rookie he is, in his limited playing time.
The bottom line from this game is that the Raiders looked a little flat. They didn't make big plays when they had to, and the oppossing offense moved the ball way too easy. They made Alex Smith look like a Pro Bowl QB. And these are all things we saw in ugly losses last season.
This is just the second game of the preseason, and there are definitely positives to be had here. Especially with the offense. This team needs to focus on figuring out what their starting offensive line will be and lock it in, and let them get some reps together. I did see enough out of Bruce Campbell to get excited. He was solid with his run with the second team at right guard.