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It has been a rollercoaster ride for Burris this season. He was getting better and better as his rookie season went on and now it appears he has taken a step back. The Saints first drive was accomplished almost exclusively through Burris. He was blocked on a 16-yard run on the second play. Later in the drive, he gave up a 5 yard run to put them inside the ten yard line. Then the final five yards were him giving up a 4 yard catch and then leaving Jimmy Graham wide open in the end zone for a touchdown. Yeah, might wanna guard the Jimmy Graham guy. I hear he's pretty good.
Burris gave up a 7 yard catch on the Saints next touchdown drive which put them in the red zone. He gave up an 8 yard catch on their next touchdown drive. He missed a tackle on a 9 yard run on their drive for a field goal. He was out of position on a 19-yard catch on the next drive. Then he whiffed on a tackle on third and ten which gave the Saints the yards the first down to end the game.
This undrafted rookie has been a great surprise overall, but he still has these games in which he just can't get it together. His first mistake came on the Raiders' first drive. They were in third and nine and Palmer went to Streater short of the sticks. He turned around and could very well have simply ran straight and pushed for the first down, but instead decided to try and dance around two closing defenders and was stopped short, forcing the Raiders to punt.
The next Raiders possession, he was to come inside from his receiver position to block the safety at the line on a run. But he was late getting there and the safety tackled Marcel Reece for a three yard loss. The Raiders couldn't convert the third and long and would punt again on the next play. Early in the second quarter, down 14-0, the Raiders were in scoring position for the first time in the game. Then on second and goal from the two yard line, Streater was called for offensive pass interference. The Raiders were then backed up to the 12 yard line. Two plays later, Palmer would be intercepted in the end zone.
In the third quarter, Streater had what was ruled a catch and fumble in the field. But lucky for him and the Raiders, the official review overturned it as no catch so it was simply a pass knocked out of his hands. It was really close though as he had secured it and taken two steps before it came out. Either way, he has got to secure that ball.
These instances in which Denarius is running the wrong route are stacking up. There was never any reason for it considering how much time he has had in this offense with Carson Palmer. Now it becoming a real concern. His first incorrect route nearly resulted in an interception. Then on the next play, Palmer was intercepted for a pick six and 14-0 deficit. This is after the previous drive had ended with a Denarius drop.
To begin the second quarter, he missed his block to give up a run stuff. Then to end the third quarter he didn't read the coverage correctly and didn't stop in the soft spot in the zone, resulting in an incompletion. The drive ended two plays later. At this point, you wonder if he will ever get it.
Welcome back Khalif. To both the lineup and the Buster list. He is a far cry from Willie Smith, that's for sure. But if we were judging based on that performance, that would be very sad. The first mistake by Barnes came when the Raiders were in their first really good position to score. They were in first and goal at the one yard line. Then Barnes was beaten by Akeem Hicks to give up a tackle for a loss. Three plays later, the scoring chance ended with an interception.
In the third quarter, he gave up a sack for a loss of 12 yards and that series ended on the next play. Then on the first play of the fourth quarter, with the Raiders in fourth and one at the Saints 40 yard line, Barnes couldn't open a hole and gave up a run stuff for no gain and a turnover on downs. Three huge mistakes that contributed largely to this loss.
Each week I wonder more and more why he is on this team. I have yet to see him make a play anywhere. As a return man, he has done nothing. Heck, he has done nothing in the return game in his career so why the Raiders thought that would change, I will never know. For instance, his career long return was 31 yards before joining the Raiders. He had a 30 yards return in this game. That's would be considered decent except he had perfect blocking on the play and should have been able to get big yardage. He saw the huge open hole and got so excited, he tripped over his own feet and fell down. Just fell down.
But what of his coverage duties? Well, that is where he made his first mistake. The Raiders had a great chance to pin the Saints at their own one yard line on their first possession. Francies was there and then missed the ball as it bounced by him into the endzone. The Saints took the ball at the 20 yard line and drove 80 yards for a touchdown.
So what of his blocking on returns? The Raiders looked to have a decent break on a punt that went out of bounds at the 29 yard line. But Francies was called for holding and they would set up at the 19 yard line instead. The Raiders special teams just can't have nice things.
Dennis Allen, Steve Hoffman
The Raiders are now sitting at 34-123 in points scored in the third quarter. That tally was at 31-109 before this game and as they had done in nearly every game this season, they were outcoached in the third quarter. The halftime adjustments are getting absurd. The opposing team always seems to make the right moves and the Raiders get even worse. What are they doing in there? It would be easier if it were attributed to one side of the ball or the other but it's an overall incompetence.
The third quarter started out when Hoffman's special teams unit yet again gave up a big return. Last week It was a 105 yard touchdown and this week it was a 75 yard return to begin the second half which led to a touchdown. That is demoralizing right out the gates. Then the Raiders have Lechler getting pressured constantly on punts like he had never had before. He had a rare shank in this game and hasn't really been playing well this season altogether. Then you add to it the odd faith in a guy like Coye Francies who missed a golden opportunity to stop a Lechler punt at the one yard line. Janikowski kept his streak of field goals of 40 yards or less alive but he grazed the left upright to do it. The special teams is in shambles and Hoffman has to be accountable for that.