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Raiders week 15 Ballers & Busters vs Cowboys: Part two

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Busters

Dexter McDonald

The Cowboys’ first pass went to his receiver. Their first completion on their first scoring drive went to his receiver. Their first third down conversion went to his receiver and they scored their first touchdown on that drive. And their longest play on their second touchdown drive went for 19 yards to McDonald’s receiver. All told he gave up five catches for 46 yards.

Jihad Ward

For some reason the Raiders gave him the start. The only reason he was even active for the game was because Mario Edwards Jr was out with an injury. But why he played 33 snaps is hard to say. In those 33 snaps, he didn’t record a single statistic. Often times he could be seen getting driven upfield or blocked onto his back. One of the times he was driven well out of the play was on the Cowboys first touchdown run from one yard out. Another was with the Cowboys in first and goal at the 5-yard-line, allowing them to move to the 1-yard-line.

Vadal Alexander

With the injury to Donald Penn, Marshall Newhouse moved to left tackle and Alexander was pressed into service at right tackle. His troubles began with the first play of the fourth quarter. That play, he gave up a hit on Carr that caused him to throw up a high arching pass that somehow Seth Roberts was able to run underneath. Later in the drive, Alexander gave up another hit on Carr, but an illegal contact penalty in the secondary gave the Raiders a first down.

The next series he gave up another hit on Carr, resulting in him barely getting off a short pass for two yards. And on the final drive, he was driven back right into Carr who again was lucky to get the pass off.

(Dis)Honorary Buster

Officials

Gene Steratore’s crew were brutal in this game. First it was the flag thrown on Jared Cook for offensive pass interference that took a touchdown away. There simply was no pass interference. If anything, the defender made the contact. All Cook did was fight for his position, and he didn’t even do much of that. It cost the Raiders a touchdown at the end of the first half.

Then there was the weird folded paper first down measurement. I will not say it wasn’t a first down, because I don’t know. The fact that the paper slipped between the ball and the stick is meaningless. It proves nothing because the ball is beside the stick, not butted up against it. It’s the use of a folded piece of paper in the first place that’s odd. And the smirk Steratore had on his face didn’t make Jack Del Rio very happy. And finally his poor excuse for an explanation afterward was even more ridiculous. On such a crucial play, you expect better.

Speaking of crucial plays, how ‘bout the last play of the game. A play which the Raiders had to run without their top receiver and end zone target. The officials had pulled Michael Cratree out of the game to be checked for a concussion. The play that supposed prompted it was the 55-yard pass which drew a pass interference penalty. The problem is since that play the Raiders had run two plays and called a timeout. One of those plays, Crabtree was the target and it seemed pretty clear he was just fine. Carr said after the game that they didn’t run the play they had planned because Crabtree wasn’t in the game. Carr ended up running for it and fumbling for a touchback instead.

So, the officials took a touchdown off the board, pulled out props to justify a crucial first down run, and removed Carr’s top end zone target in range of a game-winning score. That’s a 17-point swing in a game the Raiders’ lost by three.

See the Ballers