The Raiders offens fell apart once Bruce Gradkowski went down to injury and JaMarcus Russell took the field to a chrous of boos. The offense that Gradkowski led to 188 first half yards could only muster 39 yards in the second half. Once the offense fell to pieces the defense was not far behind.
The Raiders drew first blood when Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 34 yard field goal in the first quarter. The Redskins countered with a touchdown on the following drive. Not to be outdone, the Raiders countered with a touchdown of their own to retake the lead. The Skins added a touchdown and field goal to finish the first half with a 17-10 lead.
Through the first half, Gradkowski was 10-18 for 153 yards. Darren McFadden showed flashes of the big play ability that he was expected to bring when he was drafted in 2008 by catching 2 passes for 74 yards. It looked like the Raiders were right in the thick of this game, and ready to set up another second half battle.
Instead, JaMarcus Russell trotted onto the field for the start of the third quarter to a chorus of boos. Bruce Gradkowski tore his left MCL and partially tore his right MCL at the end of the second quarter. The offense managed one field goal, and that would be the end of the Raiders scoring.
Head Coach Tom Cable’s reaction to the game was, “Very disappointed. We had an opportunity to try to take another step forward and did not do that. Too many penalties, not enough flow offensively.”
The Raiders defense imploded in the second half giving up 20 points. They were continually gashed. It wasn’t the big plays that killed them as much as it was consistently giving up the smaller ones.
Enough cannot be said about the spark that Gradkowski brought to the team. It was obvious that once he was out, the team reverted to the early season Raiders who could not get out of their own way on offense.