The defense came out firing on all cylinders as Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour both picked up quarterback sacks on the Seahawks opening drive. The defense would hold Matt Hasselbeck to 13 completions on 32 attempts for just 160 yards passing and an odd looking interception that bounced off of two players before being placed right in the breadbasket of an oncoming Tyvon Branch.
Branch’s five tackles and three assists would lead the Raiders in tackles for the day as the defense continued to swarm and gang tackle their oppositions for a second consecutive week. It was a defensive effort that held the Seahawks without a first down until there was just over two minutes left in the first half. The Seahawks were held to just one third down conversion in 16 attempts (6%) and they would be held to just 47 rushing yards on 19 carries.
But in the second half, the Raiders’ offense took over. Darren McFadden continued to prove that he is a changed man this year with his 111 yards on 21 carries today. McFadden’s 557 yards on the ground this year are a career high, despite missing two games with a hamstring injury. Meanwhile his backfield mate, Marcel Reece, came up with 90 receiving yards including a 30 yard slant on 4th and 1 that went for the only touchdown in the first half. Reece also carried the ball twice for 32 yards. And Michael Bush added 51 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. All told, the Raiders ground game produced 239 yards at a rate of 6.1 yards per carry against the second best rushing defense in the league.
But it wasn’t just the ground game that got it done for Oakland today. Darrius Heyward-Bey caught five passes for a career high 101 yards including a 69 yard catch for his first touchdown this year and second of his career. Jason Campbell threw 15 completed passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. It was the second straight week Campbell would post a QB rating of over 120 with his 120.9 rating today. For the second straight week, the Raiders produced over 500 yards of total offense, marking the first time the Raiders have had back to back 500 yard performances in franchise history.
Late in the game, two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha would leave the game with an ankle injury. Tom Cable had a serious look of concern as Asomugha roll on the ground in pain clutching his ankle to chants from the stands of “Nnamdi! Nnamdi! Nnamdi!” Cable would say later at the postgame press conference that the injury is being considered a serious sprain and the x-rays were negative on the ankle.
It appears that the epic failure to show up at Candlestick Park two weeks ago was a wakeup call for the Raiders. If they can continue the pace they are currently on, then they will be able to compete with any team in the league. Over the last two weeks, they’ve outscored their opponents 92-17 and were completely dominant on defense. The team that has shown up over the last two weeks is a serious contender to do some damage down the stretch run towards the playoffs. They’ve overcome injuries and they will get players back over the next few weeks like Louis Murphy, Chaz Schilens, and Bruce Gradkowski.
The last time the Raiders were 4-4 this late in the year was 2002, the year they went to and won the AFC Championship game. This squad could have more raw talent than that squad did, and if they can continue to string together victories like these past two it’s going to be look out NFL. Next week, the Raiders will have an opportunity to make another statement in the Coliseum with the division leading Kansas City Chiefs coming into town and if they can keep playing at this level it will be a no contest victory. The Chiefs struggle to get by the winless Buffalo Bills this week at home and needed a last second field goal at the end of overtime to get the job done.
|FG||05:14||Sebastian Janikowski 31 Yd||0||3|
|TD||08:54||Marcel Reece 30 Yd Pass From Jason Campbell (Sebastian Janikowski Kick)||0||10|
|FG||09:09||Sebastian Janikowski 36 Yd||0||13|
|FG||14:52||Sebastian Janikowski 22 Yd||0||16|
|TD||13:26||Darrius Heyward-Bey 69 Yd Pass From Jason Campbell (Sebastian Janikowski Kick)||0||23|
|FG||08:57||Olindo Mare 47 Yd||3||23|
|FG||07:18||Sebastian Janikowski 49 Yd||3||26|
|TD||01:56||Michael Bush 4 Yd Run (Sebastian Janikowski Kick)||3||33|
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||0-2||1-4|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
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