It was the Raiders’ final preseason game of the 2011 season and for some, their last hope to make this Raiders squad. For others it was their last primer for the regular season. After this, there are no more exhibition games. After this, they count. So the Raiders needed to see who wanted to make this last scrimmage count.
There was not a lot to choose from in the Baller category after the 20-3 drubbing, but I scraped the bottom of the barrel to find who I could.
Here are those who strengthened their standing, and those who didn’t do themselves any favors.
Now, one can argue whether Campbell deserves top Baller for this week. But with no other obvious candidates, Jason is the guy. He and the Raider offense came out for three series in this game. Normally it would have been less time but Hue Jackson wanted them to score to leave the game feeling better about themselves. After the third drive attempt, the Raiders were able to put three points on the board and so the offense was finally excused. While the lack of production usually falls on the quarterback, this time it fell almost entirely elsewhere. The first drive ended on three straight miscues by the offensive line and a missed field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. The second drive was more poor blocking that ended the possession quickly. Then the third time was the charm as Campbell threw for 45 yards on a drive that ended in a short field goal. He would finish the day 8 of 11 for 76 yards and a 91.5 QB rating.
Branch had the big turnover of the day when he intercepted the ball in the endzone to keep the Seahawks from scoring on their first drive. He also didn’t give up any big catches on the day.
Scott started this game in place of Matt Shaughnessy, the man who he started ahead of last season before going out injured. Scott looked back to the form we are used to seeing from him. He teamed up with Rolando McClain for a run stuff on the first Seahawks drive and then just before halftime he stayed at home on a pitch play to tackle the runner for a loss on fourth and one to turn the ball over on downs.
Once again, Hagan was the best Raider receiver on the field, with two catches on the day. The first was on the Raiders first scoring drive, for 13 yards on third down to put Janikowski in field goal range. Hagan later had another key third down catch, this time for 16 yards.
On his first series in the game, Bryant had a tackle for loss. He would later have another run stuff for a short gain. He would tie for the team lead with three solo tackles.
Moore tied with Bryant for the team lead in solo tackles (3). But for the most part you didn’t see him because he was blanketing his receiver. He gave up one catch for six yards and tackled the receiver immediately. His next tackle came on the next play. After Jeremy Leman had missed a tackle, Moore shot in and cleaned it up to hold the runner at five yards. But, ssshhh, the Raiders are hiding him so they can put him on the practice squad.
He had one catch for 19 yards on the day which all by itself is okay. But he also drew two pass interference penalties for an additional 35 yards. On one of those, the defender fell down, but I would be remiss if I didn’t give him some credit for making a move to help cause it.
He was third on the team with four total tackles, and had one of the biggest tackles on the day when he shot into the gap to stop the running back and keep the Seahawks out of the endzone on fourth and goal at the one. The reason he doesn’t make full Baller is because he was also out of position or blocked on several other runs in this game, including a one yard touchdown on the drive just previous to the one in which he had the big stuff. But while the other plays can be attributed to the team as a whole, the stuff at the line was all Blackstock. And for that, I mention him honorably.
Does he know how to go out with a whimper or what? He was in danger of losing his job before this game and he cemented his departure. He entered the game on the final series of the first half and then ended the first drive of the second half by giving up a sack on Kyle Boller. On the next possession, with the Raiders backed up on their own goal line, he missed his blocking assignment and nearly got Boller sacked in the end zone for a safety. Luckily, Boller was able to scramble out of the endzone for a one yard gain. But just to be certain, three plays later, Loper gave up another sack on Boller. He and his newly bloated salary were cut today.
Hard to put the guy who blocked a field goal as a Buster. But outside of that play, he was pretty much horrendous. Even his one pass defended popped in the air and was taken for 32 yards on the deflection. His bad day started when he tried to bat the ball out of the endzone on a punt. He was not only unsuccessful in doing so, but had gone out of bounds on the way downfield and was called for illegal touching. Not only was it a touchback but it was a touchback plus a few yards on the penalty. That was the drive he had his tipped pass and the Seahawks would use those two plays to score their first touchdown.
On the Seahawks’ first drive of the second half, Porter gave up a 13 yard catch on third down. Then on their next drive he was called for a 32 yard pass interference penalty. The penalty put them in range where they kicked a field goal. Late in the fourth quarter he gave up a catch about 12 yards downfield and then whiffed on the tackle to have it taken for 26 yards. On the next play he was sent on a corner blitz and missed the tackle there too. The Seahawks would score their final touchdown on the drive. He made the team today but for the life of me I don’t see how.
This defense was completely out of sorts today. There were so many times when men were out of position. And they weren’t just out of position, they were so far out of the play, you couldn’t tell who was supposed to be there while the receiver/runner had nothing but wide open space in which to run. The Raiders gave up 267 yards passing to one of the worst passing teams in the NFL. They also gave up 110 yards rushing. The defense looked lost and confused most of the day, and that falls on Bresnahan.
On the Raiders’ first two drives, Huff gave up two big catches. The first was a nine yard catch on third down to keep their drive alive. Then the Seahawks went up top on the first play of their next drive to victimize Huff for a 43 yard completion. Three plays later, they had their first points on a field goal. Huff and the first team defense’s day was done after that.
To be fair, Boyd probably played longer than anyone else in this game. He was in on the Seahawks’ first drive and was still on the field late in the fourth quarter. On that first drive, he gave up a 24 yard catch to put the Seahawks in scoring position. Then just before halftime he gave up an 11 yard completion to help set up a field goal attempt. On the Seahawks’ first drive of the second half, Boyd gave up a 24 yard catch. Then, with the Seahawks on the Raider 12 yard line, he missed a tackle on a seven yard run. He held his own against the third teamers the rest of the way. He made this team today as I expected he would. Boyd has taken great strides since the Raiders signed him as an undrafted free agent last offseason. His switch from linebacker to safety is complete. And if he continues to progress at the rate he has, he will have much better days in future.
The Raiders started out looking like they were going to move down the field to score on their first possession. But Barnes made quick work of that when his defender ate his lunch on third down to stuff the run attempt for no gain. Then on third down he had one of his signature false starts. Drive over. Long 53 yard field goal missed.
There is a considerably noticeable difference when the Raiders second team of Desmond Bryant and John Henderson leave the game and when Cumbie comes in. With Richard Seymour not playing in this game, Cumbie was in early. On his first drive he had a missed tackle, fell down to miss another tackle, and was blocked for the Seahawks to run it in from one yard for a touchdown. He would also be in the middle when the Seahawks ran for their second and final touchdown of the day. It was an easy run right up the gut from four yards out. Cumbie was among the Raiders’ final cuts today as expected, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up on the practice squad.
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