Raiders week 7: Ballers & Busters

It was an ugly game to say the least, arguably the ugliest game the Raiders have played in 20 years. And that is saying a lot considering the years of futility in the last decade. It was the first game without starter Jason Campbell since breaking his collarbone, and his replacements threw six interceptions to help the Chiefs cruise to a 28-0 shutout victory.

There is not much that can be said about this game other than that. Six interceptions speak for themselves, plus the fact that two of those interceptions were returned for touchdowns screams it.

But even in a game where the big mistakes are obvious, that still doesn’t tell the whole story. There is credit to be handed out and blame to be spread around. That is what B&B is designed for, so let’s get to work.

Ballers

Michael Bush

Darren McFadden went out with an injured foot early in this game and, as he has done so many times before, Bush came in and played well. Bush and the running game was the one part of this Raider offense that seemed to be functioning properly. He came in the game midway through the first quarter with the Raiders backed up against their own goal line. On his first carry he burst through to pick up 12 yards, giving the Raiders a first down and some breathing room. Near the end of the first quarter, the Raiders started what would be their only sustained drive of the game. The biggest chunk of yardage was on a 35 yard run by Bush that put the Raiders in first and goal at the five yard line. Unfortunately it ended with Bush getting stopped at the one on a direct snap. He continued to churn out the yards the rest of the game and finished with 99 yards on 17 carries.

Demarcus Van Dyke

This rookie is really coming into his own. Matt Cassel tried many times in this game to take advantage of the rookie, but the result was not in Cassel’s favor. Van Dyke would finish with an interception, two passes defended, and four tackles with one being a tackle for loss. Cassel went at him immediately on the first drive, and on two passes Van Dyke had tight coverage to force incompletions both times. In the third quarter he had a tremendous drive. He had a pass defended, his tackle for loss, and finally his interception–all on that drive. Van Dyke gave up two catches on  the day for 30 yards. He is playing so well, he may just keep the starting job when Chris Johnson returns from injury.

Darrius Heyward-Bey

He came into the game just 4 catches and 21 yards away from reaching his entire receiving total from last season. He had a 14 yard catch. Then three plays later he laid a fine block on his defender to clear room for Michael Bush on a 35 yard scamper. Then just before halftime, DHB had his longest catch for 21 yards which gave him a new career high. He had three other catches in the game of 21, 18, and 15 yards. Yet again, he led the Raiders in receiving. After having surpassed his career high in receiving yards earlier in the game, with his final catch he also surpassed his career high in catches. He finished with five catches for 89 yards in the game. Next game he may just surpass his totals from his career prior to 2011.

Darryl Blackstock

He filled in for injured starter Rolando McClain and did a fantastic job by all accounts. He was third on the team with five combined tackles despite playing less than three quarters. He came out firing and on his first four plays he was either the primary tackler, in on the tackle, or contained the runner to allow his teammate to tackle. He had three combined tackles (1-2) on that series alone to stop the Chiefs in their tracks and force a punt. On the Chiefs’ first drive of the second half he added two more tackles to lead all Raider linebackers for the game.

Honorable Mention

Aaron Curry

Another linebacker who did some good work in this game was Curry. His efforts earn him honorable mention after just his second game as a Raider since they acquired him in trade with the Seahawks. He started off with a run stuff for no gain on the Chiefs’ second drive. Next drive he had containment on the edge to force the runner into a tackle for loss. On the Chiefs’ first drive of the second half, he had two run tackles for short gains. He finished with four combined tackles (1-3), most of which came in the run game. He didn’t have any standout plays or game-changers though, and he had a critical personal foul penalty in the third quarter that set the Chiefs up for their third touchdown of the day. That kind of play tainted an otherwise good performance from him.

Busters

Kyle Boller

Who didn’t see this top Buster a mile away? He was downright disgustingly bad in this game. He threw three interceptions in the first half alone with one of those being returned for a touchdown—on his first pass of the day. So before he had a completion to any of his own players, he had a completion to a Chief defender and the Raiders were down 7-0. Next drive, on third and five, he scrambled right into a tackle for a three and out. Next drive lasted two plays, a run by Bush followed by Boller’s second interception. At this point he was three for three—one pass for three yards and two interceptions. The Chiefs would take the short field from the turnover and convert for their second touchdown of the day. That was just in the first quarter.

He started the second quarter with an ugly execution of a fleaflicker that he overthrew incomplete. But thanks to a 35 yard run by Bush, the Raiders were in business at the five yard line. Then after two short runs, the Raiders were in third and goal at the one yard line. Boller was taken out of the game in favor of a wildcat direct snap that failed.

The next drive ended without a pass attempted for a three and out. The final drive of the first half featured a fumbled snap by Boller to get things started and ended when he threw a horrible interception right to the defender. Boller came back out to start the second half but a short incompletion, high incompletion, and dropped pass ended the possession and Boller’s day.

Boller was so bad that Hue Jackson put Carson Palmer in the game despite having been with the team for just five days. If Boller had played like someone who deserved to wear an NFL uniform, Palmer would not have played in this game. So Boller is also to blame for the three interceptions that Palmer threw as well.

Hue Jackson

Right off the top, why is Boller on this team? Jackson is a quarterback guru, is he not? How could he not see that Boller was this bad? OR how is it that Boller was so ill-prepared to step in as the starter? Boller was the obvious choice to start because one would think that after spending camp, preseason, and the last six games of the regular season on the team he would know the offense. He didn’t appear to have any idea what he was doing out there.

In this game specifically, Hue seemed to out-think himself. One minute it seemed he didn’t trust Boller at all, and then suddenly he would call a play that showed he trusted him far too much. All week Hue insisted that we not overlook the possibility that Terrelle Pryor could see action. He felt the need to prove that he was serious very early on. He sent Pryor out there on the third play of the game. It was third and one and Pryor came out to execute a quarterback sneak. But Pryor was leaning before the snap of the ball and was called for an illegal shift. Now instead of third and one, it was third and six. Hue called for Boller to go to the air and he threw the interception that was returned for a touchdown.

Next Raider possession the Raiders were backed up against their own goal line. But after a nice 12 yard run from Bush they were in a better position at the 14 yard line. So Hue called for Boller to throw a long ball that was intercepted. It gave the Chiefs a short field and they took it for a second touchdown.

Next drive he called for a fleaflicker which Boller botched. Then to end the drive, he lined up in a wildcat formation on third and one with Michael Bush in the backfield. This shows how little he trusted Boller to execute the play. The Chiefs were caught off guard and called a timeout. But instead of changing the play call, he went right back to the same exact thing. The Chiefs, having taken a timeout to adjust personnel and such, stuffed Bush at the line to hold the Raiders out of the endzone.

Later he called for another fleaflicker that Boller botched again. After that series, he put in Carson Palmer. Why he didn’t just make the decision to put Palmer in at halftime is beyond me. Instead Palmer was in a ball cap on the sideline not warming up and with no idea he would be entering the game. If he had been notified at halftime he may have been able to get himself more prepared. But instead it was, “Here’s a helmet, big guy. Get in there and bring us back from a 21-0 deficit.” As if the pressure of playing after just five days with the team wasn’t enough. The result was three interceptions of his own including one returned for a touchdown.

It seems Hue was so caught up in all the attention he was getting all week he forgot he needed to prepare his team to play. And he chose to get cute with fleaflickers and wildcat formations instead of keeping it simple for your backup who has seen 2% of the snaps by his own admission, and his brand new, completely unready quarterback. What a disgusting display.

Denarius Moore

Moore was targeted five times in this game and had just one catch for five yards. Two of the other targets resulted in interceptions. The first of those interceptions, Moore dropped the pass and tipped it up in the air where the defender had time to pluck it out of the air. The second interception Moore fell down on his route and Brandon Flowers took it 58 yards for a touchdown. Denarius’ first mistakes came in the return game. The second time he was back to field a punt, he didn’t call for a fair catch though the ball hit at around the 15 yard line. It then bounced toward the goal line and was downed at the two yard line. Later another KC punt was downed at the two yard line. Being partially responsible for two interceptions and two times backed up to your own goal line is not a good day.

Michael Huff

On the Chiefs’ first scoring drive, Huff gave up an eight yard catch on third and seven. Then three plays later he gave up a catch and missed the tackle, and it was taken for 19 yards to the Raiders’ 16 yard line. The Chiefs scored two plays later. On the Chiefs’ other scoring drive in the third quarter, Huff had a facemask penalty that set the Chiefs up inside Raider territory. Those three plays were the most critical mistakes on both of the Chiefs’ only two scoring drives of the day.

Jared Veldheer

I will admit I have not given Veldheer enough credit for his play this season–not intentionally, but I have not recognized his fine play quite as much as he has deserved. He has not given up a sack and that is tremendous. While he continued that streak in this game, he also had three big penalties, two on consecutive plays. In the second quarter with the Raiders desperate for a spark, Veldheer had a false start penalty followed by an illegal downfield penalty. Boller was sacked on the next play, and facing third and 28, the Raiders were unable to convert. Then in the fourth quarter, he was called for holding on the first play of the drive and it ended with a Palmer interception returned for a touchdown.

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About Levi Damien, Senior Writer

Raiders Week 7: Ballers & Busters

DENVER - OCTOBER 24: Running back Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders stretches the ball across the goal line for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on October 24, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

How does one go about breaking down the individual performances in this game? Or rather; how does one go about choosing specific players in a game in which nearly every Raider player contributed to such a completely dominating performance? I am going to attempt to try.

As entertaining as it was to watch this game, the hardest part was really dissecting it in the usual fashion. It almost seemed wrong to try and do such a thing considering the way the Raiders played as a cohesive unit.

In my usual way, I will make my best attempt to view the performances in a vacuum. But, seriously, where did this come from? It is almost frustrating watching this team play so well because it makes you wonder how they looked so terrible just last week versus the 49ers. Could it be that they just match up better against the Broncos? Or could it be bigger than that? Could the lightbulb have finally turned on that turns things around?

I know that is a lot of questions. All of which we will try to break down in due time. For now, I must get to the daunting task at hand.

Ballers

Darren McFadden

An career best day for McFadden helped lead to the Raider to an historic day in points scored and rushing yards. McFadden ran for 165 yards and 4 TDs! In the process he had his longest ever run from scrimmage (57 yards). He also had runs of 40, 18, 15, and 12 yards and a 19 yard screen pass he took for one of his TD’s. Those big runs helped him to an average of a ridiculous 10.3 yards per carry in this game. I have said it before that he is a different player this year than he has ever been. It shows in the fact that he is averaging well over 100 yards a game this season (111.4) and is on pace for over 1500 yards on the season. All while having missed two games with injury.

In this game he showed off his elusiveness as well as his newfound ability to drive through would be tacklers for extra yards. But in this game he showed something he had not shown us before: the ability to run away from the defense. That was something he showed with great regularity in college. But in the NFL, he had never done it. He would always get caught from behind. But on that 57 yard run, he first navigated his way through the first wave of defenders, and this time when it was “off to the races”, he won. He has suddenly become the guy the Raiders rely upon to make their offense explosive. While it is never great to rely so much on one single player, at least the Raiders can ride that horse for as long as possible.

Mike Mitchell

I have heard much about Mitchell of late from fans. The grumblings have been over the fact that the Raiders safety play has been pretty weak this season. There has been a ground swell to give this little known, hard hitting, second round pick a shot to start over either Tyvon Branch or Michael Huff. Still, until this game, I had dismissed the talk as the usual call for the backup in the hopes that the alternative will be better than than the current disappointing starters. I am not entirely ready to annoint him worthy of being named a starter just yet. But I will say that if there was any question of whether he can perform at a high enough level, he answered that on Sunday.

He wouldn’t get a chance to show his wares until after the Raiders were up 21-0. That was, of course, because the Broncos had exactly two offensive plays before that. After they picked up 29 yards on a screen play, the Broncos had a first down in Raider territory. After and incompletion and a 6 yard run, the Broncos were in 3rd and short. Mitchell had his receiver down as soon as the he caught it for a short gain, to put the Broncos in a 4th and 1. They went for it and tested Mitchell again, this time he swatted it down for a turnover on downs.

Two possessions later, he had a run stuff to help force a three and out. Then the very next time the Broncos had the ball, he chased down Kyle Orton on a scramble to force a fumble. It was the fourth time the Broncos ended a possession with a turnover. And like the previous three, it resulted in a Raider score. It would put the Raiders up 38-0. A comfortable lead that the Broncos could not threaten.

Hue Jackson

He has been a buster a couple times this season. Last week was one of those weeks, and a breaking point for many who saw the game. It was the Raiders worst offensive performance of the season. And for Jason Campbell, it was his worst performance ever. Perhaps Jackson used that horrible showing as a wake up call because his play calling in this game was exactly what the Raiders have needed with greater regularity. This game had nothing really fancy and no trickeration. Unless you consider a reverse end around to be tricky. This was good old fashioned game planning and sound execution. Jason Campbell may have his flaws, but one thing he has always done well is play action. He had the Broncos fooled so many times in this game. And Hue Jackson called just the right mixture of play action and misdirection plays versus straight up run plays.

The Broncos were never quite sure where the ball was going. That first drive was indicative of this. Namely when Zach Miller broke wide open for a 43 yard touchdown catch and run. It was a sign of things to come in this game. He utilized McFadden like the ultimate wild card too. Starting with a 12 yard swing pass and a 4 yard touchdown run on the second drive and then a 40 run off of a pitch play on the next drive. Next drive it was a perfectly called 21 yard screen play for the Raiders 3rd offensive touchdown. Then late in the game, even with a sizable lead, he didn’t let off the gas pedal until he was sure the Broncos had no shot at threatening the blowout. He finally showed us the kind of play calling that he was hired to execute. Planning for the Raiders’ strengths combined with unpredictiblity.

Marcell Reece

While the line may be the reason McFadden had such big holes to run through, Reece was the main reason those runs resulted in such long gains. He laid key blocks on two of his TD’s, both of which he literally walked into the endzone untouched from 4 yards out. But at least once a game, he shows off why he was a wide receiver in college and the Raiders initially looked at him as a tightend.

On the Raider first drive after the half, they needed a score. Hard to think of a team as needing a touchdown after starting the game 38-0. But, the Broncos had taken their last two possessions for touchdowns and were suddenly making a game of it at 38-14 with nearly a whole half of football left to be played. The Raiders’ first drive of the second half was important to try and take back the momentum in this game. And the first big play of the drive was one in which Campbell threw to Reece in coverage and Reece leaped in the air to pull the ball down for a pick up of 19 yards on the play. He showed tremendous hands and concentration to come down with the ball in traffic. The Raiders were able to drive the ball down the field where they rewarded Reece for his catch by handing it off to him for a 1 yard touchdown run.

Zach Miller

He got things started early and that is always a good thing. Because if there is anything we have learned about the Raiders and Zach, if he doesn’t touch the ball, they don’t score. Like death and taxes. He caught the second pass of the day that went for 5 yards. Then he finished the opening drive breaking wide open and taking the catch 43 yards for an opening drive touchdown. Talk about setting the tone. He later had a key 17 yard catch on a drive that resulted in the Raiders’ final touchdown of the game.

Jared Veldheer

Sure, he had two false start penalties and a holding call as well. But he did some serious work in this game that more than made up for those miscues. He was given the start over Mario Henderson at left tackle in this game. A position at which he had previously been rotating in and out. The rookie third round pick not only kept Jason Campbell’s blindside protected all game but he was a beast in run blocking. When McFadden ran the ball in from 4 yards out on the Raiders 2nd drive, Veldheer helped him walk in untouched. Then the next drive, after starting things off with a false start, he laid a vicious block that sprung McFadden for 40 yards on a pitch play. Then he opened a sizable hole for Michael Bush on the next play so he could pick up 9 yards.

On the following Raider possession, he gave Campbell all day to connect with Louis Murphy for a 20 yard completion on first down. Then he finished it off by blocking for McFadden on a 12 yard touchdown run.

A few minutes later, in an off twist of fate, Samson Satele went out of the game with an injury. At that moment, Veldheer’s time at center for the Raiders paid dividends. They simply put Henderson back in at left tackle, moved Veldheer to center, and didn’t miss a beat. He played flawless football at center for the 2nd half of the game. And that capability was extremely important to the continued success of the offense in this game. The Raider had three touchdown drives with Veldheer snapping the ball. A damn fine day’s work by any measure.

Chris Johnson, Michael Huff

The Raiders secondary has had some pretty bad games of late. Even the win over the Chargers was rife with mistakes. Those mistakes were simply rendered moot with some big turnovers. The difference in this game was they not only had the big turnovers but they were lights out in coverage as well. Kyle Orton was held under 200 yards passing and was a pathetic 12 for 29.

Chris Johnson had his usual couple of hickups/lapses, but the big plays he made more than outshined those moments. He shot out of the gates as a Baller candidate when on the Broncos first play from scrimmage, he had perfect coverage, intercepted the pass and took it to the house to give the Raiders their 2nd touchdown in 10 seconds. Later, the 2nd quarter, he ended a Bronco series with a three and out when he had tight coverage to force and incompletion. He had two other passed defended in the game.

The Broncos 2nd turnover in as many possessions was one in which Stanford Routt came up to stop a run on an end around. He was hanging onto Damarius Thomas’ leg for dear life as Michael Huff flew in to hit Thomas and punch the ball out. It set up the 3rd Raider touchdown of the game. All before the Broncos had gotten a single yard on offense.

Sebastian Janikowski

He didn’t have any big, game-on-the-line field goals. But what he did do was hit the field goal he was asked to hit along with 8 extra points and kicked a touchback on 8 of his 10 kickoffs in this game.

Honorable Mention

Jason Campbell

Made quite a comeback after his historically bad week last week. He managed the game well and didn’t make any big mistakes. He executed the game plan almost flawlessly. He wasn’t asked to do anything spectacular because he didn’t need to. He was 12 of 20 for 60% completion and had 204 yards and 2 TDs with no interceptions or fumbles.

Nick Miller

His first punt return of his career came last week and he took it for 49 yards. His first catch came this week and it was a gorgeous 32 yard leaping sideline grab over his defender for a huge play to set up a touchdown. He was also fantastic in the punt return game. At one time I was quoted as saying “Even if Nick Miller only got 7 yards on a return, that is 12 yards more than the Raiders would have gotten from Jonnie Lee Higgins.”

Busters

None (seriously, no one)

You are witnessing the first time in three seasons that I was unable to come up with a single Buster. And that includes my Ballers and Buster treatment of the Raiders three Super Bowl wins. I wracked my brain on this one and could not come up with one player who honestly deserved to be told “this team won despite you.” Every mistake made by any one player in this game was either a single mistake that wasn’t too damaging, or that player made up for it with a good play or two. Call it offsetting penalties.

On defense, you can tell a good day when the tackle numbers are evenly distributed. Three tackles led the team and Five players were tied for that team lead. On offense, the Raiders had their best rushing totals since 1987 when Bo Jackson and Marcus Allen were in the backfield. Of the 328 yards rushing they had, about half were Darren McFadden. The other half was distributed among several other players. So everyone was getting into the act. That includes a lot of great blocking.

What it comes down to is this was a total team effort. No one let a single mistake tear down what they were building. They just regrouped and made up for it. Heck, it was just as difficult not to put most of the team on the Baller list. This was the kind of win of which this team has been desperate for a long time. Now they just need to keep it going.

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About Levi Damien, Senior Writer

Raiders Week 7: Ballers & Busters

New York Jets v Oakland Raiders

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Oh that was painful. As painful as it was to watch the game two weeks ago against the Giants, this one may have been even more painful. The Jets took advantage of three early turnovers to go up 21-0 and then ran the ball the rest of the game to great success. The most depressing thing was that the Raiders knew it was coming and they still couldn’t stop it.<

As is too often the case, this game was so horrible overall, that my mission becomes to simply point out those players that should be excluded from blame. Those players that, had they been playing for any other team, their efforts would have translated into success.

And on that note, let’s get the Ballers out of the way and get on to the nitty gritty.

Ballers

Shane Lechler

His punts were even more breathtaking in this game than they usually are. He had just five punts on the day. Mainly because the Raiders turned the ball over four times and the Jets ran the clock out the entire second half. But on those five punts he averaged over 52 yards per punt with two being downed inside the 20 yard line. His first punt went for 49 yards but the hang time caused fair catch at the 25 yard line. His next punt, the Jets stayed away from and it was downed at the 7 yard line. After that he had his biggest punt of the day of 61 yards that was downed at the 6 yard line. The Jets were called for Holding and started their drive on the 3 yard line. Then he matched his biggest punt by booting another 61 yarder. This one was returned just 4 yards to the 22. It was the ONLY punt the Jets even attempted a return on all day. His final punt of the day went for 51 yards and was fair caught at the 21 yard line. His shortest punt (43 yards) was one of his best as it was downed by the Raiders at the 7 yard line. If you take that punt yardage out, he averaged almost 56 yards per punt. The one time the Jets fair caught a punt at the 25 yard line was their best field position of the day off of punts.

Justin Fargas

He had his second straight really nice game for the Raiders. He seems perfectly fit for the zone blocking scheme. His ability to find the hole and shoot through it with such quickness is astounding. He had two especially nice runs on the day. One for 35 yards and the other for 17 yards. Again, to compare these to what Darren McFadden had in the first 5 games of the season, in which McFadden’s biggest runs were 15 and 13 yards. Fargas is far superior in this system and to say he has better balance is to point out the obvious. He finished the day with 67 yards on just 8 carries to average over 8 yards a carry. He also had 3 catches for 23 yards.

Tyvon Branch

He led the Raiders in tackles on the day with 7 solo tackles and 1 assist. He also had a forced fumble. Unfortunately, the ball bounced out of bounds or it could have been a nice play for the Raiders. Many of his tackles were when he came up to stuff the run. A duty he performed better than the linebackers on many occasions. Especially considering he was cleaning up their mess half the time by plugging holes that they neglected. It is hard for any team to rely on a safety to be their run stopper. Most teams that do, already have a solid enough team to be ok with it (Colts: Bob Sanders, Steelers: Troy Polamalu).

Nnamdi Asomugha

Aside from his usual lockdown duties, he can play the running backs quite well also. He had a tackle on a short catch to the Jets running back in the first quarter and had two other run stuff tackles. He even had a QB pressure in which he pulled defensive end style swim move on the blocker which caused Sanchez to try to scramble where he was tackled for a very short gain. Aso did give up a short catch on the day that he could have stopped short of the first down marker but the receiver slipped his grasp and made the first down anyway. The Jets punted three plays later and he made up for that one hickup with his overall play.

Cooper Carlisle

He was the primary blocker on both of Fargas’ big runs of 17 and 35 yards. He also layed some key blocks throughout the rest of the game. He continues to be the most consistent run blocker on the Raiders offensive line this season.

Busters

JaMarcus Russell

After the game, Russell seemed convinced that none of what happened in the game was his fault. He said “I don’t think this is personal, I really don’t. It’s a bad combination of: one guy doesn’t do something right one time and he doesn’t do [something right]. You know, it all plays [into] the play. But I personally don’t think it’s me. Do you?” Well, since you asked, I will try and answer that question. First play of the game, he is holding the ball at his chest looking to throw. The defender comes in and swipes at the ball and it easily slips his grasps and he fumbles it at the four yard line. The Jets have an easy TD. Fault: Russell. Third down of the next drive he throws slightly behind Louis Murphy who drops the ball for a three and out. Fault: Murphy and Russell. Next Raider drive Russell is pressured, he panics and throws the ball off his backfoot right to a Jets defender who returns the interception to the 4 yard line. The Jets score easily again. Fault: Russell. Next drive, Russell throws a long pass to a well covered Todd Watkins in the end zone where it is intercepted by Darell Revis for a touchback and no points on the drive for the Raiders. Fault: Russell and Watkins. Next drive Russell rolls out of the pocket to his right looking for a receiver. When he is about to be sacked or go out of bounds, he throws the ball across his body to the middle of the field to no one where he is lucky it was not intercepted again. Drive over. Fault: Russell. That was when Cable had seen enough and took Russell out of the game in favor of Bruce Gradkowski. Fault: Russell 3, others 1. Gradkowski didn’t look great but he still outperformed Russell with 10 catches for 97 yards and a fumble to Russell’s 8 catches for 61 yards two interceptions and a fumble.

Darrius Heyward-Bey

Another guy who takes no responsibility for his mistakes. He keeps insisting that he is doing his job out there and we keep saying that a receiver’s most important job is to CATCH THE BALL!! After it was announced that Michael Crabtree was going to start this week for the 49ers, I posed the question if Crabtree will eclipse DHB’s season numbers (2 catches) in the first half or if it will take him the entire game? Well, Crabtree had 3 catches in the first half so that answers that question. And even though DHB had two catches in this game, Crabtree had 2 more catches in the second half so Crabtree was able to eclipse DHB’s catches through 6 games in a half and 7 games in one game. As if that wasn’t enough, DHB completely and totally dropped the best chance the Raiders had of scoring on Sunday. It was a perfect, soft (you might say balloon-like) ball place right in his hands and then through them to the ground. Maybe you need to take the gloves off so you can feel the ball Darrius. Or get your eyes checked. Or give your money back and go learn how to catch. You sorry, waste of space. I digress.

Khalif Barnes

You are a buster because you blew it Khalif. Although, I don’t completely fault you. You had said you didn’t have enough practice to make the transition to right tackle yet. I agreed with you and yet Cable didn’t listen to either of us and stuck you there anyway. That said, you were completely manhandled and literally thrown aside like a rag doll on the first play of the game. Your man then knocked the ball out of JaMarcus’ delicate hands and the Jets took posession. To add to that, you were called for tripping (very unsuccessful tripping) and the Jets got the ball at the 4 yard line and quickly scored. You later gave up a run stuff and then gave up another sack. Why is it so hard to find a decent right tackle for this team? Which reminds me…

Erik Pears

You make it here because you were so bad in the games you started, that Cable was forced to put Barnes in before he was ready. You were put in late in the game and gave up a tackle for loss on a run at the goal line.

John Marshall

Congratulations again on surprising the Eagles last week with all the great blitzes (sarcastic applause). But I told said last week that if the Raiders didn’t diguise their packages, they would be abused by the Jets who would have all week to prepare for it. And WOW did they ever abuse the Raiders defensive line. They played the game that the Raiders always talk about “Run it right at them and then throw it over their heads.” In this case the Jets ran it down the Raiders’ throats and just when they would overpersue, a nice play action dump off or screen would work like a dream. Again, there is no discipline on this defense and they are predictable. You are mainly to blame for this next big Buster.

The Entire defensive line and line backing corps

The Jets had two running backs over 100 yards rushing and this was with Leon Washington going out on his first run from scrimmage. They gave up over 300 yards rushing on the day and couldn’t stop anything. The Jets do have a great offensive line but if it were this good against every team, they would never lose, EVER. There is no point in going through the individual stats because this collapse was a team effort (or lack thereof). Here is the list of offenders though:

Jon Alston, Kirk Morrison, Thomas Howard, Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, Gerard Warren, Desmond Bryant, Matt Shaughnessy, Greg Ellis, Trevor Scott

John Fassel

The usual reason mostly. Almost every kick return didn’t even make it to the 20 yard line. Sure, Jonathan Holland is not right for the return duties but he is clearly getting no blocking. There was negative one yard on one punt return from Jonnie Lee Higgins as well. And what the HELL was the deal with that blooper reel worthy fake punt in which the Jets punter was running right along with the return team? Ever heard of keep someone at home just in case the Jets do that? I have never seen anything like it. The dude was 20 yards down the field before ONE GUY (Ekejiuba) finally noticed that he was running with the ball and stopped him. You should be fired right now. Seriously.

Chris Johnson

Gave up quite a few catches again. The first went for 14 yards mainly because after he gave up the catch, he promptly missed the tackle. Then in the third quarter he gave up a long touchdown in which he turned around too late as the receiver came back for the ball to put the Jets up 31-0. On the Jets final scoring drive, he gave up a 19 yard catch and on the very next play he missed a tackle on a 21 yard run.

About Levi Damien, Senior Writer

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