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Week one saw the Oakland Raiders beat the division rival Denver Broncos for what is probably not going to be the first time this season. It also saw another AFC West rival blown out of the water, and another show poise and ability ... so all-in-all, they had to feel good about their place atop the division. In week two, they lost to the Buffalo Bills in a rather exciting game, but exciting doesn't mean much.
What does mean much are the components for what made the game exciting: touchdowns. Oakland should feel good that they kept up with the Buffalo Bills, as ... hilarious as that sentence sounds. The Bills looked great in week one and have once again looked great in week two, and for Oakland to have the victory snatched from them in the final seconds, they should at least feel good that they kept up. A combined 580+ yards passing and five touchdowns through the air showed that the two teams were gunslinging.
Oakland showed that they can execute on offense with Jason Campbell as the quarterback, which has always been up in the air. They also had Darren McFadden rushing for 72 yards with a touchdown of his own, so that was good. Campbell's interception is something they'll need to work on, but they have to feel great about Denarious Moore and his 146 yards receiving.
The Kansas City Chiefs were absolutely demolished for the second straight week. They got blasted apart by the Bills in week one and got blasted apart by the Lions in week two. Matt Cassel threw for 133 yards and no touchdowns against three interceptions. He lost a fumble, which added to two other fumbles from other Chiefs players. Dwayne Bowe had 101 of Cassel's 133 yards, which is both good - because you have a guy who can produce like that - and bad - because you really need some other options.
They failed to get any sacks, but did get an interception from Matthew Stafford, who threw for four touchdowns. It was all bad for the Chiefs, but the worst part of the 48-3 loss is the fact that Jamaal Charles was carted off the field in the first quarter. If the Raiders are watching the Chiefs right now, they're feeling really good about a team that was supposed to be an up-and-comer.
For the Denver Broncos, they got a good win over the Cincinnati Bengals, but other than a couple surprise performances from some under-the-radar players, the Raiders don't need to be presently concerned with them as big threats in the AFC West. Kyle Orton threw for under 200 yards, but Willis McGahee stole the show with 101 yards on the ground.
The negatives of a win seem like nitpicking, but the Bengals don't look like a great team this year, and giving up 332 yards to rookie Andy Dalton seems like an issue. Rookie receiver A.J. Green had 124 yards receiving, as well. The biggest thing for Orton was not throwing an interception, but he did lose a fumble. Suffice to say the Broncos were the best of a game featuring two bad teams.
Oakland's biggest threat and favorites to win the AFC West, the San Diego Chargers, fell to the Patriots on Sunday. In other news, the sun rose this morning, the Earth is still spinning, albeit rather slowly, and Tom Brady is really, really good. Outside of the Patriots offense wrecking shop all over San Diego's defense, which at this point is a certainty, many saw the Chargers putting up a fight in week two.
Well they did that ... for a time, until they got near the point where they were going to score, at which point the Patriots decided they'd like the ball back. Phillip Rivers neared 400 yards passing, with two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions on the Patriots' side of the field. He also lost a fumble, as did Mike Tolbert, and those four turnovers led to 17 New England points. It was miscues, miscues and more miscues.
Despite that, the Chargers simply lost to one of the best teams in football today. The Raiders shouldn't feel any better about losing because they lost to the Bills and San Diego lost to
Tom Brady the Patriots. At he very least, they should feel good that they're currently favorites to take second in the AFC West, and they should ride that momentum while looking for a good bit of luck on the way to the end of the season.
Asked about his team's performance in the final few minutes, Jackson stated, "I saw a team that didn't finish just as I said yesterday, no doubt about it. [They] didn't play very well in the second half, need to get better and we will." He went into more depth later on: "I left the guy wide open in the end zone and we lost. Fourth down, end of discussion, they won the game and that's it. We move on from there."
Jackson took responsibility for the loss but continued to stay optimistic about the team's prospects moving forward. "We have 14 more opportunities to get this right and hopefully this is a lesson well learned." Jackson is right: the Raiders had a great chance to win the game on the road and just didn't perform in the game's final few minutes. They could just as easily have left the game with a road win and a 2-0 record.
In the loss, though, the Raiders found good news in the performance of rookie wideout Denarius Moore. Moore posted 147 receiving yards and one touchdown on five receptions, including a 50-yard touchdown reception that pulled Oakland within four points in the game's final four minutes. Asked whether or not Moore will receive more consistent minutes going forward, Jackson responded, "Oh boy, you better believe it. I mean there's no doubt. You can't deny that one."
The Raiders will attempt to fix up their defensive shortcomings this week ahead of Sunday's game against the New York Jets. The game will be played at home, and kickoff is slated for 1:05 Pacific.
Oakland Raiders NFL Report Card Week Two: Jason Campbell gets a passing grade while the defense struggles to make the grade.
The Oakland Raiders did not have their three top receivers for their week two game against the Buffalo Bills and it did not matter. After Jason Campbell put up rather unimpressive numbers in their week one game against the Denver Broncos, he was able to put together one of his best games as a Raider against the Bills in week two.
Many were concerned that the Raiders would have serious struggles in the passing game with Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy and Jacoby Ford all sitting out. Those people, however did not include anyone who followed the Raiders closely in training camp and the preseason. For those who did follow the Raiders closely, this was an exciting opportunity to see what the Raiders leading preseason receiver Derek Hagan and this year's rookie sensation, Denarius Moore could do with more playing time.
Neither disappointed as Hagan had a solid outing, while Denarius Moore was simply amazing.
Derek Hagan led the Raiders receiving corps in the preseason in dominant fashion. However, despite that, Hue Jackson decided to keep Hagan inactive, When given the chance to play due to all of the injuries, Hagan took advantage. He finished the game with 5 catches for 61 yards, that's one catch and 17 yards better than the Raiders leading receiver in week one.
However, what may be the most important statistic for Hagan was his 8 targets. That tied every other receiving option for Campbell on the day. In the preseason it looked as though Campbell and Hagan began to develop strong chemistry that showed again in their game against the Bills. Campbell feels comfortable throwing to Hagan and if Hue Jackson is smart, he will take notice and begin to get Hagan more playing time.
And then there was Denarius Moore. The fifth round pick out of the University of Tennessee had the Raiders coaching staff and fans drooling over his potential during training camp and the preseason. His combination of speed, clean routes, good hands and ability to change direction on the stop of a dime make him a serious threat, and on Sunday, the Bills learned just how big of a threat he is.
Moore finished the game with 5 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown plus a 25 yards on the ground that he picked up on a double reverse. Not only were his numbers impressive, but the way he put them up was also something to see. Looking a lot like a rookie last season by the name of Jacoby Ford, Moore had to go up and fight for a couple of his bigger catches of the night.
Last but not least, Jason Campbell made a big statement to his detractors in week two. Many believe that Campbell, who is in the final year of his contract with the Raiders, can no longer rely on the excuses people have made for him in the past. There has been a ton of talk about Campbell having to constantly deal with learning new offenses and playing behind inferior lines with average receiving options. Well, he is in his second year in Hue Jackson's offense and is playing under Al Saunders for the second time. The Raiders offensive line has done a good job in pass protection and right now, the Raiders look to have a good problem of an over crowded receiving corps.
When given the opportunity to show what he could do against the Bills in week two, Campbell also did not disappoint. In week one, the Raiders did not need to throw the ball much and as a result, Campbell came off looking lackluster. This week, the Raiders aired out the ball as Campbell completed 22 of 33 for 323 yards and two touchdowns. Campbell is also credited with one interception, but that came on a hail mary pass with one second left to play in the game.
While the loss to the Bills is a tough one to swallow, Raiders fans can and should be happy with the way the Raiders passing game performed.
The Oakland Raiders are starting to develop a bad habit for coming out flat in the second half.
In their first game of the year against the Denver Broncos, the Raiders dominated in the first half then almost let the game slip away in the second half. This week, against the Buffalo Bills, the Raiders dominated in the first half then disappeared in the second half.
The Raiders entered half time against the Bills leading 21-3 and looking like they were going to cruise to an easy victory. The defense looked like it was one of the league’s best, and on offense, Jason Campbell already had more yards than he finished the Broncos game with.
Then, it was almost as if an entirely different team took the field in the second half. The Buffalo Bills managed to score a touchdown on every single one of their second half possessions. Meanwhile, the Raiders were unable to get on the board in their first two second half attempts and could not keep up with the scoring seminar that Fred Jackson and the Bills put on in the second half.
Maybe the Raiders were tired after a short week with travel to two different road games and a game that started at 7am west coast time, but that would not explain their lackluster performance in the second half of the Denver game. Plus, Hue Jackson had the Raiders up early for practice all week in order to off set the impact of the time change.
Whatever the problem is, it is most likely mental. It appears as though the Raiders get overly confident after playing well in the first half and start to get undisciplined in the second half. That means it will be up to Hue Jackson and the Raiders coaching staff to figure out a way to get the Raiders to play consistently throughout an entire game.
After taking a substantial early lead it was looking like the Oakland Raiders may cruise to a victory over the Buffalo Bills to go quietly to 2-0 in their young season. But after a blazing second half comeback the Bills got right back into the thick of things, eventually negating a 50 yard Denarius Moore TD reception with three minutes left to put the nail in the coffin with a David Nelson 6 yard TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick, winning by the score of 38-35 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Moore finished the day with 122 receiving yards on only four receptions, filling in more than admirably for the trio of Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy and Kevin Boss out of the lineup due to injury. Darren McFadden had 7 receptions for 71 yards, including a 12 yard pass from Jason Campbell. Run DMC also had a rushing TD as well, finishing with 20 carries for 72 yards on the day.
Campbell showed poise and control throughout the game today, even when it seemed likes things were starting to go against him. Campbell went 22/30 for 299 yards today including two TD's and a rushing TD as well.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson led the way for Buffalo this afternoon, with Fitzpatrick going 27/45 for 258 yards, along with three TD's and an interception, while Fred Jackson had 117 yards rushing on 15 carries with two rushing TD's of his own, including a 43 yard burst to begin the game.
For more on the Raiders head over to Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders dominated the first half of their game against the Buffalo Bills, but they have just as quickly been dominated in the second half. Whatever the Bills were missing in the first half, the switch went on at halftime and they've figured out the Raiders defense in the third quarter.
The Raiders were up 21-3 to start the second half but a big Fred Jackson run woke up the team and the crowd as he cruised 43-yards to a touchdown. The Raiders got the ball back and looked ready to chew up some clock, but Darren McFadden coughed up a fumble on the Buffalo 43. The Bills followed that by driving 57 yards in seven plays, capping it with a Steve Johnson touchdown, cutting the lead to 21-17.
The Raiders offense stalled out on their subsequent possession, punting back to the Bills. The Raiders appeared ready to stop the Bills on the drive but stupid mistakes have cost Oakland once again. The Bills drove down and capped the drive with a one yard touchdown run by Fred Jackson. The Bills now lead 24-21 as the Raiders are in serious trouble.
For more on the Raiders, check out Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders head into halftime against the Buffalo Bills with a commanding 21-3 lead thanks to a dynamic mix of power rushing and deep passes. Earlier we said that at heart the Raiders really were a power rushing team. However, their scoring drives today have shown us a more dynamic offense than that.
Shortly after taking a 7-0 lead on the Bills, Stanford Routt picked off a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass to set the Raiders up in Bills territory. Five plays later the Raiders were in the end zone with relative ease. QB Jason Campbell opened the drive with passes to Derek Hagan and Marcel Reece. Darren McFadden then followed that with three rushes for 12 yards and a touchdown.
The Bills managed to get on the board after that but had to settle for a field goal as the Raiders defense stiffened up inside the ten yard line. The defensive stop was highlighted by fantastic coverage from middle linebacker Rolando McClain. Fitzpatrick fired a pass to David Nelson in the deep center of the end zone and McClain leaped to tip the ball out of reach.
The Raiders took over leading 14-2 with 2:25 to go and rather than run out the clock, the Raiders took advantage to take a commanding lead in the game. After a one yard rush up the middle, Jason Campbell completed a screen pass to Darren McFadden, which Run DMC turned into a 16-yard gain. Campbell then followed that with a beautiful 42-yard bomb to Denarius Moore. It was Moore's second deep reception of the game and set the Raiders up at the Bills 23. Michael Bush quickly moved them down to the 1-yard line with a 22-yard rush and Jason Campbell capped the drive with a QB sneak for the score.
How good are things going for the Raiders right now? The Bills drove down the field into position for a 39-yard field goal to end the half and the Raiders defense got a piece of it to prevent the score. While the Raiders would have still been dominating 21-6, the block further established that dominance. The Raiders will look to ride their dominant rushing game through the second half to secure victory.
For more on the Raiders, check out Silver & Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders may draft like a team looking to pitch and catch the ball, but in reality they are a power running team that can grind up teams on the ground. The Raiders showed that on their first scoring drive against the Buffalo Bills as they used 14 plays to drive 71 yards and take a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.
The Raiders and Bills each punted twice in the first quarter with neither team able to get much going on offense. However, the Raiders were able to convert on a 4th and 1 and finished off the drive. The Raiders rushed Darren McFadden just off guard on the 4th down and he got the easy first down. Jason Campbell then connected with Denarius Moore on a questionable throw by Campbell but brilliant catch by Moore to get inside the red zone. The Raiders continued mixed in some short passes with their grinding rushing attack and Michael Bush finished it off with a one yard touchdown run.
The Raiders are dealing with the always tough "short week followed by a trip to the East coast for a 10am pacific game." West coast teams struggle with that, but the Raiders rushing attack might be pivotal to countering it in Buffalo.
After watching Ryan Fitzpatrick unload for four touchdown's last week the Oakland Raiders offense is going to likely have to keep up with the Bills if they want to win. Unfortunately they will be without a number of their offensive playmakers this week due to injury, making their case against Buffalo just that much harder.
Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Kevin Boss, David Ausberry, Stephon Heyer and Mike Mitchell will all be inactive this afternoon for Oakland according to Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times, leaving some gaping holes in the Radiers starting roster this week. The reserves are going to have to play lights out against an upstart Buffalo squad that may or may not be a serious playoff contender. You can't judge a team after just one week, but the Bills sure looked solid in week one, so the Raiders might have their hands full this afternoon.
For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.
Richard Seymour was hoping to get into the backfield of the Buffalo Bills a lot this Sunday, just like old times when he was with the New England Patriots. However, he needs to stay healthy to stay on the field, and right now he's part of the walking wounded. Seymour was limited in practice all week due to ribs issues, and his status for this week's game had been in serious question.
Seymour will play in Orchard Park today, but only conditionally, as his snaps will be monitored by the Raiders staff. Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reports he Oakland Raiders will be watching their defensive end closely on Sunday to see if he's at full status and will probably pull him out of the game whenever they feel like he's putting himself in danger of further injury. This is probably a half-satisfactory compromise to reach, but the Raiders aren't exactly facing the stoutest of offensive lines Sunday, so Oakland can probably still pull victory out of this one.
The Bills and Raiders are both coming off season-opening wins, as Buffalo defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 41-7, while Oakland held off the Denver Broncos 23-20. Darren McFadden ran wild, picking up 150 yards on 22 attempts. Buffalo also pounded the football last week, allowing Fred Jackson to run 112 yards on 20 carries.
Kickoff: 10:00 a.m. Pacific time
TV: CBS, though the regional broadcast can only been seen in upstate New York, California, Arizona and the Pacific Northwest.
TV announcers: Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots
Radio: KITS LIVE 105.3 FM
Radio announcers: Greg Papa, Tom Flores
Line: Buffalo is currently favored by 3 points.
Watch it online at: NFL.com, if you have the money to pay for it.
Complete online coverage Head on over to Silver And Black Pride to talk Raiders football with die-hard fans.
The Raiders defense, lead by its massive defensive line, sacked Kyle Orton five times and held the Broncos to 38 yards rushing during their Monday Night Football opener. To describe the performance of the defensive line as anything other than dominant would be a crime.
In fact, all of the penetration into the backfield by the Raiders defensive line was a major reason why the Raiders did not look like they missed Nnamdi Asomugha too much on Monday night.
This week, the leader of the Raiders defensive line, and entire defense for that matter, Richard Seymour, has missed a lot of practice and is listed as questionable for the game on Sunday. One might think that this would be devastating news for the Raiders, but thanks in large part to Seymour, the Raiders have possibly the best depth at d-line in the NFL.
Every since Seymour arrived in Oakland, Kelly has turned into the dominant force the Raiders thought he would be when they gave him a huge contract. Since signing with the Raiders, John Henderson has gone from being considered done in the league to being a force in run defense. Finally, un-drafted free agent Desmond Bryant has become one of the better up and coming defensive tackles in the league.
The solid corps of middle lineman, working with future pro bowlers Matt Shaughnessy and Lamarr Huston easily make the Raiders defensive lines one of the best in the NFL. On Sunday, they will look to bring Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick back to reality after his four touchdown effort in week one.
In that game against the Chiefs, Fitzpatrick was only sacked once and was able to sit in the pocket and look for deep options. Against the Raiders, he will not have that freedom. Expect the Raiders defense to be in Fitzpatrick’s face all day long, while also shutting down the Bills slightly above average running game.
After years of games turning on the Raiders secondary, this year, it will be the defensive line that defines the Oakland Raiders.
With a short week of practice after a big win on Monday evening, the Oakland Raiders are looking forward to their matchup in week two against the Buffalo Bills, a team coming off a big win of their own. With the final preparations underway for the game, head coach Hue Jackson and defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan met with the media and briefly discussed the matchup.
Q: That's a pretty long list [referring to injuries]. Are you worried?
Coach Jackson: No, I'm not. We're [going to] get on the plane and go play a game at Buffalo and we're going to be ready to play.
Q: Who's going to return kicks?
Coach Jackson: I'll let you know that when I make that decision. I haven't made that decision yet.
Q: Final thoughts on the Bills.
Coach Jackson: Let's go. Let's go. It's a big football game for us. I'm very excited about it. Our team is very excited about it. We have some traveling to do right now. We have to handle that the right way because as you travel you have to prepare and that's something I talked to our team about. We'll get prepared. That's what it is. This process is ongoing to and through the game, but we'll be ready to play.
Go get 'em, Raiders. A 2-0 start to the season would be huge for the franchise, and with the Jets and Patriots coming to Oakland the next two weeks, the team could really use the momentum against two tough, potential playoff teams.
Q: What does Buffalo like to do on offense, coach?
Bresnahan: They really have a bunch of things they do. They don't line up as a traditional offense does and just run a couple things that they get very good at. They spread you out and they try to keep you on your heels and try to set the tempo for the game. So, we've go to respond to that, and we feel like we have a good plan. Like I said last week, I'm excited to go out and see where our guys are at and see if we can again, build on the foundation we laid last week, and improve in the areas we need to improve in, and that was the pass coverage.
Q: Going 8-9 deep in the defensive line, what does that allow you to do scheme wise?
Bresnahan: It's not the scheme, its keeping it fresh. You see what happens towards the end of the game, you wear them down. The second half we wore them down, in my opinion, on the offensive line, and that helped to dictate the tempo of the game, and helped us get to Orton the entire game. Now if we clean up some of our coverage aspects, we have something special that we can build on, as long as we build on the foundation.
Q: Is it a plus, Chuck, the way that Buffalo handled Kansas City, in terms of guarding against overconfidence that they dropped 41 points on the Chiefs?
Bresnahan: It is to a degree because I think its an eye opener to everybody around the league, but at the same time, I'm one that preaches in our meetings and on the practice fields, I don't concern myself with what they do. I concern myself with what we do and how we handle the opponent. If we concern ourselves with everything they are doing, we're not going to focus on what we need to do to be successful within our defense. I want to dictate the tempo, I want our guys executing our defense based on our knowledge and expertise of what were doing rather than try to react to something they do and not being totally confident and aggressive. I'm more concerned about us.
The Bills might have been the most impressive team in the NFL last week -- albeit against a team depleted with injuries -- and their confidence will be as high as it has been in years. Oakland will need to limit mistakes against Fitzpatrick and Buffalo's offense and try to get an early lead. The fans will likely be rowdy and boisterous as the game begins and the last thing coaches Jackson and Bresnahan want to deal with is an early deficit. This is not a team built to exactly score a lot of points in a short amount of time.
For more Raiders news, be sure to check out Silver and Black Pride.
The Raiders released their injury report this afternoon and will be without WR Jacoby Ford (hamstring), S Michael Mitchell (knee), and WR Louis Murphy (groin) in their matchup with the Bills on Sunday in Buffalo.
The team also listed TE Kevin Boss (knee), T Stephon Heyer (knee), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (knee), S Michael Huff (groin), and DT Richard Seymour (ribs) as questionable. With WRs Ford and Murphy out, and Heyward-Bey and TE Kevin Boss questionable, it looks like the Raiders will have to rely on their depth at the receiving positions.
For more on the Raiders, head to Silver and Black Pride.
In their opening game of the season, the Raiders relied heavily on the run while barely acknowledging that passes were allowed in a football game. The Raiders ran the ball 39 times while amassing 190 yards. Meanwhile, they only threw the ball 22 times for 105 yards.
You cannot really blame the Raiders for their play calling in Denver. Since the Broncos showed that they could not stop the run, there was no reason to risk passing the ball. This weekend, however, the Raiders will likely need to pass the ball much more.
Last week, the Bills gave up 108 yards on the ground. That is not a dominant run defense, but its also not one springing massive leaks. The Chiefs had the best ground game in the NFL last season, lead by Jamaal Charles, who the Bills held to 56 yards. Keeping them to 108 as a team is not bad by any means.
The Bills had the worst rush defense in the league last season, but have worked hard to improve that in the off season and will be determined not to let Oakland treat their defense like the door mat it treated Denver’s like.
This, combined with the fact that Buffalo has a much better offense than Denver, means that Jason Campbell will need to do much more in the passing game than he did in week one. That is not going to be easy considering Buffalo had one of the better pass defenses in 2010.
Not only will Campbell need to prove himself against a good pass defense, he may need to do so with limited resources as the receiving corps is riddled with injury. Jacoby Ford had to leave week one with a hamstring issue, Louis Murphy is still out from an injury dating back to the preseason and Darrius Heyward-Bey who led Oakland receivers in week one (goes to show just how weak Oakland’s passing game in week one was) injured his knee in practice this week.
On the bright side, Oakland’s offensive line looked good in pass protection in week one, and the Raiders are lucky to have a lot of depth at the wide receiver position with Derek Hagan, Chaz Schilens and rookie Denarius Moore all ready to step in for the injured Raiders receivers.
Al Saunders, offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders, talked to the media today. Most of it was "blah blah blah coachspeak." But there are some interesting nuggets that could be useful for Sunday's game against the Bills. You can view the transcript below; some of the quotables can be found below.
Saunders did address how the Raiders tried to power things on the ground and let quarterback Jason Campbell (click here for some of his press conference tidbits) manage the ballgame. It makes sense, since the Raiders do have a punishing run game they can use to get things going offensively.
Q: You weren’t able to get the ball to the wideouts that much that game. Was that just you keeping guys in or was it something that the Broncos were throwing at you guys?
Coach Saunders: No, actually in normal down and distance situations, we were 10 for 11 passing. We just didn’t do anything to put ourselves in jeopardy to push the ball down the field. It wasn’t necessary at that time and we felt like going into halftime after the field goal and we established a pretty solid way of moving the football as we expect when we went in on the ground, and there was no need to push the ball down the field. If we would have been in a situation where we would have had to do that, I believe we probably could have, but it was not necessary. The important thing for a quarterback in a situation like that is to manage the game, protect the football, and don’t turn it over. I thought Jason [Campbell] did a tremendous job of that.
The Raiders did introduce a six offensive linemen set on a short-yardage situation to try and get much needed yardage against the Chiefs.
Q: You guys used a lot of that six offensive linemen set. What do you like about it?
Coach Saunders: The physicalness that it brings to the running game. When you can put a 300-pound guy on the end of the line of scrimmage against an outside linebacker that’s a favorable match up. Match ups aren’t only in the passing game when you have people in space. It’s also along the line of scrimmage and it gives us an opportunity to be a little bit more physical in what we want to do establishing the edge in our running game.
Buffalo was not tested mightily on the ground in their opening game; the Bills took a big lead early, forcing the Chiefs to go to the air early. As a result Kansas City's feature tailback Jamaal Charles logged a mere ten carries on Sunday. Don't be suspect that if Oakland tries to power that ball against Buffalo to get their offense moving. They don't want Campbell taking too many risks on the road and would love to test Darren McFadden and Michael Bush against an uncertain Bills front seven. Chan Gailey is bracing for it, that's for sure.
Here's your latest injury report on the Oakland Raiders. Most of these updates are courtesy of the Twitter feed of Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group.
For more on the Raiders, head to Silver and Black Pride.
The big news for the Oakland Raiders is that tight end Kevin Boss is back in action. The Oakland Raiders didn't really have a tight end to give the team versatility at the spot on Saturday with Zach Miller gone to the Seahawks and Boss out of commission, but he's back now. Hue Jackson talked about how happy he was to see Boss in practice at his weekly press conference.
Coach Jackson: It’s been a long time, but it’s good to have him out there in a limited capacity moving around and catching balls, but we’ll see where he is as we keep moving forward.
Jackson talked also about how happy he was with the Oakland offensive line, and how important it'll be to prepare for a Buffalo Bills team hot off a demolition of the Chiefs, divisional rivals of the Raiders. You can read the whole thing here.
Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell also addressed the media and discussed his problems with opening up the passing game. He talked about the coverages. Campbell was satisfied because while the pass game sputtered, the run attack opened up for Darren McFadden and Michael Bush.
And of course, a quarterback is always happy to see his tight end back.
Q: Looks like there is a chance that [Kevin] Boss is back this week. What would that mean for you guys and the offense?
Campbell: That’d be big, you know, finally get most of our guys back. Something we haven’t been able to do quite consistently during training camp and in preseason. It would be fun if we could get everyone back completely healthy and throw all our guys out there and let them make plays for us.
Q: How’d he look out there? I know he’s running patterns, catching balls.
Campbell: He looks good. I said it was probably a good thing he didn’t play in Denver because he probably would have lost his air in the first quarter because he hadn’t been able to run in awhile. But now he’s looking good. He’s fresh, he’s running around out here in practice and trying to get his rhythm back. It’s tough when you only have a chance to play one preseason game, like Jacoby [Ford] only played five plays in the preseason because of injury. It’s kind of like trying to build a rhythm back.
For more on the Raiders, head to Silver and Black Pride.
This, however, is nothing new, the Raiders have struggled with penalties for years now. And for years now, Raiders head coaches have sworn that their number one priority was to get the team disciplined and cut down on the penalties.
Obviously no one has lived up to that promise yet. The Raiders were the most penalized team in the NFL last season and are well on their way to repeating that dubious honor this season. Not surprisingly, Jackson has numerous times this week stated that his biggest goal right now is to cut down on the penalties.
Forgive me for not holding my breath.
While I am not convinced that Jackson will be able to put an immediate end to a problem that has plagued the Raiders for such a long time, I have to give him credit for being pro active and trying to do something about the penalties other than talking about them.
Steve Corkran, who covers the Raiders for the Bay Area News Group, tweeted on Wednesday that Coach Jackson had three NFL officials at practice to make sure that the Raiders were not just practicing their plays, but practicing discipline as well.
I really like this idea a lot. Discipline is something that comes with time and persistence. Having officials in the face of Raiders players at practice should help them keep their minds in the game come Sunday.
The Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills will kick off on Sunday in a match-up of 1-0 teams. Both squads are fairly healthy for the most part but missed significant contributors due to injury during Wednesday's practices.
Nine Raiders are dealing with injuries right now. Five Raiders did not practice at all on Wednesday: wide receiver Jacoby Ford, safety Michael Huff, safety Michael Mitchell, wide receiver Louis Murphy and defensive tackle Richard Seymour. Four other Raiders- tight end Kevin Boss, cornerback Chris Johnson, running back Darren McFadden and defensive end Jarvis Moss- were limited in practice but did practice to some extent.
The Raiders are certainly hurting on offense right now. With wide receivers Ford and Murphy out, Oakland's air attack will be depleted. The duo could still return in time for Sunday's game, depending on how fast they can recover. The ailing McFadden and Boss are dinged up but should be on the field against the Bills.
Buffalo has five players dealing with injuries. Wide receiver Marcus Easley, linebacker Robert Eddins and cornerback Terrence McGee did not participate in practice while linebacker Arthur Moats and defensive tackle Torell Troup were limited in practice.
In contrast to the Raiders' situation, the bulk of Buffalo's injuries are on the defensive side of the ball. Perhaps this match-up is optimal for both sides: a depleted offense and a depleted defense could cancel each other out without any real advantage to either side.
That's not something to bank on at this point though. The game is still four full days away, and a lot can change between now and then. Let's hope that all of the players mentioned above make a full return by Sunday.
The folks at OddsShark opened up the line on the Oakland Raiders-Buffalo Bills game and the Bills opened as four point favorites. The line has since come down a point to three, but the Bills remained favored. The over/under for the game sits at 43 points.
We'll have our picks against the spread on Thursday and for now I am leaning towards taking the Bills to cover. This has less to do with the Bills decimation of the Kansas City Chiefs and more to do with the Raiders facing a short week and the trip East. West coast teams often struggle when they play on the East coast at 10:00am pacific and when you add in the quick turnaround following a physical Monday Night Football game against the Denver Broncos.
Gamblers apparently disagree to some extent as they have brought the line down to three, but I still think the Bills are the bet. Of course, it is entirely possible the Raiders are turning things around this year and can beat the East Coast travel bug. Given the Raiders reliance on a strong rushing attack, maybe they can get past it.
The Oakland Raiders picked up a win in week one, but it's the ever-elusive win outside of the AFC West that they need to be able to secure this year, because 6-0 inside the division isn't enough on its own to make the playoffs. They head to Buffalo to take on the Bills in week two, and they'll have their hands full on defense. For more on the game and the team in general, go to Silver and Black Pride, SB Nation's Oakland Raiders blog.
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