The Oakland Raiders were unable to bounce back from their rough showing in week one and were humiliated by the Miami Dolphins in week two. While the Raiders looked bad on Monday Night Football by the San Diego Chargers, at least the score was close as the Raiders only lost by 8 points. Meanwhile, the Fins were the ones being manhandled in their 30-10 loss to the Houston Texans in week one. The tables were turned this week as Miami did the manhandling while the score looked just as bad as the Raiders did.
This game was expected to be a battle of the backs as Reggie Bush sought to prove that he too can be a game changing, every down back and Darren McFadden sought to prove that last week's paultry rushing stats were just an illusion. One back came away from the game having been vindicated while the other came away just plain frustrated. Bush finished the game with 172 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries while Run DMC had 22 yards on 11 carries and no touchdowns. Last season, McFadden looked like one of the best running backs in the NFL. This year, he has looked like a non factor.
In the passing game, the Raiders finally discovered the invention of the intermediate route after being prolific in the dink and dunk in week one. Unfortunately for the Raiders, the ever so elusive deep route has still evaded capture by Carson Palmer and the Raiders. Having Denarius Moore back certainly helped, but his return was not long lived as he spent a significant amount of time in the locker room getting an IV for cramps. Palmer also did a good job of spreading the ball around, completing passes with 9 different players. But despite the improvement in the Raiders passing game, it did not make much of a difference on the scoreboard.
On defense, the Raiders looked solid in the first half. After letting Bush dominate them on Miami's first drive of the game, the Raiders shut down the run lanes and kept Miami's offense in check most of the first half. The second half, however, was a lot like what the Raiders fans came to hate about the defense last year. In the second half, the Raiders defense looked helpless and the Dolphins took full advantage as they rode Bush to a blowout win.
The Raiders also have a lot of reason to be concerned about their pass defense. They did a better job of putting pressure on the quarterback this week, but we're not consistent and the secondary made an above average receiver in Brian Hartline, look like an all star. The Raiders used two corners to try and stop the hard working Hartline, but to no avail. With Ron Bartell out for six weeks, the Raiders may be looking at giving up a ton of yards in the pass game this season.
This was not the way the Raiders hoped they would bounce back from their frustrating week one loss to the Chargers. Now, after starting the season 0-2, the Raiders have three scary opponents staring them in the face the next three weeks with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. There is a serious chance that the Raiders start the year 0-5 if they do not straighten things out and do it right away.