Sunday in Candlestick Park, all started out relatively well for the Oakland Raiders. The team looked like they may possible capture their 3rd win this season as they faced the 0-4 San Francisco 49ers. On two occasions in the beginning of the game the Raiders flexed Sebastian Janikowski leg and scored twice on field goals.
The offense of the Raiders was held in both occasions to three and out situations inside the red zone. On both instances they were unable to punch in end-zone or even take a risk on going for it on forth down.
The game went on before you knew it the 49ers were right back in the game. Starting quarterback Jason Campbell after suffering an injury in the first half continued to play only managing to gain only 83 yards and throw two interceptions. Forcing the defense of the Raiders to try to take control of the game without really giving the unit much rest off the field. Basically it look as if the defense was on the field twice as much as the offense. As the game reached the middle of the third quarter the Raiders still looking at the scoreboard had really good chance of winning.
The Raiders were near the goal line again early in the fourth quarter, and this time again Coach Tom Cable or Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson still did not want to go for it on 4th and 5 on the 15 yard line and the Raiders again settle for another pointless field goal. Okay they did get three points since Janikowski was able to connect. The Raiders were still down by one point with few minutes left on the clock and its not like the offense was moving much most of the game.
The defense went right back in and the 49ers now leading by only one point were able to step on the Raiders toe's for not being risky. The 49ers were able to score all over the defense unit on the Raiders even with a couple penalties came along the way going against them. Quarterback Alex Smith look like a top tier quarterback as he connected with young Michael Crabtree right in the middle of the field on several occasions. Running-back Frank Gore also got his way as he broke through tackles into the secondary. It was absolute embarrassment to the Raiders allowing the 49ers this many opportunities. Campbell had one final chance to drive the ball but it was to little to late. The Raiders loss another 17-9 giving the 49ers their first win.
The Raiders simply need to find ways to win and take risk to capitalize especially inside the red zone.
This may surface from poor coaching, a result of simple poor play on the field from the players or a combination of both. It cannot be really determined. The Raiders have a young nucleus of players put together with good chemistry. Now its time to show their talents. The Raider coaches need to provide the correct coaching for players to adjust to their system before placing the system in their hands.
Raider fans please, don't expect Jason Campbell to know system this early into the season. When the offensive system of the Raiders is trying to improve and adjust itself. Sunday, if Campbell was hurt coach Cable needed to take him out and let Kyle Boller get a shot isn't that's what he there for.
Is this all a result of coaching making adjustments on offensive side of the ball? Could it be coming from head coach Cable or his offensive coach Hue Jackson? Especially when it comes down to the red zone situations. When the team has opportunities to score more than a field goal. This year they never seem go for it and take the risk on forth down especially while in the red zone. Therefore, they fail to score touchdowns. Making the entire team an embarrassment.
On the other hand if they once in a while went for it on fourth down it may be risky but the reward is greater and will contribute to more success. This will provide the offensive unit with more confidence no mater who is at quarterback. Raiders need to make adjustments somehow and become risk takers on offense. The team needs to do whatever it takes to drive the ball across the goal line. In some situations during game its better to come away with no points and take the risk and go for it on forth down. If the Raiders were able to score one touchdown in three different loses this season they would have won each game.
Another major development the coaches need to take more time with, is working with the young receiving core. The wide receivers may know their routes and plays well. However, knowing when to push off and make adjustments to the ball is important and will improve the success of the receivers and team.
The receivers hand and eye coordination really need to improve. They need to adjust to quarterback. Darrius Hayward Bay and Louis Murphy, are talented but their talent can only really be seen if they polished up on their skills to progress into better receivers. In several instances in the game Sunday both starting receivers among others were not in the best position when the ball was thrown to them and it was to late to make any quick adjustments therefore the result of the play was an incomplete pass. In essence this receiving core has more dropped passes than receptions made this season.
Penalties are another problem and need to stop especially simple ones false starts and holding penalties.
Until the Raiders offense is well adjusted to the system the coaches need to make the necessary steps and adjustments to win games. This will allow the team to feel confident on both sides of the ball. Otherwise the defensive unit with talented players will all fall asleep at the wheel and look like the worse defense by the game is in the second half. These changes in the offense will provide the defense the opportunity to show its strength and the offense more time to move the ball. Most of the all Raiders will score more and win games. The Raiders are very close to being 5-1 instead of 2-4 this season.