The Silver and Black look like an improved team on the field especially when all aspects of the game seem to work. Last Sunday in the first half everything was clicking on offense, defense and special teams and the team even had less penalties than normal. In the second half that all became a blur.
The only good signs came from the offense. Jason Campbell completed 21-of-30 throws for 324 yards and two touchdowns for the Raiders (6-7), who have dropped three of their last four contests. Darren McFadden rushed 16 times for 123 yards and two scores and also added a 67-yard receiving touchdown in defeat.
In all other aspects of the game in the third quarter the Raiders fell asleep. The defense tried to hold the running game of the Jaguars but at times were so inconsistent the running backs ran right down the field like there were no obstacles in front of them. The Raider tackles fell flat on the field trying to grab in several occasions that resulted in scores. The containment simply looked awful.
Poor defense against the run was held especially in the middle where rookie linebacker Rolando McClain was nursing his foot and was out of starting lineup Sunday against the Jaguars. He was replaced by Ricky Brown, that seem to have hard time covering the Jaguars tight-end Mercedes Lewis and stopping the two running back Maurice Jones Drew and Rashad Jennings. Coach Tom Cable may have lost his challenges and did not save it for the right moment but the defense still has to stop the run regardless.
The Raiders special teams play looked even worse. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski made his field goal and PAT's accurately but did not seem to have the leg to have touch-backs that became costly towards the end of the game at the same time punter Shane Lechler did not provide his usual 50-60 yard punts.
WR/KR Jacoby Ford, the rookie sensation just had one of those bad days. He didn't have a completion with three passes thrown to him and created the most costly mistake of the ball game fumbling the ball after the Jaguars scored a touchdown resulting in additional seven points and from that point on the Jaguars seemed well in control of the game taking the lead in battle that went back and forth.
The Raiders defense were the first to run out of gas as they gave up the winning touchdown on the first possession after a 65 yard run given up on special teams with about 1:30 left on the clock. After running back Darren McFadden of the Raiders tied the game up. Putting the final icing on the cake, awarding the Jaguars with a win.
McFadden had great numbers had three touchdowns for over 200 total yards but in all came in loosing effort in game the Raiders had in their hands.
The Raiders lost a hard fought game to the Jaguars. A very close game with some great signs from the Raiders. But the Jaguars outlasted the Raiders in this one hurting the teams playoffs dreams.
Now with a 6-7 record the Raiders need to do everything they could do to win the final three games to stay in the playoff race. Two scenario's need to happen the Chargers need to lose one game and the Chiefs need to continue to lose.
Oakland needs to begin to fix their run defense. The Raiders given up big plays all season. Jacksonville Sunday rushed for 234 yards on only 34 carries outscoring the Raiders in the second half 31-14
The Raiders our on the verge of become a better team. Jason Campbell looks as if he is growing into his role as a starter, and Darren McFadden looks like a superstar. Michael Bush, Louis Murphy and Zach Miller are also solid contributors to the offense. The defense gives up big plays, but will get better, as they have a lot of youth in Rolando McClain, Matt Shaughnessy, Lamarr Houston, Tyvon Branch, Mike Mitchell and company. The Raiders' defense is also filled with experienced veterans, as well that will continue to hold the unit together and their special teams for the most part is solid in the kicking and return game, with Sebastian Janikowski, Shane Lechler and Jacoby Ford providing the core parts of that unit. Now its just a mater of putting all together on the field every game consistently to become winner and once again contenders in the NFL.