Monday, October 12, 2009

How Bad Are They?

I read a rumor last night that the Raiders have called around letting the rest of the team know that virtually any player on their roster is available for trade.

My guess is that there won't be too many inquiries about Jamarcus Russell.

This Raider offense is bad. And by "bad" I mean historically bad. Awful. Breathtakingly putrid. It is a train wreck that fascinates us. We can see this by the increasing airwave time committed to just how dysfunctional that team really is.

Yesterday they got the ball on offense 12 times and ran a total of 36 plays. Third grade math tells us that they averaged a three-and-out on every series. Their longest drive was 3:56 and went for 17 yards. Their touchdown 'drive' was 15 yards long.

Last week they managed a 13 play drive that resulted in a field goal and ate up 6:08. Other than that, their longest drive was 22 yards. Their second best time possession was 2:38. They had 6 three-and-outs and a seventh that would have been if they hadn't fumbled the ball away.

Looking back to week one the Raiders seemed to be very promising. They dominated the Chargers in what ultimately was a close loss. After the game the consensus was that they might have been able to win the division with even something approaching average quarterback play (at the time we didn't realize how surprising Denver would ultimately be). But even in that game the offense showed some flashes, most of which were ultimately extinguished by some bizarrely bad play by Russell. They had two 20 play drives that consumed over 6:00 of clock. They had another 7 play, 4:06 drive that ended in an interception deep in Chargerland. They had a 9 play touchdown drive toward the end of the 4th quarter. So even with the dysfunction under center, this team showed at least some semblance of putting a competitive offensive team on the field.

The wheels started coming off before week two. They managed a scoring drive and narrow victory over the hapless Chiefs (will someone please send that team some hap?) Against Denver 6 three-and-outs along with a four-and-out. Exactly one drive in that game over 3:00. Even worse in week 4 against the Texans. Two three-and-outs. A five play drive that netted -16 yards. Three drives totalling 5 plays that ended in turnovers.

This season the Raiders are averaging less than 25:00 TOP. They are averaging under 200 yards per game. Their quarterback has a 47 rating after 5 games. Their average yards per play for the season actually went down yesterday and is sitting at 3.6. The next worse team going into week 5 was the Chiefs at 4.2.

What is somewhat odd is that as bad as Russell is, this can't be put entirely on him. Oakland easily has the worst wide receivers in the NFL. Darren McFadden is looking like a bust. Zach Miller is their only reliable offensive threat. In the past this team was able to hide their inept passing game with one of the better running attacks in the league. Whatever worked in the past though, isn't working now. The Raiders are averaging 3.3 yards per rush. This isn't quite the worst in the NFL but it's close.

Have to wonder when the mandate from the deranged ownership to play Russell and (possibly) McFadden will lift and some relief will come to Raider nation.

Perhaps the increasingly sparse crowds at the Colosseum will get Big Al's attention. Reality sure hasn't.

1 comment:

  1. Man, it's really gonna be interesting to see how low exactly "the bottom" is for this team. I'm not sure they're there yet.

    I bet Richard Seymour goes home every night and takes out about an hour of rage on a Bill Belichick likeness punching bag. I sort of feel like the Raiders could offer him about 2x his market value and he still wouldn't sign to stay on with them. I heard the other day a reporter asked him "How's Oakland?" and he responded "Well, the weather's nice." Man do I feel sorry for that guy...


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