Random thoughts from Oakland’s 28-24 home loss to San Francisco on Saturday night:
The Raiders had some injury scares. Quarterback Jason Campbell suffered a stinger after being sacked and running back Michael Bush broke his left thumb. Campbell is expected to be OK to play in the season opener at Tennessee on Sept. 12. Bush is going to see a hand specialist; still the team is hopeful he should be able to play against the Titans.
Campbell’s injury looked like it could be a lot worse when it happened. It is another reminder that Oakland’s troubled offensive line needs to improve or Campbell is going to get hammered often.
Before he was injured, Campbell played well, leading the Raiders to a touchdown on the opening drive of the game. Campbell was 6-of-8 for 93 yards. It was his second straight solid outing.
Bruce Gradkowski may have solidified his role as the No. 2 quarterback over Kyle Boller, who did not play. There is just something about Gradkowski. He is a sparkplug. He came in for Campbell and took the starting offense on his back as he did last year when he spelled JaMarcus Russell. Gradkowski was 14-of-22 for 202 yards with two touchdown passes, including a beautiful a 74-yard touchdown pass to Louis Murphy. Second-year receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey looked solid, catching three passes for 46 yards.
Defensively, Oakland wasn’t as strong as it was in its first two games. The run defense continued to be an issue. San Francisco had 165 yards rushing on 33 carries. Frank Gore had a 49-yard run against the defense, which was playing without Richard Seymour. Last week, Chicago’s Matt Forte had an 89-yard run. Tackling has been Oakland’s biggest problem the past few seasons.
Oakland has to shore up the run before it meets 2009 rushing champion Chris Johnson on opening day. The Raiders didn’t have a sack against the 49ers after registering 12 sacks in the first two games.