What it means: The overtime win over Kansas City in Week 9 before a sold-out Oakland crowd seems like a long time ago. Oakland has lost its first two games since the bye week and it hasn’t looked good. It has been outscored by total of 48 points in the past two games.
Tomorrow’s talker: It looks like there will be another quarterback switch. Inserted as the starter again, Bruce Gradkowski re-injured the shoulder that kept him out for five weeks. It looks like he may miss more time. That means Jason Campbell, who has been benched twice this season, should take over unless the Raiders wanted to make a bold move and start No. 3 quarterback Kyle Boller. I’m not sure the Raiders have arrived at that point yet. Gradkowski was not overly effective before he was hurt against Miami. He was 17 of 32 for 252 yards. He was intercepted twice. Oakland’s running game, which entered Week 12 ranked No. 2 in the NFL, had 16 yards on 12 carries. It has gained 77 yards in the past two games. Darren McFadden, who was NFL’s per-carry acreage leader after 10 weeks, had just two yards on eight carries against the Dolphins. McFadden has 16 yards on 18 carries the past two games. Oakland’s run game has to come alive because the passing game is not going to be able to carry the offense.
Bright spot: Rookie receiver Jacoby Ford continues to make big plays. He opened the game with a kickoff for a touchdown and he added 108 yards on four catches. It is time this fourth-round pick from Clemson to become a regular starter and replace 2009 No. 1 pick Darrius Heyward-Bey in the starting lineup.
What’s next: The Raiders play at San Diego. It is simply a must win for Oakland if it wants to keep its playoff dreams alive.