Monday, December 12, 2011
Oakland Raiders: Moving On
By Bill Williamson
Here are some areas the Oakland Raiders need to focus on after a 46-16 loss at the Green Bay Packers on Sunday:
Recap: It’s been a tough two weeks for Oakland. It lost at the Miami Dolphins and Green Bay by a combined score of 80-30. It was completely blown out of both games. Oakland trailed, 31-0, at halftime Sunday. It was the Raiders’ worst halftime deficit ever in the regular season. Oakland is now 7-6 and it trails Oakland, 7-5, by a game in the AFC West with three games to go. If the Denver Broncos beat the Kansas City Chiefs at home in Week 17, the Raiders will have to finish with a better record than the Broncos to win the division because of tiebreaker reasons. I wouldn’t say Oakland is facing an insurmountable playoff challenge, but it does need to start playing better.
Biggest area to fix: Take your pick. The defense was outclassed and Oakland’s penalty problem persisted as it was flagged 11 times for 89 yards. However, we’re going with quarterback Carson Palmer who has played poorly the past couple of games. Palmer has thrown 13 interceptions and nine touchdowns since joining the Raiders in October. The Raiders traded for him because they thought he was an upper-level player. It’s time for him to show it.
Biggest area to build on: Oakland ran the ball better than it did in the previous two games and had 117 yards on 29 carries. It wasn’t a great effort, but it was a step in the right direction in an area that is crucial to Oakland’s success.
What to watch for: The Raiders’ home game against the Detroit Lions will be in the spotlight since it is defensive lineman’s Ndamukong Suh's first game back after a two-game NFL suspension after he stomped a Green Bay offensive lineman on Thanksgiving.