Monday, October 15, 2012
Moving on: Oakland Raiders
By Bill Williamson
Here are some areas the Oakland Raiders need to focus on after a 23-20 loss at Atlanta on Sunday:
Recap: Yes, the Raiders lost and, yes, they are 1-4. But they made progress this game. It was a promising performance after the bye. Oakland lost its first three games by an average of 20 points. The Raiders gave the undefeated Falcons all they could handle and lost on a 55-yard field goal with one second remaining.
Biggest area to fix: Carson Palmer had a nice game, but he made a critical mistake and it resulted in an Atlanta interception return for a score with 2:40 to go. Palmer came back and led the Raiders on a game-tying drive. But he has to cut down on critical miscues.
Biggest area to build on: The Raiders’ pass defense played well against one of the best passing offenses in the NFL. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Matt Ryan was 12-of-22 on passes of 5 yards or longer Sunday, including all three of his interceptions. Oakland’s pass defense has been shredded all season and it had no interceptions in the first four games of the season.
What to watch for: The Raiders’ schedule is getting easier. The Raiders host Jacksonville and Tampa Bay and play at Kansas City in the next three games. Those teams have combined for four wins, so the Raiders have a chance to improve quickly.