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Sunday, October 2, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Patriots 31, Raiders 19

By Bill Williamson

OAKLAND – A look at a down day for the Raiders:

What does it mean: The Raiders aren’t ready to compete with the game’s elite. Not yet, at least. After an impressive win over the New York Jets last week, the Raiders were handled pretty easily by New England. The Raiders need to clear up mistakes or its playoff hopes will be dimmed at some point. Oakland is heading in the right direction, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

Tomorrow’s talker: The Raiders’ defense is a problem. It couldn’t stop the Patriots on the ground or in the air. New England had 410 yards of total offense. Defense has been a problem in the early season for the Raiders. It has to be addressed. There is too much talent on that side of the ball for it to get routinely gashed. The least amount of points the Raiders have allowed the season is 20.

Trending: This was Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell’s worst game of the young season. He has become a solid game manager. Sunday, Campbell threw two terrible interceptions, including a crucial pick in the end zone late in the second quarter, which was the turning point of the game.

Keep your cool, Richard: This game clearly meant something to Oakland defensive end Richard Seymour. It was the first time he played New England since it traded him to the Raiders in 2009. He had two 15-yard penalties on the Patriots’ first offensive drive of the game and he added another five-yard penalty. Seymour is Oakland’s leader. I know he was amped, but he has to keep better composure.

What’s next: The Raiders finish a tough three-game stretch at Houston next week. The challenge doesn’t get any easier for the Raiders’ challenged defense.