Week 1 Game Recap: Oakland Raiders 20, New England Patriots 30
What you need to know
The Raiders were sharp on their opening drive. Kerry Collins completed four out of four passes for 63 yards, finishing with a two yard touchdown strike to Courtney Anderson. And Collins capped the game with another touchdown pass to Anderson. Collins scored plenty of fantasy points with 18 completions out of 40 attempts for 265 yards and three touchdowns. However, one could not come away from the game without thinking that it could have been better. Throughout the second and third quarters, Collins was pressured and found little time in the pocket to complete passes, which accounts for his low completion percentage.
Randy Moss showed why they traded for him. He was targeted 17 times and was Collins’ favorite target by far with nearly half of Collins’ passes headed his way. He bobbled a pass but was able to pull it in and juke Rodney Harrison for a 73 yard touchdown reception. Moss was targeted numerous times in the end zone, but he was in double and triple coverage, forcing Collins to overthrow him.
Lamont Jordan, the Raiders’ other major offensive acquisition in the off season, showed power and strength in his rushing. He found room to run to the outside as well as to power forward and break tackles through the middle. He finished with 70 yards rushing on 18 carries and also contributed to the receiving game with five receptions for 40 yards. It was reported that Jordan suffered from cramps in the third quarter of play and was spelled for a short period by Zack Crocket who added 20 yards to the Raiders’ rushing game. Of huge importance is that Jordan was not lifted for Crockett at the goal line.
Penalties were huge against the Raiders. They were penalized 16 times for 149 yards. Randy Moss was called for offensive interference on a two point conversion attempt.
The Raiders blocked a punt with four minutes left in the game, giving them the ball at the 21 yard line. They capitalized on this with the second touchdown pass to Courtney Anderson. But then with three minutes left in the game, it was Sebastian Janikowski’s penalization for kicking an onside kick attempt out of bounds that gave the ball back to the Patriots, effectively bringing the game to a close.
Strong offensive and defensive play are what gave the reigning Super Bowl champions their first win of the 2005 NFL season.
Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in the first half of play. He finished the game with 24 completions out of 38 attempts for 306 yards. His first touchdown was a great 18 yard pass to Deion Branch. In the second quarter, he connected with Tim Dwight for a five yard touchdown pass. It was a typical game for Brady who showed poise and the ability to find and utilize many receivers on the field.
Corey Dillon looked sluggish and could not find any running room in the first half of play. He finished the first half with only three yards on six carries. At one point, he was visibly upset on the sideline as he and Brady had words early in the game. But things took a more positive turn in the second half of play, and Dillon was able to capitalize on penalties against the Raiders and Collins’ interception to score two touchdowns. Dillon finished the game with 63 rushing yards. Kevin Faulk rushed an additional 11 yards.
In the second half of the game, the Patriots’ defense was the key. Richard Seymour forced a fumble from Kerry Collins that Vince Wilfork turned into an interception. They consistently pressured Collins, forcing him to overthrow his intended receivers. And Lamont Jordan was held to 12 rushing yards in the second half.
What you ought to know
|QB Kerry Collins, Pass: 18 - 39 - 265 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0|
Collins completed four out of four passing attempts during the opening drive for the Raiders, finishing with a two yard touchdown pass to Courtney Anderson. But on the Raiders’ next drive, Collins did not complete one of his three passing attempts. It was like that for the rest of the game for Collins, who at times looked sharp and at other times was pressured and was unable to get anything going for the Raiders’ offense. Collins connected with Randy Moss for a 73 yard touchdown pass in the second quarter of the game. Backed up in the end zone, Collins threw an incomplete pass intended for Randy Moss that was nearly intercepted in the third quarter. Collins threw what was called an interception, but looked more like a fumble. Throughout the second half of the game the Patriots brought pressure on Collins and he did not have the time to complete passes and threw the ball away numerous times. He was called for intentional grounding in the fourth quarter. As expected, Moss is clearly the go to guy and Collins looked to him often.
Carr’s NFL debut was a mixed bag against a very good Jets defense. His stats would have been more impressive if his receivers could have done a little more after the catch, but it would have been much worse if the Jets hadn’t dropped a couple of interceptions. Carr completed his first seven passes (and the eighth was dropped) but didn’t really even look downfield until the second half. His first touchdown was all due to play design and the quickness of Rod Streater. Carr hit Streater with a pass in the flats and Streater sped around two blocks for a 12 yard touchdown. Carr’s best throw of the first half was a 17 yard back shoulder throw to Streater out of his own end zone. The placement and timing was really impressive. The Jets really ratcheted up the pressure in the middle of the game and Carr handled it with mixed results. He showed good mobility on several plays but he also made a couple of rushed questionable throws that resulted in dropped interceptions. He had 61 passing yards and his second touchdown in garbage time, though the second touchdown was an impressive throw. The 30 yard touchdown was well placed down the right sideline and James Jones made a spectacular catch to haul in the jump ball and get two feet down in the end zone. Considering the amount of pressure the Jets put on Carr and the fact that the Raiders had no run game at all it was a decent debut for the rookie.
Carr’s struggles may have opened the door just slightly for McGloin, but he did nothing to take advantage. McGloin came out after halftime hoping to get the Raiders back in the game and quickly threw an interception. It was an awful looking throw (described by some as an “arm punt”) that was easily intercepted by Safety Reggie Nelson who was patrolling the deep middle of the field. While the gumption to take a chance and try to attack deep was admirable, the execution was atrocious. McGloin seemed chastened by the interception and came out the next drive ineffectively dinking and dunking despite trailing by 30 points. On one play on the drive, he had Amari Cooper wide open for what should have been a big gain but inexplicably checked down to his FB for a shot gain instead. The second drive of the half, McGloin was hit in the backfield by DT Geno Atkins and fumbled while trying to tuck the ball away and run. McGloin’s first three drives resulted in a 3-and-out, an interception and a fumble (plus a 33-0 deficit). McGloin did lead back-to-back touchdown drives in garbage time as the Bengals brought in backups and played a prevent defense. McGloin took what was given to him with safe underneath throws and slowly marched the team down the field before hitting FB Marcel Reese on an angle route across the middle for an 11-yard touchdown. On the next drive, McGloin again hit Reese for a touchdown. This time on a 9-yard curl route out of the backfield.
Walter took over for the floundering Aaron Brooks in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach. He had no more success than Brooks, completing two of five pass attempts for 28 yards.
Jordan looked powerful gaining yards both to the outside and the up the middle. Jordan gained seven yards on his first carry as an Oakland Raider. Jordan gained 28 yards on a screen catch during the opening drive. He had a seven yard gain brought back with a holding penalty on Ronald Curry. Jordan limped off the field near the end of the first half, but returned to the game on the very next drive and was fine, rushing for 16 yards on three carries. It was mentioned in the second half of the game that Jordan was suffering with cramps and was spelled for a short time by Zack Crockett. He showed the outstanding hands he’s known for and clearly looked to be the strongest running back on the field as Corey Dillon looked sluggish. Most importantly for Jordan owners who’d been worried about him losing goal line carries to Crockett, that was not the case Thursday.
Crockett came in late during the third quarter in relief of Lamont Jordan who was suffering from cramps. He had a seven yard rush brought back with a holding penalty on center Jake Grove. Many folks were worried Crockett would steal goal line carries from Jordan but this was not the case Thursday night.
Murray ran hard and looked comfortable catching the ball out of the backfield, but had no help from the offensive line or the game plan. Until opposing defenses fear the Raiders ability to throw the ball deep, they will continue to crowd the box and take away Murray. The Raiders fell behind early and mostly abandoned the run game after the first quarter. While Murray caught every ball thrown his way, he wasn’t impactful as a receiver. He picked up 3 yards on 3rd-and-8 the first drive. Then 11 yards on 3rd-and-14 the next drive. Opposing defenses will be happy to give up the short dump off throws to Murray on 3rd-and-long but those shouldn’t be the choice so regularly going forward if the Raiders offense hopes to have any success.
Olawale is a FB/RB hybrid and was used similarly to Marcel Reese. He lined up as RB in the shotgun and ran hard. He had a long gain that was called back due to a holding call. Olawale was also involved in the passing game and did a nice job getting open both when lined up at RB and when lined up as a FB on the line of scrimmage.
Reece is fluid and speedy for a fullback, and he will be involved in offense, as he was tonight on his short TD reception, but not enough to have fantasy value.
Richard had a fantastic 26-yard punt return called back due to holding. His shiftiness and ability to make guys miss in space is top notch and was on full display in the return game. Richard got his first career carry midway through the fourth quarter and promptly sprinted 75 yards straight up the middle for a touchdown. He broke through a big hole in the center of the line and stumbled slightly before regaining his balance and charging straight ahead untouched for the long score. On fourth-and-five with under two minutes left, Richard was able to draw a pass-interference penalty to keep the Raiders hopes alive on what ended up being the game-winning drive. Overall, it was an incredibly impressive debut for the rookie. Despite playing just 10 snaps, he made a major impact and should continue to get more opportunities moving forward. It is also noteworthy that Richard logged many of his snaps on the final crunch-time drive. For an undrafted rookie to be shown so much trust in Week 1 is an extremely positive sign.
Washington touched the ball six times on his eight snaps. He looked quick on a 10-yard reception, but managed just 2.8 yards per carry on his five rushing attempts. Washington split time almost evenly with Richard, but it was Richard who looked more of a big-play threat in limited opportunities. While Richard may have pulled slightly ahead in the battle for the backup running back job, expect both rookies to have a weekly role moving forward.
Moss’ first reception as an Oakland Raider was a 29 yard deep reception in double coverage. The Patriots jumped offsides on the play and Collins knew they had a “free play”. Rodney Harrison knocked down a pass intended for Moss who was triple covered during the Raiders’ second drive of the game. Moss made a 73 yard touchdown reception; he bobbled the reception, pulled it in and made a great move on Rodney Harrison to score. Moss did have mistakes as he dropped a pass during the first drive of the second half. He was targeted numerous times in the end zone but was in double coverage and could not make the receptions. Moss was called for offensive pass interference on the two point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter.
Porter made the first reception of the game, a four yard catch near the sidelines. Porter made a 27 yard reception during the second quarter. Late in the game, Porter made a great catch in coverage to gain 17 yards. There were lots of questions as to how healthy Porter’s hamstring was. He’d missed quite a bit of the preseason and he did look slightly less than 100% and a little rusty. If Moss is to shake some of the double and triple teams, Porter must start earning some respect from the defense.
It looks like Alvis Whitted will see some deep passes along with Moss. In the second quarter, Whitted was called for a false start penalty. All of Alvis Whitted’s receptions came in the fourth quarter of play. Whitted was targeted deep, but Collins overthrew him. On the very next play, Whitted gained 22 yards and a first down. Whitted was targeted deep again, but was covered and Collins overthrew him.
Curry was charged with a holding penalty during the first quarter. Outside of that, he was not a factor.
Cooper flashed the speed and quickness that made him such a high draft choice, but it’s clear he is still a work in progress. His best play of the game came on a short catch over the middle. Cooper easily created separation and then juked and weaved his way to an impressive 24-yard gain. Aside from that play though, he was easily contained with all of his completions coming on short underneath throws. There were some further signs that he is still not on the same page with his quarterbacks all the time. He received a lecture from McGloin after cutting inside on a route where McGloin clearly expected him to cut the route outside. The Raiders will have to take some deep shots to Amari Cooper going forward.
Crabtree played well and looks quicker than he has in recent seasons. He will continue to see plenty of targets as the Raiders #2 WR, but he is being used almost exclusively in the short passing game. Crabtree’s only target beyond 10-yards from the line of scrimmage was in the final minutes of garbage time when he was targeted on a go route in the end zone. The throw sailed way high out of the back of the end zone.
Holmes only saw one target and dropped it on a play that was reversed because of a penalty. He was not a part of the Raiders short passing game plan.
Roberts has emerged as the 3rd WR. He played twice as many snaps (41) as Rod Streater (10) and Andre Holmes (10) combined. He had one clear drop and another drop on a ball that was thrown slightly behind him. If the Raiders can open up the passing game, Roberts has the speed to make some big plays down the field.
Anderson scored the first touchdown of the game with a two yard reception. He was not a factor again until the fourth quarter when he made an 11 yard reception. Anderson scored his second touchdown, wide open in the end zone with a little over three minutes left in the game.
Williams had four targets, equaling the number of looks starting TE Courtney Anderson received, but reeled in only catch on the last play of the game.
Rivera was the first tight end to get involved in the offense, catching a seven yard pass with nowhere to go after the catch. Later in the half he broke two tackles after a five yard out, turning it into a 19 yard gain.
Walford had a mediocre game despite logging the majority of the snaps at tight end in a favorable Week 1 matchup. He was flagged for a hold that caused a promising Raiders drive to stall. Walford was targeted in the end zone, but was well covered between two defenders. He also looked uncomfortable trying to get both feet down in-bounds on a key pass attempt in the final minutes of the game near the end zone. He stumbled a bit and couldn’t get both feet down in-bounds.
Janikowski contributed two extra points to the final score for the Raiders. But he missed a 43 field attempt wide right on an ugly kick. He kicked the onside kick attempt out of bounds, giving the ball back to the Patriots who were able to run the clock out to win the game.
The Raiders held Corey Dillon to three rushing yards in the first half of play. But in a tale of two halves against the run, they gave up two rushing touchdowns and 60 yards to him in the second half.
In the fourth quarter, Stanford Rhoutt was called for unnecessary roughness, giving the Patriots an extra 15 yards, and then he was called for defensive pass interference. That second penalty set up Corey Dillon’s two yard touchdown run. Brady had time to pick apart the secondary.
|QB Tom Brady, Pass: 24 - 38 - 306 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - -1 - 0|
Brady started the game slowly; he overthrew three of his receivers during the opening drive of the game. During that same drive though, he connected twice with Ben Watson for 55 yards. But when the second series started, Brady displayed the poise and confidence that he is known for. During the Patriots’ second drive, he completed four passes for 77 yards, finishing with a touchdown strike to Deion Branch. Brady led the Patriots down the field again, and threw a touchdown pass to Tim Dwight. He spread the ball throughout the offense, targeting eight different receivers. Brady went over 300 passing yards with 306 yards, making this game the ninth in his NFL career to surpass 300 yards. Basically, he was as great as we’ve come to expect spreading the ball around and making the right decisions. QB coach Josh McDaniel looked to be calling the plays and while they may be missing departed OC Charlie Weis, it wasn’t apparent on the field.
Considering he was playing without his starting tackles, all-world tight end, starting running back, and more, Jimmy G played a very good game. He fought his way through a patchwork offensive line and a run game that was nearly non-existent save for a few chunk gains, and connected on some critical third downs late in the game. His athleticism was on display on a few plays, as he scrambled or bought time on a couple plays Tom Brady may not have. Despite the success, there were a few knocks on his game. One, his out throws were noticeably lacking zip, and could spell trouble down the road if a defender recognizes a route and gets the jump on a ball. Two, Garoppolo still needs better feel for when to get rid of the ball, though even that has improved versus the preseason. Garoppolo also had a costly fumble that the Cardinals turned into points. His lone touchdown came early in the game on a deep strike to Chris Hogan that had Hogan burn his coverage for one of the easiest scores you'll see. On Garoppolo's late 3rd and 15 conversion, he had a couple great shoulder fakes while he extended the play until Danny Amendola snuck open. All in all, it was a promising start for Garoppolo considering the situation and opponent.
|RB Corey Dillon, Rush: 23 - 63 - 2, Rec: 2 - 30 - 0 (3 targets)|
Dillon started the game poorly; the Raiders were able to hold him to one yard on three rushing attempts during the opening drive. A visibly upset Dillon and Brady were seen exchanging words on the sideline after the second drive of the game. Dillon was back in on the next drive and rushed for eight yards on his first carry of that drive. On a fourth and one conversion attempt, Dillon came up just short of the first down. His best play of the game was an eight yard touchdown run after Collins’ interception. Dillon benefited from two defensive penalties to power in for a two yard touchdown rush in the fourth quarter. His stats looked great with the two TDs but he did not look good for much of the game.
|RB Kevin Faulk, Rush: 5 - 11 - 0, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (4 targets)|
Faulk was used in the second quarter, after Dillon’s inadequate start to the game. Faulk made an eight yard reception on third down, but was three yards short gaining the first down.
After Stevan Ridley fumbled away two rushes, Blount started to see a few more touches. However, Blount was noticeably slower and more plodding than Shane Vereen and even Ridley, and after a handful of carries, he barely saw any time as Shane Vereen operated for most of the second half. There wasn’t much to write home about here, as Blount didn’t do anything positive that stood out, and barely registered over 2.0 yards per carry. Even when he was in, he was taken off on third downs, a clear indication that he’s still not fully trusted in pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield.
Bolden came on in the 2nd half late, in situations where the Titans knew the Patriots were running out the clock. Bolden ran hard, but had little room to run. He started off nice, with a powerful 9 yard run up the middle, but found little room after that play.
The star of the show from the back position, Dion Lewis played the majority of the snaps at running back, running well behind a rookie offensive line and catching several passes. What was notable about Lewis was his quickness and jump cuts, which almost reminded one of a mini LeSean McCoy. Lewis's best run was a 13 yard jaunt in which he eluded 3 or 4 tacklers, which is surprising given his diminutive size. It was clear from the preseason that Lewis had a role carved out, and going forward, even with LeGarrette Blount back, Lewis will have a role in this backfield.
Taylor ran harder and stronger than any other Pats RB. Taylor's burst isn't what it used to be, but he did get the first and goal carry at the 1 and promptly converted. We have to assume that he's the back in goal line sets, and therefore, the NE back to own in non-PPR leagues.
James White operated as a pure receiving back as per usual. His best catch was a short conversion on 3rd down that saw him make a great catch in traffic with a defender draped all over him. Other than that, it was a workmanlike day, and he will likely be featured in the same capacity for much of the season.
Branch showed his speed on his first reception of the game for 29 yards. He made three receptions for 57 yards, culminating with an 18 yard touchdown reception where he was wide open. Branch was targeted in the end zone in the fourth quarter. Branch was Brady’s favorite target with 12 coming to him and he ended the game with seven receptions for 99 yards.
It was not David Givens who was the second best receiver for the Patriots during their opening game. It was veteran Troy Brown who made a 20 yard reception during the first quarter. Brady checked down to find Brown often and he finished with six receptions for 51 yards on his eight targets.
Givens was targeted in the end zone, but the pass was overthrown. He made a five yard reception to gain a first down and then a 17 yard reception during the Patriots’ second touchdown scoring drive.
Dwight was the recipient of Tom Brady’s second touchdown.
There was absolutely no question that Danny Amendola was Brady’s go-to receiver on the day. Remarkably, Amendola aggravated a groin injury in the second quarter, and sat out much of the quarter before returning in the third. Amendola was noticeably favoring his injury throughout the rest of the game, but that didn’t stop him from racking up catches, including several critical third downs and some seriously impressive leaping and diving grabs in traffic. Most of Amendola’s routes were of the shorter variety in the form of slants, outs, and crossing patterns. Targeted a whopping 14 times despite not playing the full game, Amendola didn’t drop any passes, and there aren’t many receivers in the NFL who would have made some of the grabs he made on the last drive of the game. In fact, Amendola converted three 1st downs on the last drive of the game that set up the game winning field goal. Two of those three catches were insane diving grabs while being blasted by defenders that Amendola had no reason catching, but did anyways. The amount of trust Brady displayed in Amendola is also extremely noteworthy, as it’s clear he’s going to be a target monster as long as he’s on the field.
Was targeted when Welker was out of the game and he gives Wes a breather every so often. He did some damage on kick returns as well avg 32.5 per kick return.
Chris Hogan and Malcoln Mitchell split the 2a/2b role as wide receivers, with Hogan's best work coming on a 37 yard touchdown catch that saw him absolutely burn RB-turned-CB Brandon Williams. It was basically a go route, but Hogan added a fake that caught Williams totally off guard. Hogan will likely have inconsistent stat lines, but may pop off for a good game or two every once in a while.
Malcolm Mitchell saw time in 2 and 3 wide receiver sets, and his best work was a 28 yard catch and go that saw him fake and elude a defender for plenty of yards after catch. Mitchell was sporting a brace on his injured elbow, and will likely continue to rotate with other receivers as the season goes on.
Who? He is 26 yrs old, 6 feet tall, 200 lbs, played at UCLA, and he has one of if not the best QB in the league throwing the football to him. He had a nice play call to loosen up the defense on the first drive of the game. Keep an eye on him because Deion Branch has had an injury history, Wes Welker has battled injuries, and Ochocino seems like an afterthought right now. Just keep an eye on him, you don’t have to pick him up immediately. Obviously the Patriots like him.
Watson’s 20 yard reception was the first of the game for the Patriots. On the same drive, Watson made a 35 yard reception, breaking tackles to gain yardage. Watson had what looked to be a reception ruled an incomplete pass. It was during the last two minutes of the first half, and was not reviewed.
Graham’s first target of the game was an overthrown pass which he was unable to catch though he was wide open. His first reception of 17 yards took the Patriots into the red zone. Graham had a target broken up in the fourth quarter.
Bennett was used sparingly in the passing game, but made his presence felt in the blocking game, as he was often responsible for some great pass protection or creating a seal here and there in the run game. He was also the recipient of a phantom holding call that nearly cost the Patriots dearly, when in reality he simply manhandled Chandler Jones. If the Patriots' offensive line continues to struggle, his role may be inconsistent as he may be required to block more. With that said, he still makes for a sizeable red zone target.
The 6’6” Gronkowski made it look easy at the goalline by snagging a Tom Brady pass for an easy TD to finish off the Bengals, occupying the goal line set role he should have all season.
Vinatieri made a 26 yard field goal and three extra point attempts. His extra point attempt in the third quarter was blocked by Langston Walker.
The Patriots were called for a hands to the face penalty, giving the Raiders a first down. Mike Vrabel sacked Kerry Collins. Lamont Jordan rushed for 70 yards against the Patriots, and was at times able to find holes and break through for gains. Seven of his 18 rushing attempts were for gains of seven yards or more.
After a weak start to the game, the Patriots’ defense stiffened up and was able to provide pressure on Collins. Vince Wilfork came up with an interception Kerry Collins, pulling in what would have otherwise been a fumble. Richard Seymour was a key player in the play that forced the turnover. They brought pressure on Collins, forcing him to throw the football away or overthrow his receivers.