Week 11 Game Recap: Oakland Raiders 16, Washington Redskins 13
What you need to know
Norv Turner won in his first return as head coach to the city he coached for eight years from 1993 to 2000. His team didnít play particularly well, but played well enough to win against a Redskinsí team that imploded offensively in the second half. Randy Mossí comments midweek werenít exactly a vote of confidence for Turner, who was fired in 2000 after failing to meet with owner Daniel Snyder following a loss. To keep his job, Turner will need to finish the season strong, and a win this week could be the start of that.
With Lamont Jordan ineffective, The Raiders were forced to air it out in the second half and did so with intermittent success. Randy Moss, more because of reputation than anything else, was double covered consistently, but with lots of time Kerry Collins was able to find his secondary receivers including Jerry Porter. Porter, covered by Walt Harris short and in a zone deeper down the field, was able to find holes between Redskinsí defenders. The Raidersí offense wasnít consistent by any means, but they were able to string long gains together, enough to score the points needed to win.
The Raidersí defense may have created a blueprint on how to stop the Redskinsí once vaunted attack: double Santana Moss wherever he goes, single any other wide receivers on the field, play physically with Chris Cooley, and blitz constantly outside the tackle. With Moss nullified and Taylor Jacobs ineffective, Mark Brunell forced passes into coverage and was unable to find open receivers. Nnamdi Asomugha was in man coverage against Taylor Jacobs for the entire game and was never beaten. The Raiders were also able to force Clinton Portis to fumble, something he hadnít done all year up until this point.
The Redskins lost a critical game and likely killed their playoff chances by doing so. Absent the loss, however, they still suffered in the injury department. James Thrash may have torn his right hamstring attempting to catch an under thrown Mark Brunell pass late in the second quarter. He limped into the locker room and didnít return. Mike Sellers, the backup to Chris Cooley who leads the team in touchdowns, injured his kidneys after a late hit on a special teams play and was taken to the hospital for observation. David Patten was placed on injured reserve before the game began with knee problems, so after Thrashís injury the Redskins were left with only two healthy wide receivers. Rich Parson was called up to take Pattenís place on the roster before game time, and he may be forced into action as a wide receiver next week. Expect the Redskins to sign a return man, possibly Antonio Brown, to handle Thrashís special teams duties.
Clinton Portis ran well early, but his two fumbles continued the disturbing trend on turnover differential for the Redskins, who now stand tied for last in the league with New Orleans at -13. Without Ladell Betts to give him a break, Portis tired noticeably as the game wore on, and was ineffective in the second half.
Mark Brunell had his third worst game of the season statistically, and struggled to find receivers downfield. Santana Moss was double covered consistently, and David Patten was unable to take advantage of man coverage despite getting targeted 11 times. Chris Cooleyís bursitis appeared to be acting up as he limped on and off the field, and even when playing Cooley was forced to block because of the injuries to James Thrash and Mike Sellers. Mark Brunell took a shot to the head in the second quarter which broke his helmet, and apparently he injured his throwing hand after knocking it on someoneís helmet on a follow through.
What you ought to know
|QB Kerry Collins, Pass: 19 - 36 - 289 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - -2 - 0|
Collins started off the day badly, throwing an interception on his first series of the game. While already in his throwing motion, Collins had the ball tipped and it landed in the hands of Lemar Marshall, who returned it for a touchdown. He led his team to only three points in the first half. As the day progressed, however, Collins was able to find his wide receivers, particularly Jerry Porter, down the middle of the field. Randy Moss was double covered all day, and this left Porter working against a zone scheme that Collins was able to pick apart. Although the Redskins blitzed heavily, they were only able to sack Collins once. Collins appeared unfazed by the constant blitzing, and was able to step up in the pocket and throw downfield with ease. In the red zone the Raidersí offense stalled, as Collins was unable to score touchdowns on two occasions near the goal line, instead settling for field goals.
Jordan wasnít able to break out in this game, as he was only able to rush for 52 yards on 27 carries. With the game close all the way through, he received carries to keep the offense balanced, but Redskins defenders were not fooled by the Raidersí rushing attack. Late in the game Jordan was the target of a number of passes, mainly on check downs to the flat when other options were covered. Jordan had two opportunities to score a touchdown on the Raidersí last drive, attempting two runs up the gut with the ball on the Redskinsí one yard line. He wasnít able to get in on either attempt, and appeared to fumble on his second run, but was ruled down when the ball popped loose.
Crockett came into the game late to give Lamont Jordan a breather. He caught a couple of passes and fumbled after a big hit by Ryan Clark after his second catch. The ball took a fortuitous bounce, though, and Crockett was able to recover it.
Porter had an outstanding day, catching passes down the field for big gains, predominantly down the middle. With Randy Moss covered over the top by a safety, Porter took advantage of single and zone coverage to find openings. His touchdown came on the first drive of the second half. On broken coverage Porter was chased down the middle of the field by Lemar Marshall, and he was able to catch the ball over his shoulder for a touchdown. It was Porterís best receiving day this season in terms of yardage.
Randy Moss seemed to have his feet back under him, but the Redskins double covered him constantly, removing him as a deep threat. He appeared lackadaisical in his routes at times. On one occasion in the third quarter, Moss ran a lazy route and appeared surprised when the ball came his way, and nearly allowed Sean Taylor to intercept it. Once, after an incompletion on third down led to a punt, Moss appeared incensed that he had not been thrown the ball and yelled at some coaches on the sideline. He had a touchdown catch nullified in the first quarter because of an offensive pass interference penalty on him for pushing off.
Gabriel didnít see the field much. He caught the only pass thrown at him but injured his ankle on the play and did not return.
Whitted was thrown at twice but didnít catch a pass. He only ran go routes, nothing short.
Anderson was a frequent check-down target for Kerry Collins, but he wasnít able to break any big gains. He struggled with blocking on runs to the outside.
Flemister was targeted once in the end zone on the Raidersí first scoring drive. He did not catch a pass.
Janikowski missed a field goal from 45 yards out when the attempt hit the left upright. He made field goals from 30, 25, and 19 yards. He made his only extra point attempt.
The Redskins were able to rush consistently, but were unable to break any big gains due to Raiders pursuit. Clinton Portis was able to consistently gain yards outside the tackles, but his two fumbles were incredibly costly. One fumble led to a Raidersí field goal, and another nullified a Redskinsí scoring opportunity. The Raiders had clearly been instructed to go for the football, and they did well. Ted Washington and Warren Sapp only amassed one tackle between them, but their mass made it difficult for the Redskins to find running room inside.
The Redskinsí struggled to pass the ball all afternoon due to a smart scheme by the Raiders. The Raiders kept a safety and cornerback locked on Santana Moss constantly, sometimes adding a third defender. Mossí importance was removed from the equation, and the Redskins struggled to find another weapon to take advantage of the Raidersí focus on Moss. Taylor Jacobs was single covered but was unable to take advantage, and Chris Cooley was bogged down in blocking. Derrick Burgess had a great game, recording two sacks including the game clinching pressure, working off the edge against Jon Jansen. Stuart Schwiegert had a good game as well, recording eight tackles and one assist along with a fumble recovery.
|QB Mark Brunell, Pass: 14 - 32 - 155 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 10 - 0|
Brunell had a day to forget, as he struggled to lead his team down the field. He appeared jittery in the pocket, and with his main target in Santana Moss taken out of the picture, he was unable to find alternatives. He attempted to make a target out of Taylor Jacobs, throwing the ball downfield hoping Jacobs could make something of it, but it didnít happen. After James Thrashís injury late in the second quarter the Redskins were left with only two healthy receivers, and they were forced to play formations using extra tight ends exclusively. Brunell got his bell rung in the second quarter, as he collided heads with a Raiders defender and broke his helmet. He was forced to take a timeout to repair his helmet, but after that hit he wasnít the same, appearing tentative. He overthrew receivers regularly in the second half, and was unable to lead his team to any scoring opportunities.
Portis lost two fumbles, his first of the year. His first fumble was a fluke, as his blocker ran into his ball-carrying arm from behind, knocking the ball loose. His second fumble occurred in a pileup. He ran relatively well other than those two plays, gaining yardage outside the tackles and running very patiently, waiting for his blocks to develop. It was his seventh game with 20 or more carries this season. Portis was forced to play more minutes than he has been accustomed to this season because of the absence of Ladell Betts.
Cartwright played in place of Ladell Betts, giving Clinton Portis a breather on a few plays. He made a good catch down the middle of the field on a pass from Brunell that appeared to be overthrown.
Moss was double and sometimes even triple covered by Raiders defenders, and he wasnít able to make a consistent impact. With no other wide receiver posing a threat, the Raiders had a safety and a cornerback on Moss at all times, sometimes even adding a linebacker to the mix. Moss made a nice catch early in the game on a fade route for a first down, but almost disappeared in the second half.
Jacobs was forced into the starting lineup late in the week after David Patten was placed on injured reserve. In his first start of his career, Jacobs was targeted heavily by Mark Brunell, especially in the second half after it became clear that Santana Moss was not an option. Covered mainly by Nnamdi Asomugha, Jacobs ran a number of go routes down the sideline in an attempt to take advantage of the single coverage he saw all day. Unfortunately he was not able to get open despite the single coverage. With the injury to James Thrash, Jacobs will likely have to start for the remainder of the season, and will likely receive man coverage until he proves he can beat it.
Thrash started the game as an H-back and saw extensive action until he injured himself late in the second quarter. Attempting to catch an under thrown pass from Mark Brunell, Thrash injured his hamstring and would not return.
Cooley was targeted heavily early in the game, providing a consistently open target when everyone else was covered. His problems securing the ball continued, as he fumbled on his first catch of the game. Luckily for him, he was ruled down by contact. Cooley was forced to stay in to pass protect in the second half as the Raiders blitzed more men, and only received three targets in the second half. With Mike Sellers and James Thrash injured, Cooley will see even more extensive action in the coming games.
Royal was targeted in the end zone on a desperation heave from Mark Brunell. He was used mainly as a blocker.
Sellers was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure after being injured on punt coverage. He was hit after the play was over by Isaiah Ekejiuba, and appeared to be in immense pain on the sideline. He returned to the game on a later punt coverage team and got into fisticuffs with Ekejiuba, and was called for a personal foul. Apparently the injury was to his kidneys, and he currently remains in the hospital under observation.
Hall made both field goals he attempted, from 24 and 45 yards. His 45 yarder was his longest this season. Currently he is perfect on the season in field goals, eight for eight. He made his only extra point attempt.
The Redskins were able to severely limit Lamont Jordanís impact, limiting the back to under two yards per carry. Joe Salaveía achieved tremendous push up the middle on run plays, and the Redskins seemed to know based on line movement where the run was headed. The Raiders had first and goal on two different occasions but were unable to score on either opportunity, as Redskins pursuit sniffed out the runner behind the line of scrimmage. LaVar Arrington in particular showed great instincts on running plays, particularly on one short yardage play near the goal line where he was able to get through the line right after the snap and tackle Jordan five yards in the backfield.
The Redskins were burned yet again by their inability to create a consistent pass rush. Kerry Collins had tons of time to find his receivers downfield and was able to work through his progression time and again to find the open man. Initially, however, it wasnít so, as Lemar Marshall was able to intercept a Collins pass and return it for a touchdown. However, as the game progressed, Jerry Porter in particular was able to find holes in the Redskinsí zone coverage down field, once for a touchdown on a bomb from Collins. The Redskins were forced to blitz because of the lack of pressure from their defensive line, but despite all their efforts they were only able to sack Collins once. The league seems to have figured out Gregg Williamsí blitz schemes, as they arenít working nearly as well as they did last year.