In last week’s article, I found the good in a heartbreaking last-second loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
This week there is little to be happy about, unless, of course you are a New England Patriots fan. The lackluster Raiders seemed bound and determined to make sure New England's first round draft pick acquired as compensation for Richard Seymour is a signature Oakland top five choice in the 2011 draft.
The Raiders defense found themselves out of position the entire afternoon and continued to stake their claim as the league's perennial laughing stock. As a Raiders fan, it was heartbreaking to watch.
Quentin Groves has no business being on the football field, especially starting over Thomas Howard. For most of the day, Groves could be seen on the ground grasping for air as any one of Houston's trio of running backs rumbled by on their way to first down after first down.
Michael Huff is an embarrassment to the fine tradition of men that have donned the silver and black and lined up at safety in the once feared Raider defensive backfield. He gives up on plays and constantly fails to wrap-up players as he makes subtle, almost never imposing contact. He clearly needs to be added to the growing list of first-round whiffs by the Raiders.
With the exception of Seymour, our defensive line's presence is almost non-existent.
Houston's Matt Schaubb was not sacked once in this afternoons contest. Raider Rookie Lamar Houston, who had a tremendous preseason, has also shown that he has absolutely no business playing defensive end.
In a league built on speed and the ability to put pressure on the quarterback, Houston has clearly displayed that his skill sets are best suited to play as an interior defensive lineman.
John Marshall's defense was more aggressive today, dialing up more blitzes than typical for the unit but it left the safeties in pass coverage and they were exposed to the point of utter embarrassment.
Rolando McClain was burnt by Houston tight ends on consecutive plays and by consecutive, I do mean consecutive. For the first time in as long as I can remember the Texans, having recognized McClain looking lost on the previous play, actually ran the exact same play twice in a row.
It led to a crucial Houston Texan first down and breathing room from their previous field position which coincidentally was inside their own 10 yard line.
Even the common football fan could see Kameron Wimbley, McClain and Groves arguing about assignments as the ball was snapped on countless occasions. The confusion often times led to players being out of position, blown coverages or the linebackers actually running into each other as the play went the opposite direction.
The constant disarray on defense is a solid indication of the lack of coaching and preparation by the team that boldly proclaimed themselves "AFC West Champs" early during this year’s training camp.
Despite an impressive gritty display of will by Oakland quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, the young Raider track stars continued to display their inability to hold onto the football when it really matters.
Overall, this game left so many of the teams beloved fans with an all-too-familiar feeling of disappointment and disgust. Hopefully this team, which still is showing signs of improvement can find a way to play inspired football despite another dismal 1-3 start.