Al Davis: Does He Have The Raiders On The Road To Ruin?

It seems everyone has an opinion as to the poor performance of the Oakland Raiders in recent years.  Some say its QB play. Some say it’s the defense. Still others say it’s the coaching staff or the ownership. They’re all right in some way; it's a combination of all of these.  The following is just one old coach’s opinion.

Let’s start with the symptoms of the problem…no points on the board, a defense that hasn’t stopped the run since 2002 and seven straight years with at least eleven losses…

Let me make something perfectly clear…I am NOT going defend the horrific play, attitude and apathy of Jamarcus Russell.  I’m only saying that he is not the only one to blame.  While it is true that he did not play well at all, he is not the only problem. 

The simplified game plans, lack of creativity and inconsistent O-line play contributed to the lack of production on offense.

In the first San Diego game they ran the ball 32 times for 148 yards with 29 of those rushing attempts by the RBs.  Against Kansas City they attempted 25 rushes for 67 yards with only 22 tries by the RBs.  Denver held them to 23 attempts for 95 yards with 20 going to the RBs. 

See the trend? 

The strength of this offense was the running game and the RBs, yet they got fewer and fewer opportunities as the season wore on. 

These kinds of numbers are not conducive to winning games at any level.  It is imperative for them to run the ball with the RBs more and not give up on it when they get a little behind. 

Not only to ‘hide’ poor QB play, but to control the clock and keep opposing offenses from getting on the field to take their shots at the defense.  When they ran the ball they were fairly successful averaging 4.1 yards per carry, but they only attempted 25.6 rushes per game to rank 23rd in the league. 


Without a legitimate threat under center oppo...

About the Author