Oakland Raiders: Examining the Play of the Team vs. the 49ers

The Raiders had an up-and-down game vs. the 49ers. Here are a few observations:



1) Jared Veldheer looked decent for his first start

He was much better in pass blocking, but got out leveraged at times by Ricky Jean-Francois. 

To be honest, he was probably better than Samson Satele, who couldn't pass or run block effectively. 

Veldheer does need more experience. The best mike linebacker in the league, Patrick Willis, got through the A gap at least two times unblocked.


2) Darrius Heyward-Bey looked good

Jackson made a point to get it to DHB early. 

I was impressed by DHB's last catch. It came right after a drop, showing he can forget his mistakes. Overall, he looked like a guy that can go out and catch 50 balls this season, maybe more depending on how long Schilens is out.


3) Mario Henderson made one horrific "block"

Travis LaBoy isn't the second coming of Lawrence Taylor. Not-so-Super Mario might as well put a paper bag over his face, because that's how bad LaBoy beat him.

This isn't anything new for Jason Campbell, who had to get carted off with a stinger. If you watched the Week 15 game against the Giants, it was probably worse than that play.


4) Gradkowski was sharp

Not only was Grads 14 of 22 for 202 yards, but he also had three blatant drops. Gradkowski made his usual amount of plays, but he also made a handful of very precise throws.

I'm not sure how much we'll lose (if anything) with Gradkowski in the lineup.


5) Hue Jackson didn't use Darren McFadden effectively

There were far too many up the gut runs. Note to Hue: IT DOESN"T WORK!

Trust me, anybody with two eyes can see what is and isn't working. You saw what McFadden could do when he was ...

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