Saturday, November 26, 2005
Above is an Interception for a TD... below a completion for a TD
I might be in the minority (actually, yep, I am the minority) but I believe Kerry Collins has not had a fair shake yet as the Raiders starting QB. Until Collins gets a solid, regular running game and a reliable, safe pocket to pass from I refuse to throw him off the cliff. Last year the Raiders running game was among the worst in the NFL and this year the Raiders running game is averaging just over 81 yards per game, ranked 28th in the NFL... these number are piss-poor and you can not expect a QB, any QB, to perform well with a laughable running attack NOT supporting him and UNbalancing the Offense. How hard is it for ANY QB to develop a rythm with the 28th ranked rushing attack and a pocket that is weak at best?
Running the ball is traditionally referred to as slowing the game down but thats not true - it actually speeds the game up... everytime a RB can plow forward for another first down, the game clock keeps ticking - the game becomes shorter. We need our offensive line to control the line of scrimmage, open up holes for Lamont Jordan and speed the game up.
In terms of Collins' passing numbers, I don't want to go there other than discuss the huge difference in his performance in the fourth quarter... while regularly being inconsistent and generally coughing and sputtering through out the game, the Raider O and specifically QB Collins are unstoppable in the 4th quarter... why? Watch the tapes... in the 4th stanza the O-Line has been giving Collins oodles of time in the pocket... I suggest its not that all of a sudden Collins "gets it" as much as all of a sudden Collins has the time to get his job done. If Collins is considered streaky, we must consider our O-Line very streaky.
As the Great Gene Upshaw has said time and again, the O-line is the "Heart Beat" of the team... in my mind our O-line has been the most disappointing unit of our team... This team will go as far as the O-line takes it... Jordan will run as far as they block and Collins will throw it as far as the they protect him...
Not to mention any names, but we need to upgrade both our Guard positons in the offseason, and switch ORT to OLT... as for the rest of this season, I'm calling them out - they are the worst part of our team and they need to improve dramatically... speed up the game!