Raiders Listless Against Panthers in 17-6 Loss
By Ryan Leong
The Raiders are just a bad football team. Specifically they have shortcomings, especially on offense. They also can’t play on Eastern time to save their lives. Oakland hasn’t won in the East Coast time zone since beating the Steelers, 27-24 in December of 2009. They’ve lost 10 straight since then and have been outscored by a combined 332-16, losing by an average score of 33-16. The Raiders are now just 5-27 in games played in the Eastern Time Zone since Dec. 15, 2002, when Oakland lost in Miami, 23-17. Final score: Carolina Panthers 17, Oakland Raiders 6
The second play of the game featured a little trickery — Terrelle Pryor and Carson Palmer on a flea flicker. Pryor got the ball and ran it for a 22-yard gain, but other than that, Pryor received only a handful of touches. Palmer got drilled and ended up having to sit out the game with Matt Leinart coming in as his backup, but Leinart just doesn’t bring anything to the table and primarily threw a series of screen passes. Leinart’s longest completion went for 20 yards. Coach Dennis Allen is so conservative that he’s predictable and boring. In his defense, he doesn’t have a lot of talent to work with. Grade D
The good news is that the Raiders were 6-of-15 on third down conversions, which is 40 percent. Not bad, but they didn’t score a touchdown for the second game in a row. They haven’t scored a TD since the 4th quarter of their game on Dec. 6 vs. the Denver Broncos, making it eight straight quarters without reaching the end zone. Running back Darren McFadden had 17 carries for only 33 yards, a measly 1.9 yards per carry. And Mike Goodson looking for some revenge against his former team? Four carries for 12 yards. His longest was a 7-yard run. Oakland had just 189 yards of total offense. Pathetic. Grade F
If there is a silver lining to this, it has to be here. The Panthers scored only 17 points on 271 net yards of offense. Carolina’s Cam Newton is similar to Michael Vick in that he runs well with the football. He led the Panthers with 60 yards rushing on 12 carries including a 3-yard scoring run. His longest run went for a 29-yard gain. Newton passed for merely 170 yards and one touchdown, so the Raiders defense certainly kept Carolina in check. But given that Oakland scored only six points, there’s not really much to be happy about since this was in a losing cause. Grade B
Once again, Sebastian Janikowski scored all the team’s points. Both his field goals were chip shots, from 21 and 31 yards respectively. The Raiders didn’t return any punts and Mike Goodson had one kick return for 26 yards. Nothing special here, but at least nothing to criticize either. Grade B
Thankfully, the season is nearly over. This has been a brutal year and some players have shown their lack of intensity on the field by their body language. Give credit to linebackers Philip Wheeler and rookie Miles Burris. Both of them have done well this season given the circumstances. All fans can hope for is a hard fought game against the Chargers in San Diego for the season finale this coming Sunday. After that, it’s back to the drawing board for an overhaul of the roster.
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Ryan Leong has reported on over 2,800 games in the Bay Area since 1998, covering the Sharks, Giants, A’s, Warriors, 49ers, Raiders and the local college teams for radio networks and wire services. Having the best seat in the house to watch sports has been a thrill and Ryan still enjoys going to the games giving fans some insight and perspective on the players and coaches. His work can be found on Examiner.com.