The Oakland Raiders have been spiraling downhill since they impressed many in the football world on opening night against the Chargers. On Sunday, the New York Giants added momentum to the Raiders’ free fall into being considered one of (if not the) worst teams in the league.
Much of the controversy surrounding the Raiders began in training camp with Tom Cable’s ‘punch heard around the league’ and then quickly turned to his starting quarterback–who has been unable to give the offense any punch whatsoever. After last week’s poor performance, the Raiders’ offense had gone three consecutive games without gaining over 200 yards for the first time in franchise history.
Now they’ve created a new Raiders first by gaining only 124 total yards while being destroyed by the Giants 44-7 at the Meadowlands, falling to 1-4 on the season.JaMarcus Russell threw for 100 yards on 8-13 passing with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Where Russell didn’t make mistakes passing, he made them elsewhere. Russell fumbled the ball three times, all recovered by the Giants, and wasn’t able to help the Raiders sustain a single drive.
Behind a makeshift line, due to injuries to left guard Robert Gallery and right tackle Cornell Green, Russell was sacked six times for 36 yards with Justin Tuck getting two of them.
The Raiders’ defense also had problems. Eli Manning, who was questionable coming into the game after suffering a plantar fasciitis injury last week, didn’t show any sign of the injury as he skillfully led the Giants to a 28-0 lead with more than 12 minutes left in the first half.
We got outplayed on both sides of the ball and we’re trying to keep pushing through. And like we just talked about, at some point we gotta’ get it stopped so that we can move forward as a football team.
– Tom Cable at his postgame press conference
It took a fumbled punt return by Sinorice Moss followed by a pass interference penalty on the Giants at their own five, before the Raiders were able to put any points on the board. Moss misjudged a Shane Lechler punt that took an odd bounce and brushed the receiver. On a second and nine at the Giants’ 14, C.C. Brown was called for pass interference against Louis Murphy to put the ball at the five.
Even that amount of good fortune for the Raiders almost went to waste. On the next play, Justin Fargas was held up at the five and fumbled before coming to the ground. The Giants recovered and returned the fumble for an apparent touchdown, but the play was called dead due to Fargas’ forward progress. On the very next play, Michael Bush rushed straight up the middle for a five-yard touchdown score, making it 28-7. It was the Raiders’ first touchdown in 13 quarters.
Definitely a disappointing loss. I felt like we had a good week of practice and to come out on the field and really just–really not display the talent that we have, I think that’s the most disappointing thing. We took one on the chin, but I think a man has to face adversity and I think you really determine the character of a person and also the football team when you get beat that bad.
– Richard Seymour after the loss
With 2:19 left in the half, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin pulled Manning and replaced him with David Carr for safety issues. Carr’s first drive started at New York’s seven and ended at the Raiders’ 45 before having to punt it back to Oakland with only 43 seconds left in the half.
Right now, with JaMarcus Russell, I would sit him on the bench. I mean me and you talked about it earlier, you’re doing more harm than good to him right now. His self-confidence is getting just obliterated every single week. I mean, who can–who could feel good about this? No one can feel good–I mean, he’s killing them.
– Former Raider Jarrod Cooper on Russell on CBS 5’s 5th Quarter
The Raiders would have been better off just running out the clock. Two plays into their two-minute offense, Russell was strip-sacked by Osi Umenyiora, and the Giants recovered at the Raiders’ 28 yard line. That fumble resulted into another score for New York–this time a Lawrence Tynes 25-yard field goal that ended the half with the Giants up 31-7.
After two possessions to start the second half, the Giants went up on the Raiders 41-7 with 6:52 remaining in the third quarter. First, Carr led a six play, 52 yard drive that culminated with a 12-yard touchdown run by the quarterback. Next, another Russell strip-sack resulted in a 33-yard field goal by Tynes.
The Giants would add another field goal after the start of the fourth quarter, finishing off an 11 play, 56-yard drive that lasted a back-breaking 6:18.
Let me tell you something about ‘We believe we have the players.’ You have Javon Walker on your football team. I was on the same team with Javon Walker, okay? Javon Walker is lazy, he is not a good football player–he wasn’t a good football player ever! Ever! Ever has he been a good football player. So if they’re saying, ‘Oh we got the great players that we need,’ and you’re including Javon Walker in that, I got real bad news for the Oakland Raider fans, you, me, my mom…
– Jarrod Cooper on CBS 5’s 5th Quarter on Javon Walker