Well, that was painful.
For a second I thought we were gonna pull it off and solidify the title of cardiac kids, but alas, it was not meant to be today in Oakland. The game ended on a rushing effort at the 1 yard line where Mark Sanchez came up short in a heartbreaking finale.
No hot dogs will be enjoyed today, at least not on our side. There's plenty of blame to go around, and I'm sure you have your own opinion on that matter. I consider it a team-wide failure, personally speaking. I don't want to call it a trap game, but this was a game we needed to win. It still hurts, even on a day where division rivals the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins lost to low ranked teams. We'll examine some individual performances in depth after the jump.
Meanwhile, feel free to express your personal thoughts on the game below. It's only week 3, and there are some things to feel good about, so try not to be on the doom and gloom wagon just yet.
Some people might be eager to jump on Mark Sanchez after his half-yard shy final effort at the end zone in the final moments of the game. Sanchez went 27 for 43 with 369 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also ran for 2 yards and a touchdown (almost 2). A number of his passes were directly on target but not hauled in or batted away, most notably a pass that struck Matthew Mulligan directly in the chest even after being touched by a defender. I really don't blame Mark for this one, there's only so much you can ask of your QB. I imagine some of you feel differently.
LaDanian Tomlinson had an impressive outing, mostly through the air. LDT pulled in over 150 all purpose yards and a receiving touchdown, continuing his streak of success against the Raiders.Shonn Greene got a fair amount of running in, with 59 yards on 15 carries.Greene also pulled down 7 passes for 47 yards
Dustin Keller was especially impressive, hauling in 5 passes for 87 yards. Keller has been consistent this season, as was relied upon about as much as you can ask of a single tight end.Derrick Mason was also reliable as a slot receiver, hauling in a respectable 6 passes for 45 yards.
I have to sing the praises of Plaxico Burress. Not only did he haul in a crucial touchdown, but Burress consistently block on all plays, leading to greater gains. Plaxico's blocking performance today makes me not feel so bad about the departure of Braylon Edwards, who is out after having a procedure on his knee, if you didn't hear.
Disappointing was Santonio Holmes who had one catch for 19 yards. The secondary played CLOSE attention to Holmes, and double him frequently. Holmes is largely responsible for the production you saw from Keller and Burress tonight, so don't get so down on him.
The offensive line pulled the freight for the running and check-down gains, but largely speaking pass protection was lacking and Sanchez was sacked or pressured several times. Although it was as good as I could have expected missing our star center with a rookie UDFA in his place, the line looked quite porous on passing downs.
Some of you are defending Antonio Cromartie, not me. It wasn't just his soul-crushing fumble. Whether you agree with the bevy of penalties called on Cro, he had a horrible game. If you were to place the blame on a single player (if you really must) it should probably be him. I pondered which Cro would show up today. The answer was the bad one.
At one point the game seemed like a penalty competition. I have to point out that the refs made several RIDICULOUS calls on both sides, including a bogus roughing the passer call that they immediately realized their error, and offset it with a bogus intentional grounding call on Campbell. I'm not the sort of person who mitigates a tough game with complaints of officiating, but in my opinion, it was a total joke all around for this game. Not up to the standards of professional ball, at the very least.
The defensive unit didn't really do their job, when you look at the offensive production of Oakland, as well as their 34 points. Woof. Tackling was suspect and wide open lines were exploited by Oakland all day. Darren McFadden made us look especially bad. Our rushing defense was not up to it's old form today.
In my opinion, there's lots to feel good about, but it's probably outweighed by this tough loss. Credit to the Raiders, they showed up.I will say this team seems reminiscent of the ones of past where both units cannot click in the same game.
What say you GGN, what are you feeling right now?