We have to open up the game plan a little bit and have a little bit more fun.
Starting CB Chris Johnson and S Michael Huff were injured in the game, and the Oakland Raiders were keying in on Holmes through double coverage. The game-plan called for runs to the outside, presumably away from C Colin Baxter, and started through good use of TE Dustin Keller. However, it took until the end of the 4th quarter for Schottenheimer to get WR Plaxico Burress involved, and I failed to see many of the 3-TE sets that were promised by our OC just one game ago (before, of course, TE Jeff Cumberland's injury). See below for more of my thoughts on the game-plan.
It was good to see WR Derrick Mason finally get involved, and I was glad to see RB LaDainian Tomlinson being used through the air, rather than shoving through the trenches (although that was used a few times to good effect) repeatedly. However, as Rich Cimini rightly points out, you know the execution of the game-plan is faulty when RB Shonn "Bricks for Hands" Greene is the leading receiver, with 7 catches.
I would have liked to have seen more 3-TE sets, more no-huddle, along with more of FB John Conner to help out Baxter and Hunter (who seemed shaky on pass protection, but stout in the run game). When QB Mark Sanchez was getting mugged all second half, Conner seemed barely in the game to help steady the flow. Keller started off and ended strong, however he appeared to disappear through the middle of the game. While the game-plan started off well, it quickly became predictable and it was painfully clear that the Raiders were picking up on the bootlegs and pitches. Yet, as Holmes says, we didn't adjust.
However, I can't fully blame Schottenheimer. As the #1 receiver, Holmes should still be able to get out from double coverage every once and a while, and the WR's in general seemed to have trouble getting separation against Asomugha-less man coverage. When the WR's aren't playing their game, we're playing against a formidable defensive line, and we have a leaky offensive line, it's hard to blame Schottenheimer for being unable to maximize our potential. The loss in this one lies primarily on the defense. What do you all think?