I charted our offense and defense today and saw some very positive as well as some disturbing trends as well. I am about ready to break out into hives reading some of the crap on this board by whining fans who just predictably go down the same path week after week... They will be ignored, lets move on.... The Positives and there were a number of them. DEFENSIVE: Many people do not fully realize the impact of Mario Williams. He was awesome today. Here are some stats that will NOT show up in the boxscore that registered him for 2 tackles: *He had four hurries, including one that caused an interception. *He drew two holding penalties on runs, both at the point of attack. *The Raiders ran the ball 22 times with Mario on the field. Guess how many times they ran to his side? THREE That is amazing. Three running plays to him for a grand total of four yards. Lat year we were dead last against the run and this year we are up to around 17th or so, despite dealing with some injuries to our interior linemen. DeMeco was incredible! 14 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery an interception and a partridge in a pear tree! I think he even drove the bus to the airport after the game! Rookie of the year defensively. +Loved seeing Faggins scoop and score -Felt ill watching Faggins tackle and cover +Up out of my seat cheering Mathis almost bust one -Just about lost my spleen when Mathis tried to come out of the endzone. OFFENSE All of the Ron Dayne haters should observe at the very least, a brief moment of silence. The Tastycake sign in the endzone must have had the big guy motivated because he was the Pillsbury doughboy on the loose! All kidding aside, Dayne provided us with some much needed physical punch in the run game. We were able to pound the rock on the Raiders very well in the second half. I got real excited when on the first play of the game, we opened with a spread set, bunch right and then ran outside zone left to the tight end. Lundy pushed his aiming point beautifully and we had seven yards. I've got to tell you, I was more than a little excited. We ran SIX "true" zone plays today out of the one back: 7 2 3 1 9 19 That's pretty nice production. Kinda wish we would do more of that. Edited 12/4 Edited...because originally, I was pleasantly suprised by the awesome performance of our fullback Jamel Cook. I have been very critical of Jamel here, but thought it refreshing to see that he had played an excellent game. As it turns out...he didn't! It was Vonta Leach! So I can stand by my initial critiques of Cook. I Vant to Vatch More Vonta! *I will note this however. You can't run 19 lead plays against most NFL defenses and get away with it. 21 plays Vonta was on the field and 19 of those run plays went to where he was leading. That sucks. We have not run a counter all year long. I'm thinking it might go for 40 yards. Send the fullback left and block the DT, pull the guard and tackle and you are off to the friggin' races because no one is there boys! Here are some trends for you: 18 times we were in some sort of I-formation = we ran 17 times *Last week I wrote a piece on here about the hardest block to make for a tackle was when he had a tight end releasing and he had to block the defensive end. FOUR of the sacks today came to the side of the tight end releasing and we also had a holding penalty. *Our tight ends stayed into block ZERO times. *Our backs stayed in to help out and max protect ZERO times. Those last two are a stone cold disgrace. When you are struggling with protection, you MUST keep your backs in to block. You must vary your protections and keep a tight end in to block every once in a while to keep the defense guessing. -Here's the deal... If you keep a tight end in to block, that helps the tackle with the DE AND it takes a defender out of coverage. He will sit on the tight end before releasing into coverage, thus opening passing lanes for the wide outs. Our clunker tight ends take forever to get downfield and clog things up. -In additon...we're not missing assignments, the protection scheme is flawed. I can show you on a board, but we do not slide protection to the tight end when he goes out. When you don't, and you don't have the back going to that side, you have a sack. We were in that situation twice today. I have seen it before as well. Critiques offensively: **It is beyond my comprehension how we cannot get into a shotgun to give us time to throw the football. When we go spread it is just a three step drop festival of short routes. **As we had success running the football, we ran a total of 1 playaction pass off of it! How can we run ten play action passes one week when we can't run the ball a lick, and then the following week we have success running the ball and never go back to it? The one play action was so bad that the primary receiver in the flat was triple covered. That is bad playcalling 101. **To help with protection, in addition to keeping backs and tight ends to block, you need to vary the launching point of the quarterback. Carr is a friggin' sitting duck back there and it is borderline criminal to watch him set up in the same spot every time. A true roll out. A seven step drop. A three step Run & Shoot roll where he is throwing on the run. Many different ways to move the pocket. We create a statue with a bullseye. Move him!!!! People seem to forget that while Oakland is not that good overall, they are ranked seventh in the NFL in total defense. Overall: There was one play that I think typifies our season and a lot of posters here on the message boards. Losing does this to people. My own team had a stretch of this during a losing streak this year with our season. It absolutely cannot happen. Mathis almost went the distance. Then Lundy rolls in from 3 yards out. Not ONE offensive player went to him to congratulate him. Not ONE. The team was not excited. The offense was not celebrating. They just went along in a businesslike fashion. When you react this way, you are not going to be successful in anything you do. That, to me, was the most disappointing thing about today. In closing, I am happy with the win. Very happy with the defense and dreaming of adding more players to the fold. We just don't have enough players right now. Looking forward to Mario and the boys breaking Tennessee's QB in half.