Inside Slant, Notes, Quotes, Report Cards

Inside Slant, Notes, Quotes, Report Cards

When the skeptics mocked the Raiders for using a first round draft pick on Sebastian Janikowski back in 2000, those who had suffered watching erratic placekicking cost the Raiders weren't laughing.

After a so-so rookie season, though, Janikowski has been money, making 96 of 114 for an 84 percent number.

"He's been outstanding ... he's one of our weapons," coach Norv Turner said.

However, this year Janikowski is now 3-for-7 on field goals. He has missed as many as he missed all of last year and is under 50 percent after making 89 percent of his field goals the previous two years.

His misses aren't necessarily the reason the Raiders are 0-3, even though he took the blame for one loss and his two misses in Philadelphia were the difference between a three-point loss and a three point win.

Turner is dumbfounded.

"There's not a lot you can say," Turner said. "It's a batter in a slump. It's a great pitcher who starts throwing balls for a stretch.

"I've watched every kick in pre-game (warmups) and he didn't miss a kick (in Philadelphia). He made a 57-yarder. The one that hit the upright he hit it so high, I mean, it's a 50-yarder. It would've cleared from 60.

"I think he will come out of it. He's kicked so well in pre-game, particularly this game. He just needs to get in his rhythm completely. He's a confident guy and he knows he's got the ability.

"He will get on a roll and he'll make a bunch in a row."

NOTES, QUOTES

-- WR Randy Moss has only agreed to take questions once since his arrival at camp in early August, so his take on the Eagles' means of defending him and their accusations that he can be encouraged to dog it and take plays off went unanswered following the Philadelphia game.

Explaining why the Eagles changed coverages on Moss repeatedly, safety Brian Dawkins said the intent was to frustrate Moss.

"When you're facing that kind of coverage, maybe he doesn't go out and run like he usually would run," Dawkins said. "In his mind, he's thinking, well I can't get past the safety and it takes a weapon away from that offense."

"I don't think Randy takes many plays off," coach Norv Turner said. "I think there are times when he runs some routes at a change of pace speed and I think that is one of his strengths. And he's lulled some guys to sleep and got big plays, coming off easy and then taking off."

-- The Raiders' 0-3 start marks the sixth time in the club's 46-year history they have failed to win before the season was a month old.

They have never wound up winning more than eight games and only twice have they won more than five.

"Everyone gets caught up on this 0-3 thing," coach Norv Turner said. "There have been teams that have lost three straight games and had outstanding seasons."

Actually, the Raiders lost four straight in 2002 but finished 11-5 and reached the Super Bowl. PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES

-- WR Randy Moss came out late in Sunday's game. Coach Norv Turner said it was a decision from the sidelines.

-- Rookie CB Fabian Washington replaced rookie CB Stanford Routt in the nickel against Philadelphia.

-- CB Charles Woodson suffered no after effects of the blow to the head that caused him to leave Sunday's game in Philadelphia. However, he practiced carefully Monday after reporting the day after the game with a sore knee.

-- TE Courtney Anderson (knee) was held out of Monday's walkthrough complaining of soreness.

-- FB John Paul Foschi was inactive for the Philadelphia game.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

REPORT CARD vs. EAGLES

PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus -- The numbers for Kerry Collins were very respectable (24-for-42 for 345 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions) and he has now thrown 116 passes without a pick. When the Eagles rolled coverage to WR Randy Moss, Collins made use of TE Courtney Anderson (5-100) and hit Doug Gabriel for a touchdown. Protection was excellent against a tough Eagles' defense.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- Awful. The ground game netted 21 yards in 22 carries against a team that kept a safety deep. The Raiders did not handle Philly's run blitzes well and LaMont Jordan had nowhere to run. It didn't help matters that he seemed to run directly into the flow on delays.

PASS DEFENSE: D -- Donovan McNabb passed for 266 yards in the second half, a 532-yard pace. Unforgivable. The pass rush only netted one sack but was generally OK offering pressure. Warren Sapp had one interception and nearly another. To be kind, coverage was spotty. No way RB Brian Westbrook should catch six passes for 140 yards. The penalty list included two illegal contacts, one interference, one holding and one roughing the passer. Damage: five first downs.

RUSH DEFENSE: C -- After two solid games, the Raiders were just OK. The Eagles only gained 83 yards but their game plan didn't involve much running (18 attempts). It was largely a non-issue.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D-plus -- Sebastian Janikowski is now 3-for-7 on field goals after clanging one off the left upright from 49 and going wide left from 37. Make one and it's overtime, make both and Raiders win. Kick coverage was adequate, returns were pedestrian at best. Shane Lechler's fine punting is a given.

COACHING: B -- The game plan was good enough to win against a difficult opponent in a difficult venue. The players continue to play hard for Norv Turner. They just keep beating themselves. Penalties continue unabated at a record pace.

SBReport.net Recommended Stories


Up Next


Tweets