Raiders come up empty against Atlanta

The Raiders were thoroughly and completely manhandled by the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, losing 24-0. Silver and Black Illustrated takes a look at what happened and what the players had to say afterward.


· In one of the few highlights for Oakland's defense, Gerard Warren stripped sacked Matt Ryan and stripped him of the ball just before halftime while teammate Kalimba Edwards recovered.

· Ike Ekejiuba blocked a punt in the fourth quarter since Nnamdi Asomugha had one against Cleveland on Nov. 7, 2004.

· Edwards, Warren and rookie Trevor Scott all got sacks. It's not much but in a game like this the positives were few and far to come by.


· The Falcons set the tone early, driving to scores on their first four drives. The problems were everywhere, from the run defense to the pass defense. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall really struggled against his former team and was beaten for a 38-yard touchdown. Matt Ryan looked like the second coming off Joe Montana and was never touched. Pathetic.

· The Raiders were terrible in so many ways but the tackling on defense was particularly bad. Safety Gibril Wilson was absolutely steamrolled by Michael Turner on the Falcons first possession. Turner banged into Wilson at the 30 and left Wilson reeling as he continued on for an 11-yard gain.

· Quarterback JaMarcus Russell had his worst outing at home and was booed heavily by the crowd, which even began chanting for backup Andrew Walter at one point. Several of Russell's passes were low, others were thrown too hard and he fumbled twice, the second time while trying to throw with no one around him. The ball just slipped out of his hands and the Falcons recovered, typical of how Oakland's afternoon went.

· The Raiders tried some trickery to shake up their sluggish offense, having wide receiver Ronald Curry line up at quarterback in the Wildcat formation while Russell was on the sidelines. But Oakland never got a chance to run the play, as left guard Robert Gallery was called for a false start.

· In perhaps the worst four-play stretch in recent memory, Michael Bush was dropped for a four-yard loss, tight end John Madsen dropped a short throw from Russell, Bush got drilled for another four-yard loss and Russell threw a pass out of bounds after being chased out of the pocket. Again, pathetic.


-2: Total offensive yards put up by the Raiders in the first half, compared to 309 for the Falcons. The Raiders 77 yards of total offense are the fewest in the NFL by any team since December 12, 2004 when Cleveland had 26 yards against Buffalo. It's also the fewest by any Raiders team since 1961.

19.0: Quarterback rating for JaMarcus Russell, who completed only 6 of 19 passes for 31 yards. He was also sacked four times for 21 yards in losses.

138.4: Quarterback rating for Atlanta's Matt Ryan, who was 17 of 22 for 220 yards and two touchdowns.

30: First downs racked up by the Falcons offense compared to three for the Raiders. The three first downs were the fewest ever by an Al Davis team.

45:15: Minutes and seconds Atlanta's offense held the ball for. Stunning, simply stunning.

INJURIES · Defensive end Derrick Burgess sat out his fourth straight game with a triceps strain. Running back Darren McFadden also did not play as a result of his turf toe injury. Linebacker Ricky Brown was held out with a groin injury.

· Rookie Tyvon Branch re-injured his left shoulder while returning a kickoff in the first quarter. Branch, who replaced Johnnie Lee Higgins as the Raiders' kickoff returner, fielded the ball at the 5 but slipped at fell after a 16-yard return. He came off the field in obvious pain and was holding his left hand. Branch did not play again in the game and Higgins replaced him as the returner.

· Linebacker Robert Thomas, who started in place of injured Ricky Brown, pulled a hamstring in the first half and did not return. Sam Williams took over the strongside linebacker duties.

· Strong safety Gibril Wilson was hurt on the next-to-last play of the third quarter and was replaced briefly by Michael Huff. Wilson later returned and finished the game.


· "During the week we look like we're a Super Bowl team, and we come out there and we're damn near the laughingstock of the league, and it's ridiculous. I've never been in a situation where it's been like this, and I don't know what it is. I really don't know what it is. All I can say is, we've got to get what the coaches are doing, the coaches are getting us prepared, that's not a problem. The people in this locker room have to look at themselves in the mirror and see exactly what they're bringing to the table, and if they're not bringing anything to the table, then get off the ship, period."

-- Strong safety Gibril Wilson

· "I thought our entire football team was not very good in terms of competing and execution. There was no rhythm really, no balance on either side of the football. I thought it was kind of chasing the game. No one could really get control of the football."

-- Raiders interim head coach Tom Cable

· "It's hard because when you put in hard work from week to week, it hurts because you let them down. When you let them down … they pay good money to come out and see us play. I would feel the same way if I were in the stands. I was embarrassed today, I was hurting a lot about the way we played. But, at the same time, we got to find a way to persevere and get through this."

-- Linebacker Kirk Morrison on the Oakland crowd booing the hometown team

· "It will just come down to resiliency. We've been working hard, like I said, had a great week of practice, studying and doing all those sorts of things. You wouldn't guess it by how we played but I think the more you keep doing right, something eventually has to break in time."

-- Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha

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