Raiders take it on the chin in New York

For the third straight week the Raiders laid a complete egg. Sunday's 44-7 loss to the New York Giants was yet another step backward and left Oakland's players and coaches scrambling for answers.

The toughest thing Tom Cable will have to do this week won't be having to turn himself in for arrest, if the Napa County District Attorney's office decides to move forward with assault charges against the Raiders head coach.

Nope.

In comparison to watching tape from Sunday's loss to the New York Giants, sitting down with the DA will be a piece of cake.

Oakland was bad on every level and not just ordinary bad. The Raiders fell behind 28-0 less than three minutes into the second half, didn't get their first first down until the second quarter, managed only six first downs the entire game and were outgained on offense 483-124.

Mind you, that's with Giants quarterback Eli Manning taking much of the afternoon off. Bothered by a sore heel that prevented him from practicing much of the week, Manning directed four scoring drives, garnered a perfect QB rating of 158.3 then went to the bench so backup David Carr could get in his licks.

Oakland's only saving grace came in the second quarter when running back Michael Bush powered his way into the end zone to cut the Giants lead to 28-7. New York then pitched a shutout in the second half to hand the Raiders their worst loss since a 49-11 setback to Jacksonville on Dec. 23, 2007.

"Other than our effort on special teams, we just got outplayed on both sides of the ball," Cable said. "We're trying to keep pushing through and I just talked about, at some point we have to get a stop so we can move forward as a football team."

That may be tough to do in the coming weeks, especially if Cable is charged with felony assault in the case involving former Raiders assistant Randy Hanson.

In an interview with Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports, Hanson reiterated claims made by his lawyer that Cable attacked him unprovoked and threatened to kill him.

"From my blindside, Tom Cable threw me from my chair and into a piece of furniture that a lamp sat upon," Hanson told Silver. "He was screaming, ‘I'll f***ing kill you! I'll f***ing kill you!' And I have no reason to believe he wouldn't have killed me if they hadn't pulled him away. If my head would've hit a different way, I might be dead right now."

The interview with Hanson, his first since the incident, went into greater detail and provided more insight into what went down than had previously been released.

If true, Cable could be staring at a possible jail sentence as well as a suspension from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

As far as his team goes, Cable has even more serious issues:

-- Oakland's defense continues to be terrible and is showing absolutely no signs of improving outside of an occasional individual play here and there. The run defense was its usual self, allowing the Falcons to put up 220 yards on the ground. The pass defense was equally bad, particularly cornerback Chris Johnson.

Playing opposite Nnamdi Asomugha, Johnson was routinely beaten for the second consecutive game, a growing point of concern as opponents will continue to pound the rock his way until he proves otherwise.

"Eli said after the game that that was the plan, and you hear that no matter what team that you're playing against," Asomugha said of the Giants' design to throw away from his side of the field. "There's other things that we could have done to help that. But they're good quarterbacks. They know where to place the ball, they know how to be smart with it and everything like that."

-- The tandem of Michael Bush and Justin Fargas combined for only 55 yards on 23 carries. Bush, starting in place of injured Darren McFadden, had just 37 yards but did score the team's only touchdown.

-- Quarterback JaMarcus Russell, coming off a fairly decent effort in the loss to Houston, went 8 of 13 for 100 yards but he was sacked six times and fumbled three times. Russell has had an issue with hanging onto the ball when hit from the blindside, but two of his miscues against New York came with the pass rush coming at him from the front.

Russell completed four passes for 69 yards to tight end Zach Miller but no other Oakland player caught more than one. The only wide receiver with a reception, Louis Murphy, caught one pass for two yards. Darrius Heyward-Bey? Nada for the third time in five games.

-- Kick returner Jonathan Holland look far too tentative and continually put the Raiders in a hole with his kickoff returns. The Raiders scored two TDs on this unit in 2008 but haven't come close to breaking a long one this year.

-- Linebacker Ricky Brown suffered a serious ankle sprain, though X-rays taken later were negative. That was a big blow because Brown is one of the emotional leaders on defense. His replacement, Jon Alston, had six tackles.

-- Fullback Luke Lawton also suffered a sprained ankle and had X-rays taken. Like Brown's, Lawton's were negative. But Oakland was already without Oren O'Neal, who has his own ankle injury to deal with.

-- The two main problems on defense were a serious lack of pass rush and major tackling problems. Manning and Carr operated pretty carefree for most of the afternoon, as Oakland failed to register a single sack and was credited with just one QB hurry. Meanwhile, the Giants gained crucial extra yardage time and time again by slipping away from the Raiders' poor tackle attempts.

-- Linebacker Kirk Morrison was one of the few bright spots with 16 tackles and a forced fumble. It's been a rough haul for Morrison, who nearly lost his starting job to Brown in training camp, but he was flying around the ball in New York and came up with his most active game of the season.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING "I'm concerned for this football team, not just JaMarcus. I'm concerned with this football team in that I have so much faith in them, I believe so strongly in them. But at some point you have to draw the line in the sand, you have to put your foot down and say that's enough so that you can move forward as a ball team."

-- Head coach Tom Cable on if he's concerned about the play of quarterback JaMarcus Russell

It can't really be explained, man. We say we are not far on certain plays but not far is not going to get us where we need to be, you know we need to be there you know much closer than we are."

-- Quarterback JaMarcus Russell on the struggles of the offense

"Javon Walker, where are you? We need a veteran. Put him in the lineup. Let's see if he can catch a football. He'll do better than DHB (Darrius Heyward-Bey), I promise you that."

-- Former Raider linebacker and current co-host of the Raiders' post-game show on ComcastSportsNetwork Bill Romanowski



"That was sort of the first day we came to practice. So that's over with."

-- Russell, responding to rumors he's been repeatedly fined by the Raiders for being overweight

"It would take a win in one of these games for us to kind of, I guess, shake off the negative energy. But right now, we're underachieving as a football team. We've got so much talent. You hear the guys after the game, every team comes up to us, ‘Man, you guys are probably the most-talented (team) we've played against.' But, you can't keep underachieving at a high level. There's times when we should really just be dominating, and it's completely the other way around."

-- Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on what it will take to turn the season around

"It would be easy to just stand here right now and just start talking about this or that. But I don't want to do that, I want to get back and look at it. We have to keep pushing forward because, again, I know what we're capable of. It's just a matter of getting them there."

-- Cable on whether he plans to make any changes in the coming weeks


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