For One Week, Raiders Make Good on Seymour Trade
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In an upset that could have featured a few headlines: a pidgeon that covers kicks, Jamarcus Russell’s stunning show of competency, and Andy Reid’s surprising dedication to a lifeless pass game, I’m going to highlight the one that simply could not have made Al Davis look any better on Sunday afternoon: Richard Seymour.
One game can not make a trade worthwhile. This is especially true when the other team is forced to play some guy named King Dunlap at LT because second rounder in 2006 Winston Justice cannot cut it at LT. To make the trade worthwhile, the Raiders will need to win games because of contributions made by Richard Seymour. This game is a nice building block; nothing more and nothing less.
Critical numbers: two sacks, a forced fumble, four tackles, and countless amounts of pressure on Donovan McNabb, who was sacked six times, and the Raiders did it completely with pressure on the passer: star CB Nnamdi Asomugha left in the first quarter.
The Raiders did it with pressure, while the Eagles failed in many different phases of passing. When they were successful, they found Brian Westbrook in the open field, either by a well-executed draw play or short open field pass to an uncovered Westbrook, or a short crossing route to DeSean Jackson. McNabb has long been an inaccurate passer, but when he posts numbers such as 22/46, it means he’s not seeing the field like he normally does. The six sacks support this explanation: McNabb wasn’t seeing the field because he didn’t have enough time.
For the Eagles, this doesn’t strike me as just one game. It’s not like they could have leaned on the running game more as Westbrook’s backfield mate, LeSean McCoy, got 13 yards on 5 carries. Westbrook’s injuries prevent him from being a feature back at this point in his career, so when he goes for 50 yards on only 6 carries, someone needs to be able to capitalize on his effort. The Eagles did not score a touchdown in this game, and that can be blamed on passing game inefficiency.
It was in an inefficient game in part because the Eagles managed to make Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson look like a decent CB duo, in spite of the loss of Nnamdi Asomugha. The Eagles failed to take advantage of the coverage mismatch of Michael Huff against DeSean Jackson, as Huff is just now beginning to live up to his first round billing.
The Eagles are seemingly missing the contributions of Correll Buckhalter, who has moved on to better things in Denver. Buckhalter was always an injury concern, but he was a very good player, and there’s been a small drop-off to McCoy, who was unproductive in this game.
The Eagles offensive issues are real, and can be exploited next week by a Redskins defense that is playing very, very well right now. The Raiders get a reeling Jets team who will look to use receivers Braylon Edwards and Jericho Cotchery to stretch a secondary that doesn’t know if it will have Asomugha back yet. I’ll say this about the Raiders and their defensive effort: Richard Seymour made a career out of kicking New York’s butts twice per year. If he shows up and dominates a reeling Jets team, the Raiders have a fighting chance to make something of this season. But it’s a series of must-wins for them up until the bye week, and they’ll need all hands on deck to challenge the Broncos and the Chargers this year.