A day after the Raiders were stunned by the Broncos, the team was still trying to understand what went so wrong in a 38-24 loss.
Speaking to reporters Monday, head coach Hue Jackson said he and his players were concerned with all that failed when they watched film of Sunday’s loss.
The bottom line, he said, was, “We didn’t get it done.”
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour echoed Jackson, saying the breakdowns on defense – specifically when the Broncos rushed for 230 yards in the second half – could be attributed to poor execution.
Not a poor game plan or bad coaching, but poor execution on the field.
“When you don’t execute what the game plan is and taking care of your responsibilities,” he said, “it’s real simple.” But, he added, “It’s easier said than done.”
In just two days, however, the 4-4 Raiders have to get back on the right track for a Thursday night game against the 4-4 Chargers.
Whether running back Darren McFadden will be able to play – he did not practice yesterday – also remains in doubt.
ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck broke down the Raiders’ efforts in their two consecutive losses, to the Chiefs and Broncos, and provided his formula Monday night for what Oakland must do to get back to its winning ways.
Hasselbeck said “panic” already has set in, and Jackson is feeling the pressure from two straight losses after trading a bundle to get quarterback Carson Palmer.
“I think they need to treat Carson Palmer the way they were treating Jason Campbell. And that’s turn him into a game manager, don’t ask him to do too much. Carson Palmer clearly doesn’t look comfortable in that offense yet, nor should he. He just got there.
“They need to rely heavily on that run game. … You do that, you lessen Carson Palmer’s attempts and you give your defense a better chance to succeed by not putting them on a short field after a turnover.
“You do that with the AFC West still wide open, the Oakland Raiders might still have a chance.”
That formula doesn’t account for several other things, of course: McFadden’s injury, the failure of defenders to fill gaps and shut down the run and the fact the Raiders are the most penalized team in the NFL.
But Michael Bush has shown he can be a workhorse when called upon, and the run-first creed was successful through this season’s first six games. Perhaps, as Hasselbeck notes, it’s time to revert to the original formula.