Quick Hits from the Thursday Night Game- Raiders/Chargers

Quick Hits from the Thursday Night Game- Raiders/Chargers 
Alex Dunlap, Rosterwatch.com

1) Raiders QB Carson Palmer LOVES Rookie WR Denarius Moore, and I love it that he loves him. We were much higher on Moore than the Expert Consensus in our Week 10 rankings, and I had him starting in my flex last night. After being targeted a team-high 12 times in Week 9, Moore exploded for a 100+ yard, 2-TD monster in Week 10. Carson Palmer said after the game that Denarius Moore had the potential to be “one of the best receivers in this league.” High praise from a guy who made a career for Chad Johnson and T.J Houshmandzadeh.

2) Giving up one first round pick and one conditional for Palmer does not look so bad for the division-leading Raiders now, does it? He brings a leadership to that young offensive unit that it has sorely needed. We have been wondering when all that electric talent will actually be able to start clicking. We have been wondering when they are going to quit killing themselves with penalties (they lead the league in this dubious statistic). I kept thinking last night- OK, when is the big mental mistake coming? The one that is going to let them blow their 4th 10-point 3rd quarter lead of the season. It didn’t happen. Throw in the fact that Aaron Curry is playing like a 1st round pick that they only gave up a 7th for- and I feel like the highly-criticized set of moves was brilliant.

3) That being said, the Chargers did their best Raiders impression last night- looking like crap, committing costly penalties and turnovers.

4) Chargers LT Marcus McNeil reinjured the neck early in the game, and it became obvious very quickly what an important cog he is in the offense as QB Phillip Rivers’ blind side protector. “Obviously some of the offensive linemen went down and we smelled blood and we just went after him,” said Raiders defensive team captain Richard Seymour. Wimberly, Curry and a beastly rotation of Houston, Kelly and occasionally McClain were getting so much pressure on Rivers that he couldn’t even get short screens off cleanly. He was demolished and treated like a rag doll. He wanted to take his toys and get the hell out of there.

5) On a sad note, in a disturbing recent trend as of late, another person was stabbed last night after the game.


6) Chargers WR Vincent Jackson continues to be frustrating in his inconsistency. But Raiders CB Stanford Routt is quietly being talked about by analysts in the same sentence as shut-down guys like Haden, Revis and Bailey. He kills you in the press with physicality, then has probably the most deceptive closing-speed burst in the league. VJax (understandably) struggled with Routt in the first half, but I have no idea what happened in the second half, when he was getting open on very slow, very caucasian Raiders S Mike Giordanno. He was targeted like crazy and it just appeared that he and Rivers were not on the same page with his routes.

7) Seemingly forgotten in all of this praise for the Raiders is that they got this victory without their best player active. RB Darren McFadden was filled in for brilliantly once again by RB Michael Bush, who will be getting a big new contract somewhere next season. My early picks for most-likely destinations are in this order: 1) Packers  2) Colts  3) Seahawks (Tom Cable connection) 4) Redskins 5) Titans.

8 ) I am beginning to believe what Byron said in the preseason in one of our podcasts. Given the right QB, Raiders WRs Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore can be the West Coast version of Eagles WRs Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Thats just too much sub-4.3 speed. My God.

9) The play of the Raiders offensive line (in both the run game, and in pass protection) cannot be overstated. They are creating huge holes and making near-perfect adjustments to disguised blitz packages.

10) Chargers RB Ryan Mathews played 21 snaps by my count, while Mike Tolbert played 51. For Fantasy owners of Mathews, a guy that returned to action this week “completely healthy”, this is a bit of a disturbing statistic.




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