The Oakland Raiders demonstrated Friday that their offensive line was incapable of holding back Rob Ryan’s rejuvenated Saints defense, although it has only been a year since New Orleans put forth the worst defense in NFL history. Yes the new-age incredible hulk, Jared Veldheer, partially tore his left triceps and it is a massive set back for a team in a rebuilding stage, but that is no excuse for 5 first half sacks.
The fact is that almost every offensive lineman played completely horrible leading to horrible play by all of the quarterbacks, regardless of Flynn’s stat line of 12-16 for 124 yards. So the question becomes, should the Raiders continue fighting for Flynn to be the starter with the ill-equipped offensive line in front of him, or choose the mobile threat in Terrelle Pryor so the receivers have a chance to run 5 yards before the QB is hit.
While it was obvious the O-line was not ready for the blitz-happy saints defense, Flynn was sacked 5 times, and admittedly made bad decisions under pressure. When Pryor was finally allowed to play in the second half, he was able to scramble and avoid pressure and seemed like the only viable option to run any kind of offensive plays.
Unfortunately the Raiders offensive wasn’t the only thing worth complaining about last night. The defense allowed 23 points against the Saints first team offense before the Raiders could get on the board. We all know Drew Brees is Drew Brees, but he had enough time for a water break in the backfield before he threw the ball and even Jamarcus Russell could have found someone open in that amount of time. The corners and safeties were unable to contain Jimmy Graham and company and it was an all-around embarrassment regardless of the final score.
After beating Dallas, the Raiders showed signs of improvement, but after being dismantled by New Orleans, Oakland looks as if they couldn’t stop the University of Alabama, let alone last season’s best defense, the Chicago Bears next Friday.