The Packers scored a touchdown on their first drive, running the ball with Eddie Lacy as they marched the ball right down the Raiders’ throats. Then Oakland’s offense came out and scored on their first drive, going 60 yards on five plays as Maurice Jones-Drew put on his own show with a 40-yard touchdown run. With one series for each team in the books it looked like the offense might show fans what they wanted to see while the defense would continue to disappoint.
Of course, that is not at all the way the rest of the Raiders’ 31-21 loss to the Packers transpired.
While the defense showed improvement throughout the game, the offense hit a brick wall on their very next drive and never really got it going again. The Raiders tried to stick to their run-first game plan, but the offensive line looked offensive yet again. There was nowhere for Darren McFadden to go, which constantly put the team behind schedule on second and third down. As a result, the Packers were able to bring extra pressure on clear passing downs. The offensive line wasn’t up to the task, and an immobile Schaub was unable to do anything without time to survey the field.
But the lack of time wasn’t the only problem. Schaub’s lack of arm strength proved to be an issue as he consistently misread his own abilities and flung passes he had no business throwing. Often times they were well behind receivers and ran the risk of getting picked off. His receivers didn’t help him much, either. Continuing the trend we have seen since the beginning of training camp, Schaub repeatedly hit pass catchers in the hands only to see the ball hit the ground. The worst of which was a pass to a wide open Marcel Reece, which was placed center mass for an easy catch and Reece butterfingered it.
With no run game and no chemistry in the pass game, the Raiders offense had no chance. The offensive line did not give the play-makers much of a shot to make plays, and when they did provide protection, Schaub and the wide receivers failed to execute more often than not. The Raiders have to hope that either the offensive line starts playing much better or Schaub suddenly becomes the Matt Schaub of 2010. If not, this offense could be just as painful to watch as it has been in years past.