– The defense made some big stops on 3rd down, early; keeping us in the game until the 4th quarter.
– Given the opportunity to come back in and correct mistakes, Thigpen made the most of it, showing why the Chiefs consider him a potential solid starter or backup. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t starting-QB quality…but he didn’t really suck once he got settled down. He scrambled to pick up some first downs, bought time by bootlegging and throwing well on the run, and had as many TD passes as INTs (1). Less than 50% completion, but I think that will improve if he gets the start this coming week.
– We couldn’t stop the run. We couldn’t run. We couldn’t pass with any consistency.
– Our LB corps was considered to be a strength as recently as the early 2008 offseason. Now it is clearly only better than the right side of the O-line.
– Mr. Dependable, Dustin Colquitt, shanked his first punt for just 17 yards.
– The right side of the O-line is pretty much a swinging gate.
– The Raiders, a team that looked completely hapless against Denver, embarrassed us on our homefield with an easy win.
– Even worse, the Raiders were a team in total disarray last week, with the Head Coach in an open feud with his D-coordinator. This sort of soap opera shouldn’t result in a solid win in an away game.
Reasons for Optimism
– If Brodie can’t stay healthy, Thigpen may end up a solid starting QB. With as good as the Raiders are on D-line (Burgess led the NFL in sacks in 2006, they have good safeties and CBs, and their LBers have some speed and ability in Morrison), and this being Thigpen’s first extended playing time, he didn’t do bad. He looked better than, say, Ryan Leaf or Todd Marinovich. Or even better than Jamarcus Russell. All these players got more than just one game to show beyond a shadow of a doubt they can’t start in the NFL; Thigpen need a few more chances, and if he continues at anything close to the rate he improved during the game, we could end up with a good, scrappy starting QB who can win.
Reasons for Pessimism
– We were nearly shut out in our home opener to the Raiders, a team thoroughly humiliated by the Broncos last week. We looked listless and out-of-sync the whole game. Sometimes that’s what happens when your 3rd string QB has to play most of the game. But at this point, our players are defeating themselves as much as anyone else.
Write it down: we lost because…
– The right side of our O-line is so bad, it makes our overall O-line almost as bad as last year’s, i.e., still just about the worst in the NFL.
– I’m a big fan of DJ, and I think Pat Thomas is improving, but our LBs are clearly far below average. This also negates the excellent work being done by the D-line, CBs, and Ss. We need at least one more, maybe two more solid starting LBs to compete in this league. Thomas improved enough to make me hope he may end up there soon. If neither he nor Demorrio Williams step it up, we’ll be lucky to win 5 games this season.