Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Well, it wasn’t an ACTUAL shootout like we saw the last time the Oakland Raiders played. It was surely an offensive shootout with two teams moving up and down the field at will in NBC's national telecast. Let’s run the numbers…
NEW ORLEANS 40, OAKLAND 20
- Total Yardage: New Orleans 520, Oakland 406
- Yards-Per-Play: New Orleans 7.3, Oakland 7.0
- Third Downs: New Orleans 60%, Oakland 27%
- Turnovers: New Orleans 0, Oakland 1
- Halftime Score: New Orleans 17, Oakland 10
Not exactly a defensive struggle. Both offenses cracked seven YPP. More than 900 total yards in the game. If you watched on TV, you know that both offenses had success spreading out the opposing defense then finding wide open seams. Oakland’s turnover was a deflected pick in the end zone late in the first half that took points off the board. Poor second halves continue for Oakland, with the Saints winning here 23-10. The good news is that most of the guys on the field in second halves for the Raiders will have limited regular season minutes. The bad news is that depth looks like it’s going to be an issue over the wear and tear of the season. Jason Campbell was 12-17-1-150 in the air for a 92.8 passer rating. He’s holding his own this summer. Drew Brees was 15-23-0-189 for a 90.7 rating. Once again this year the Saints look to have a lot in common with New England. Big offensive numbers, but concerns on defense. Oakland’s first month will have a road game at Denver and home games vs. the Jets and Patriots. New Orleans starts the season with a Thursday Nighter in Green Bay…matching the last two Super Bowl champs.
We didn’t get a chance to run everything from Saturday in our last evening report. Let’s get caught up with that now…
DALLAS 23, MINNESOTA 17
- Total Yardage: Dallas 344, Minnesota 442
- Yards-Per-Play: Dallas 5.6, Minnesota 7.0
- Third Downs: Dallas 46%, Minnesota 50%
- Turnovers: Dallas 0, Minnesota 1
- Halftime Score: Dallas 17, Minnesota 10
Minnesota had better production obviously. But, a turnover helped eat into that edge. And, Dallas returned a blocked field goal attempt for a touchdown. That 17-10 halftime score for the Pokes could easily have been 13-10 for the Vikings. Tony Romo and Donovan McNabb both had fairly professional games in their dress rehearsals. Their passer ratings were in the low 90’s. Not quite elite compared to others we’ve seen this week…right at the level that’s expected. Dallas finishes the Preseason at Miami next week, while Minnesota hosts Houston. Intensity gets kicked way up in the first week of the regular season. Minnesota heads West to face San Diego. Dallas also has a tough draw, opening at the Jets in a Sunday Night game.
DENVER 23, SEATTLE 20
- Total Yardage: Seattle 183, Denver 450
- Yards-Per-Play: Seattle 3.4, Denver 6.3
- Third Downs: Seattle 21%, Denver 36%
- Turnovers: Seattle 0, Denver 1
- Halftime Score: Seattle 3, Denver 10
- Denver dominated the stats to an extreme degree even if they didn’t dominate on the scoreboard. What happened? Seattle had a kickoff return TD, or this would have been a double digit win for the hosts. Kyle Orton was 16-23-1-236 for a passer rating of 99.2. He would have been well into the 100’s without the pick. Tavaris Jackson was 13-22-0-93 for an 84.1 rating. That’s very low yardage for 22 attempts. You can see the team couldn’t convert third downs. Seattle may already be regretting letting Matt Hasselbeck get away. Be sure you’re compiling a short list of offenses who AREN’T in synch yet. It’s going to matter against full speed defenses in two weeks. Seattle opens at San Francisco in a game that could get really ugly. Maybe a tune-up vs. Seattle next week will help. Denver visits Arizona next week, then hosts the Raiders in the finale of Week One on Monday Night Football.
SAN DIEGO 34, ARIZONA 31
- Total Yardage: San Diego 432, Arizona 431
- Yards-Per-Play: San Diego 6.5, Arizona 7.6
- Third Downs: San Diego 50%, Arizona 50%
- Turnovers: San Diego 1, Arizona 1
- Halftime Score: San Diego 17, Arizona 24
The Wise Guys expected a shootout, driving the Vegas total up from 39 to 42 through the week. Then the teams scored 41 in the first half! Scoring was helped a bit by non-offensive points. San Diego had a fumble return, Arizona an interception return. Take those out and it’s still 27-24 with over 850 yards and great conversion rates. Kevin Kolb had a few big plays, posting a passing line of 11-20-0-205 for a 107.3 rating. Philip Rivers was hurt by a pick…posting a passing line of 18-28-1-198 for a passer rating of 94.0. Both offenses look ready for the season to start. Will the defenses be ready? Arizona has an easy draw in Week One, hosting Carolina. San Diego opens at home against Minnesota.
In Sunday’s pennant race action…
*In the AL East…the New York Yankees split a doubleheader in Baltimore. That keeps them two games behind idle Boston. Note that the Yanks and Red Sox begin a series in Fenway Tuesday Night.
*In the AL Central, both Detroit and Cleveland lost, keeping the Indians 6.5 games behind the Tigers. The Chicago White Sox moved into second place with a win at Seattle. The Chisox trail Detroit by six games.
*In the AL West…Texas, not intimidated by Jered Weaver moving up in the rotation, beat the LA Angels 9-5 on ESPN’s Sunday Night game. That moves their lead back to three games. Texas next three series will feature Tampa Bay, Boston, and Tampa Bay again…with the last two matchups being on the road. The Halos hope to make up ground at Seattle, at home against Minnesota, then at home against Seattle. It’s now or never for the Angels, who MUST make some hay with this very friendly upcoming schedule.
*In the NL West…Arizona added to its lead on San Francisco. The D-backs beat San Diego, while San Francisco was losing in extra innings to horrible Houston. Arizona’s lead is now four games. San Francisco is 10-19 over its last 29 games…hitting the skids just when they needed to win the most. A soft spot in the schedule brought them seven recent meetings with the lowly Astros. The Giants went 3-4, with two of the wins coming in extra innings. San Francisco just went 1-4-2 in nine inning “games” vs. Houston!
Thanks for bearing with us during some computer down time. We should be back to a normal schedule very soon…