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Week 5 Game Recap: Oakland Raiders 7, New York Giants 44


Oakland Raiders

QB JaMarcus Russell, Pass: 8 - 13 - 100 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0

Russell was actually reasonably accurate in this one, but a ball security problem reared its ugly head vs. the Giants to negate any positive effects of his quality downfield throwing. Russell lost three fumbles, including one on a corner blitz from Terrell Thomas that he didn't feel, and another when he actually escaped the initial pressure only to get hit outside of the pocket as he was about to throw. Russell threw with pinpoint accuracy on two downfield throws to Zach Miller in the middle of the field, and he tossed one perfect arcing deep ball to Louis Murphy that took a leaping breakup from Russell's nemesis today, Terrell Thomas. Russell did have a few ugly throws, including one about five yards short to Darrius Heyward-Bey, and a deep ball to no one in particular. He did flash some toughness on his runs, and one excellent bullet throw on the run that showed off his arm strength. Russell was under pressure all day from the Giants defensive ends. It looked like they were unblocked at times, and on at least one sack, they were. Russell had some problems today, but the blame for the offense stalling out deserves to be spread around.

RB Michael Bush, Rush: 12 - 37 - 1, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)

Bush answered the bell and ran very hard in his first start this year. He had the body lean of a power back and he broke a few tackles by running behind his pads. Bush notched the only Raiders TD on the day on a well-blocked run up the gut inside the five.

RB Justin Fargas, Rush: 11 - 18 - 0, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (1 targets)

Fargas rarely found room to run, and he wasn't creating at all after contact. He did get a carry in the red zone, only to fumble it away, but the play was blown dead before CC Brown picked it up and returned it for a TD. Fargas did at least display good vision when there was a hole to hit, and he squirmed underneath a tackle to get extra yards on one run.

WR Louis Murphy, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (3 targets)

Murphy got a step on Terrell Thomas, and he was ready to haul in the bomb from Russell, but Thomas sprung up at the last second to deflect the ball away. He did draw a pass interference on an intermediate route, and caught a short ball in space, but couldn't do anything after the catch.

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (2 targets)

Both of Heyward-Bey's targets were uncatched because they were low and short of the receiver. He continues to struggle to make any kind of impact.

TE Zach Miller, Rec: 4 - 69 - 0 (4 targets)

It's clear that defenses can't keep track of Miller downfield. Twice he found huge dead spots in the Giants zone defense, and twice Russell threw a dart to Miller for a big gain. He also caught a pair of passes as Russell's outlet. His week-to-week production will fluctuate with Russell's performance, but Miller seems to be the #1 target in this meager passing game.


New York Giants

QB David Carr, Pass: 9 - 14 - 90 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 27 - 1

Carr got over a half of work, and demonstrated some of the reasons he was a #1 overall pick for the Texans. He ran well when he was flushed from the pocket, including a touchdown run in the red zone that started with him eluding Gerard Warren. He threw short and intermediate passes with good velocity and accuracy, including a back shoulder throw that Mario Manningham dropped. He threw into tight windows. Carr even tossed a gorgeous deep ball to Hakeem Nicks that barely drew him out of bounds. On the other hand, Carr also seemed antsy in the pocket, even when there was no pressure, and he seemed too eager to pull the down the ball and run when his initial reads were not open. He looked like one of the better backups in the league, but one with the same old limitations that we're used to seeing.

QB Eli Manning, Pass: 8 - 10 - 173 - 2 TD / 0 INT

Manning couldn't have done much more to show that he will be fine as he plays through his foot injury. He lofted two perfect deep balls in his ten attempts, including one for a TD to Mario Manningham. He threw his short and intermediate passes with zip and accuracy. Both of his incompletions were on target, but dropped by the intended receiver. His second TD pass was a bullet to Hakeem Nicks over the middle. The Giants wisely pulled Manning when the game got out of hand. We didn't really get to see how Manning's foot injury is affecting his ability to move in the pocket and run because the Raiders got no pressure on him.

RB Brandon Jacobs, Rush: 21 - 67 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets)

At first, Jacobs was running with a less than impressive burst, and he left the game for a spell in the first quarter (it was later reported that he suffered a burner which caused him to leave the game). Jacobs had three straight carries inside the five on the opening drive, but could not score before yielding to Ahmad Bradshaw. After his return to the game, Jacobs ran with a better burst and won a lot more collsions. He was productive on runs inside the tackles, but did almost nothing on his runs to the outside. Jacobs did look very natural on his reception, which is encouraging for a player who has had his share of trouble in the passing game in his career.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw, Rush: 11 - 110 - 2, Rec: 1 - 55 - 0 (1 targets)

Bradshaw eviscerated the Raiders defense, with a lot of help from a dominant offensive line performance. He was often untouched until he was at least ten yards downfield. Bradshaw got in on fourth and goal to finish the Giants first drive after Brandon Jacobs left the game with a neck stinger, and he stayed in for the next two drives, which was enough for Bradshaw to have one of the best fantasy days of any RB in week 5. He could have walked in on his 19-yard TD run, and once he made the first man miss on his screen pass catch, it was off to the races for Bradshaw. He ran with a fantastic burst, and he was very slippery in the open field. Bradshaw did have a fumble in the red zone, but it was recovered by the Giants.

RB Gartrell Johnson, Rush: 5 - 16 - 0

Johnson got mop-up duty. It wasn't pretty at first, as he ran into David Carr on his initial carry and fumbled. Eventually he did get going with sharp cuts and irresistable leg drive that took a few Raiders for a ride in the fourth quarter.

WR Hakeem Nicks, Rec: 4 - 49 - 1 (6 targets)

Nicks already seems to be a primary part of the Giants passing game, even as a #3 receiver. He found the opening in the Raiders zone coverage on his TD, and flashed the hands, adjustment, and run after catch skills that made him a first-round draft pick in April. He tracked a deep ball from David Carr perfectly and hauled it in, but could not get both feet in bounds. He looks ready to make a big contribution this season.

WR Steve Smith, Rec: 3 - 70 - 0 (4 targets)

Smith had one early drop, but otherwise he looked the part of a number one wideout. Smith got behind the speedy Chris Johnson for his deep catch, and got some good yards after the reception on one of his other two grabs with a crafty move. He also drew a pass interference call on an intermediate route. His owners should be pleased that this game represents his floor going forward.

WR Mario Manningham, Rec: 2 - 36 - 1 (3 targets)

Manningham's TD was too easy, as he slipped behind Chris Johnson on a deep corner route in the end zone. Manningham broke yet another tackle on his other catch. He left the game with a chest injury, but the injury is not considered serious and should not be a problem in the future.

WR Domenik Hixon

Hixon has been pushed out of the passing game and relegated to special teams by Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks.

TE Darcy Johnson, Rec: 3 - 26 - 0 (4 targets)

Johnson got the start in place of Kevin Boss and showed surprisingly good pass catching skills. He got the first target of the day, and also snagged a pass directly over his head in the red zone that many TEs would not have been fluid enough to bring in. He did get a target that could have turned into a TD down the seam, but Thomas Howard had very good coverage on Johnson.

TE Travis Beckum, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (2 targets)

Beckum made one leaping catch early and a broke a tackle to get some extra yards on his other target, but he is going to be a marginal part of the passing game with the Giants having three quality young wide receivers.


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