Hole was dug with mistakes
Raiders revert to their costly ways
OAKLAND, Calif. - Richard Seymour spent the week downplaying his first matchup with the Patriots since being traded to the Raiders two years ago. He maintained that stance after yesterday’s 31-19 loss.
“No,’’ Seymour said when asked if the loss stung more because it was against New England. “Any game you face, you want to win. No different than last week. Our objective every week is to win. When you don’t get that done, it’s very disappointing.’’
That part about last week was telling. Oakland pounded the Jets in a win that seemed to announce the Raiders were back. Yesterday, the Silver and Black reverted to their old ways, turning the ball over twice and committing nine penalties for 85 yards.
“I don’t think it was a reality check,’’ quarterback Jason Campbell said. “We came out of the gate ready to play. We were making plays. The same thing bit us in the butt – penalties. We’ve got to eliminate the negative penalties.’’
Seymour was the guilty party twice on New England’s opening drive, including a killer personal foul for pulling Tom Brady down after the Patriots were whistled for delay of game on third and 9 at their 21.
The play took place in the south end zone at O.co Coliseum - a.k.a. “The Black Hole’’ - and it seemed like it unfolded in slow motion. The back judge threw the delay of game flag, the ball was snapped, and Brady stopped. However, the line seemed to keep blocking. Seymour came through, and although he didn’t throw Brady to the ground violently - the quarterback called it “kind of gently’’ - he put him down at least five seconds after the whistle.
The Patriots went on to score on a 15-yard pass from Brady to Wes Welker to take a 7-3 lead. The drive was helped by a second Seymour penalty for grabbing the facemask of BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
“They said they blew the whistle but it was so loud, I never heard the whistle,’’ Seymour said. “I didn’t know whether he had the ball or didn’t. I felt the ball so you still continue to take him down when he’s not down. That’s the only way I know how to play.
“We’re in the Black Hole. I couldn’t hear the middle linebacker tell me the call, let alone hear a whistle. There’s still no excuses. That wasn’t the outcome of the game.’’
Seymour wasn’t the only Raider who made mistakes. Campbell came into the game with just one interception on the year - coming on a “Hail Mary’’ at the end of the Buffalo game two weeks ago. Campbell was picked off twice yesterday, one a killer late in the second quarter when Oakland, trailing, 14-10, was driving.
The Raiders had second and goal at the 6 when Campbell dropped back. Darrius Heyward-Bey was in the right side of the end zone and Campbell decided whether to try to throw to Heyward-Bey or throw the ball away. He ended up throwing it right to Patriots safety Patrick Chung in the back of the end zone.
“I was going to throw the ball outside, I started running around trying to make a play,’’ Campbell said. “It was one of them that I just have to throw it out of bounds. I was looking to throw it out of bounds and I was going to throw it out of bounds and I kind of lost control of it a little bit when I was throwing it.’’
Campbell said his “indecision’’ on the play was huge.
“We’d probably have a chance to tie the game at the half if I don’t throw that interception,’’ he said. “It changes the whole game, it changes the whole mind-set.’’
The second pick came in the fourth quarter with Oakland in desperation mode, trailing, 31-13. The Raiders had driven to the Patriots 30 when Campbell tried a short pass to Darren McFadden. Vince Wilfork intercepted the ball and returned it 19 yards.
“I was trying to drop the ball off to Darren and just never saw him,’’ Campbell said.
Now the 2-2 Raiders can hold off on talk about being in the NFL’s elite. However, Oakland believes it isn’t far away. With a game at Houston next week, the Raiders will look to get back on the winning track.
“We’ll watch the film and come back next week,’’ Seymour said. “It’s still a long season, one game doesn’t decide anything. We’ve said that all along. We have to get better as a team.’’