Reviewing the Oakland Raiders 2009 Season

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 27: Michael Gaines #86 of the Cleveland Browns is hit by Hiram Eugene #31 of the Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

The 2009 NFL Season Reviews roll on with a look at the Oakland Raiders. In the first game of the 2009 season, the Raiders hung tough against a heavily favored Chargers team. When they followed that up with a win over Kansas City, it looked like this might be the year that they turned the corner. Sadly, for Raider fans, it was not to be, as Oakland won only 5 games. The team may have been distracted by Head Coach Tom Cable’s off the field issues, but for whatever reason, they failed to improve on last season’s win total. However, there were some reasons for hope, which we’ll get into with this piece.

Before you read further, you might want to take a look at the Season Reviews Informational Post, which describes the methodology and data presented in the following tables.

First, Table 1 gives a general overview of the Raiders’ season as a whole.  

Team Offense Value Rank   Team Defense Value Rank
Points 197 31   Points 379 23
Yards 4258 31   Yards 5791 26
Cmp 255   Cmp 259
Att 485   Att 438
Pass Yards 2557 29   Pass Yards 3303 7
NY/A 4.8 30   NY/A 7 27
Pass TD 10 32   Pass TD 16 6
Pass INTs 18 20   Pass INTs 8 31
Rush Yards 1701 21   Rush Yards 2488 29
Rush TD 7 27   Rush TD 24 31
Y/A 4.1 19   Y/A 4.5 28
Sacks 49 30   Sacks 37 11
 
Table 1

As we can see, Oakland’s one bright spot was in pass defense. In fact, it was pretty darn good, finishing 7th in passing yards allowed, 6th in passing TDs allowed, and 11th in sacks. Surprisingly, with such good pass defense, they were next to last in interceptions. On offense, there were really no bright spots. The rushing game was better, and it averaged a very respectable 4.1 YPC, the passing game effectively minimized that strength. Let’s see if Table 2 shows the same results.


Oak Pts Opp D
Opp Pts Opp O
Opp Score Avg Pt Diff1 Score Avg Pt Diff2
San Diego Chargers 20 20 0 24 28.38 -4.38
Kansas City Chiefs 13 26.5 -13.5 10 18.38 -8.38
Denver Broncos 3 20.25 -17.25 23 20.38 2.63
Houston Texans 6 20.81 -14.81 29 24.25 4.75
New York Giants 7 26.69 -19.69 44 25.13 18.88
Philadelphia Eagles 13 21.06 -8.06 9 26.81 -17.81
New York Jets 0 14.75 -14.75 38 21.75 16.25
San Diego Chargers 16 20 -4 24 28.38 -4.38
Kansas City Chiefs 10 26.5 -16.5 16 18.38 -2.38
Cincinnati Bengals 20 18.19 1.81 17 19.06 -2.06
Dallas Cowboys 7 15.63 -8.63 24 22.56 1.44
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 20.25 6.75 24 23 1
Washington Redskins 13 21 -8 34 16.63 17.38
Denver Broncos 20 20.25 -0.25 19 20.38 -1.38
Cleveland Browns 9 23.44 -14.44 23 15.31 7.69
Baltimore Ravens 13 16.31 -3.31 21 24.44 -3.44
Sum Difference     -134.63     25.81

Table 2

Although the defense as a whole was not highly ranked, this data shows that the offense was clearly more of a liability for Oakland. The points differential for the offense was more than 5 times that of the defense. For the entire season, the defense only allowed a cumulative 25 points above the opponents’ averages while the defense scored 134 points below. Table 3, below, shows the same story. 


Oak Yds Opp D
Opp Yds Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Yd Diff1 Gained Avg Yd Diff2
San Diego Chargers 366 326.88 39.13 317 360.06 -43.06
Kansas City Chiefs 166 388.19 -222.19 409 303.19 105.81
Denver Broncos 137 315 -178 372 341.44 30.56
Houston Texans 165 324.88 -159.88 329 383.06 -54.06
New York Giants 124 324.88 -200.88 483 366 117
Philadelphia Eagles 325 321.06 3.94 283 357.88 -74.88
New York Jets 263 252.31 10.69 447 321 126
San Diego Chargers 180 326.88 -146.88 346 360.06 -14.06
Kansas City Chiefs 272 388.19 -116.19 318 303.19 14.81
Cincinnati Bengals 275 301.38 -26.38 348 309.13 38.88
Dallas Cowboys 305 315.88 -10.88 494 399.38 94.63
Pittsburgh Steelers 396 305.31 90.69 401 371.31 29.69
Washington Redskins 227 319.69 -92.69 295 312.38 -17.38
Denver Broncos 343 315 28 337 341.44 -4.44
Cleveland Browns 389 389.31 -0.31 282 260.19 21.81
Baltimore Ravens 325 300.5 24.5 330 351.19 -21.19
Sum Difference     -957.31     350.13

Table 3

Although the difference is not as pronounced as in Table 2, here we see again that the offense is much more of a weakness than the defense.  The next two tables will help to show which aspects of offense and defense were more to blame.


Oak P-Yd Opp D
Opp P-Yd Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Pa Diff1 Gained Avg Pa Diff2
San Diego Chargers 218 209.25 8.75 240 271.13 -31.13
Kansas City Chiefs 99 231.69 -132.69 236 182.63 53.38
Denver Broncos 42 186.31 -144.31 157 226.69 -69.69
Houston Texans 120 217.94 -97.94 209 290.88 -81.88
New York Giants 64 214.06 -150.06 263 251.19 11.81
Philadelphia Eagles 209 216.38 -7.38 216 255.56 -39.56
New York Jets 144 153.69 -9.69 131 148.75 -17.75
San Diego Chargers 81 209.25 -128.25 246 271.13 -25.13
Kansas City Chiefs 90 231.69 -141.69 206 182.63 23.38
Cincinnati Bengals 183 203.06 -20.06 171 180.63 -9.63
Dallas Cowboys 181 225.38 -44.38 299 267.94 31.06
Pittsburgh Steelers 287 215.44 71.56 269 259.25 9.75
Washington Redskins 162 207.25 -45.25 195 218.13 -23.13
Denver Broncos 102 186.31 -84.31 257 226.69 30.31
Cleveland Browns 301 244.69 56.31 118 129.75 -11.75
Baltimore Ravens 274 207.25 66.75 90 213.69 -123.69
Sum Difference     -802.63     -273.63

Table 4


Oak R-Yd Opp D
Opp R-Yd Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Ru Diff1 Gained Avg Ru Diff2
San Diego Chargers 148 117.63 30.38 77 88.94 -11.94
Kansas City Chiefs 67 156.5 -89.5 173 120.56 52.44
Denver Broncos 95 128.69 -33.69 215 114.75 100.25
Houston Texans 45 106.94 -61.94 120 92.19 27.81
New York Giants 60 110.81 -50.81 220 114.81 105.19
Philadelphia Eagles 116 104.69 11.31 67 102.31 -35.31
New York Jets 119 98.63 20.38 316 172.25 143.75
San Diego Chargers 99 117.63 -18.63 100 88.94 11.06
Kansas City Chiefs 182 156.5 25.5 112 120.56 -8.56
Cincinnati Bengals 92 98.31 -6.31 177 128.5 48.5
Dallas Cowboys 124 90.5 33.5 195 131.44 63.56
Pittsburgh Steelers 109 89.88 19.13 132 112.06 19.94
Washington Redskins 65 112.44 -47.44 100 94.25 5.75
Denver Broncos 241 128.69 112.31 80 114.75 -34.75
Cleveland Browns 88 144.63 -56.63 164 130.44 33.56
Baltimore Ravens 51 93.25 -42.25 240 137.5 102.5
Sum Difference     -154.69     623.75

Table 5

Passing offense is clearly the biggest weakness on this team. Rushing defense isn’t spectacular either, but the strength of the passing defense helps to mitigate the damage there somewhat. On offense, the running game is a relative strength compared to the passing game. To be fair, there was some improvement as the season progressed. In the first nine games, the offense passed for more than 120 yards below the opponents’ average 5 times (more than 140 yards below the average 3 of those 5). In those nine games, they exceeded the opponent’s average only once. In the final seven games, Oakland passed for worse than 50 yards below the opponent’s average only once, and they exceeded the average three times. Looking at the rushing defense, I don’t see the same level of improvement.

So, going into this season’s draft, what is their biggest need? Looking at this data, it would seem that the passing game improved, so maybe JaMarcus Russell in making strides. But, looking at the box scores of some of those late games, he split time in just about all of them. Perhaps you give him another year and hope that his two rookie receivers grow into next season. If that’s the case, the Raiders may look to the best player that could solidify their run defense. It will be interesting to see which direction they choose.

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