Four reasons the Raiders scored only 16 points against NFL’s worst defense

first_imgThe Raiders ran for a sole first down, their fewest first downs via the ground all season.“We were two possessions behind at the end of the half and we had two-minute opportunities, and then we had some two-minute opportunities at the end of the game,” Gruden said. “We fumbled the ball on a running play. We had some penalties. We were unable to convert on third down. We’ve got to run the ball more, and we’ve got to run the ball better. But it’s hard to function right now with a lot of the moving parts that we have. It’s a credit to our team for moving the ball and keeping us in the game.”Derek Carr underthrew Jordy Nelson on would-be touchdownLate in the third quarter with the Raiders trailing 20-10, the Bengals’ coverage collapsed. Jordy Nelson streaked down the right sideline with nobody in the same zip code, and he looked primed to bring the Raiders within three points and finally spark an offense that had been stagnant for the majority of the first three quarters.But Carr’s throw, instead of leading Nelson into the end zone, forced him to come back on the ball and make a sliding catch at the Bengals’ 7-yard line.“You should get points, more than three in that situation,” Gruden said.A false start each from rookie left tackle Kolton Miller and rookie right tackle Brandon Parker and two incompletions later, the Raiders settled for a Daniel Carlson 27-yard field goal. Normally these Raiders will take any 44-yard gain they can get, but the fact this one didn’t go for 51 yards actually made a difference in the Raiders’ comeback quest.“In hindsight, absolutely,” Carr said when asked if he wanted that throw back. “He started digging as soon as I threw it. I was trying to just put it on him. He was digging and looked back. I wish I threw a downfield ball. In my mind, I didn’t want to overthrow this. I’ve seen that happen too many times. It happened to the Bengals earlier in the game. You never want to miss those.”Carr completed only 55 percent of his passes against the Bengals. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)Bengals took away Raiders’ best playerAside from a two-catch, 10-yard day against the Seahawks in Week 6 and a two-catch, 20-yard game against the 49ers in Week 9, Jared Cook had his least effective game of the season against the Bengals with only two catches for 23 yards.Cook logged back-to-back seven-catch, 100-plus-yard games in the two games prior to Sunday’s, but the Bengals were successful in nullifying the Raiders’ best player.“There were a couple of plays I missed him,” Carr said. “There was one on the fumble I was looking for him. There were a lot of times he was doubled, but they didn’t show it. We had to go to other guys in those circumstances. They did a good job of mixing it up. He did a good job on his routes, though. I didn’t have enough time on it. They did a good job, but I think if we had a couple more seconds, we could have hit him.”Cook declined an interview after the game, so we didn’t get to hear from him on what the Bengals did to cause him fits. Instead of relying on their team-leader in catches (63), receiving yards (848) and receiving touchdowns (six) as they often do, the Raiders leaned on a host of others that didn’t do much as 17 of Carr’s 38 passes fell incomplete.“They did a good job. Obviously we didn’t have much time there at times,” Gruden said of Cook’s quiet day. “We were looking for him in some passing situations and we struggled. I think you can see that.”Makeshift offensive line played like oneIt’s no surprise the Raiders’ offensive line resembled Swiss cheese against the Bengals. They started fourth- and fifth-string guards Chaz Green and Denzelle Good with injuries to starters Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson and backup left guard Jon Feliciano. The only surprise was rookie left tackle Kolton Miller, now healthy, played the worst of any of them after a string of sturdy outings sicne he overcame a lingering knee issue.Miller’s biggest gaffe came midway through the first quarter, when Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard blew by him, rocked Carr on his blind side and forced a fumble the Bengals recovered. Miller played next to his fourth left guard of the year on Sunday, with Green joining Osemele, Feliciano and Justin Murray.“It wasn’t too challenging,” Miller said of working next to yet another left guard. “As long as our point was right and communicating didn’t make it too big of a deal. They’re great, great guys … Definitely a big year to learn from and grow from. Really that’s the only thing you can do.”Carr weathered five sacks on Sunday, bringing his season total to 47, alone with the third-most sacks taken among quarterbacks this season. His previous single-season high was 31 sacks taken in 2015. In the last two season combined, Carr went down only 36 times with some of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Safe to say his protection in 2018 is among the league’s worst.“We’re working with our fourth and fifth guards,” Carr said. “They did a great job. We didn’t change the plan. We did what we normally did, and they were able to play with it. There are a few plays we want back, but for the most part they did a really good job.” CINCINNATI — One glance at the Paul Brown Stadium stands revealed how little this game mattered for either team. The crowd, despite being announced at over 44,000 (yeah, right) filled less than half the stadium. The product on the field, especially from the visitors, was equally uninspiring.The Bengals started a quarterback who can’t throw the ball accurately – Jeff Driskel tallied 19 incompletions compared to 14 completions – yet his offense still plastered 30 points on the Raiders. Against the only defense worse than their own in the NFL, the Raiders only mustered 16 points themselves.If anything, the No. 1 pick remained within reach with two games left as the Raiders fell to 3-11 thanks to an inept offense that they’ve seen all too often this season. But where did the gunslinging Derek Carr of recent weeks go?Here are four reasons the Raiders couldn’t get anything going against a team that allowed a league-worst 30.5 point per game in their first 13 games. Raiders unable to establish ground gameOf course stats don’t mean everything, but the Bengals allowed 148.1 yards per game on the ground entering Sunday. You’d think the Raiders would be able to drum up something on the ground, even with two backup guards and a backfield that shouldn’t strike fear into anyone. Yet the Raiders only ran for 68 yards, their fourth-lowest total of the season, and their longest run of the game came on a 21-yard sweep to their fourth-string tight end in the first quarter.“There’s no excuse,” starting running back Doug Martin said when asked why the Raiders weren’t able to generate anything on the ground. “We have two guards down. I have to carry the flag and I couldn’t get rolling the way I wanted to. We didn’t have it today.”Martin ran for 39 yards on nine carries. Darren Waller had the one sweep for 21 yards. Jalen Richard carried four times for 9 yards and lost a fumble. DeAndre Washington ran once for a single yard and Seth Roberts’ end-around went for a loss of 2. The Raiders ran 16 times total, their second-fewest carries in a game this season, ahead of only their 13 rushes against the Chargers in Week 5.last_img read more

Healing in South Africa’s fynbos soil

first_img26 May 2015Bacteria rich fynbos soil could bolster the battle against disease with its own unique antibiotics, according to new research undertaken at Stellenbosch University.In his quest to discover new antibiotics, Dr Du Preez van Staden turned to fynbos to look for a group of peptide antibiotics, called lantibiotics. These have the same function as strong antibiotics that are used to treat bacterial infections.Van Staden says of the two lantibiotic-producing bacteria found in the soil, one helps to produce a new lantibiotic that works to kill disease-causing bacteria.“Results showed that the bacteria from fynbos soils produced lantibiotics that are active against a range of bacteria,” he says.This includes Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. It can cause mild infection on the skin, resulting in sores or boils. In some cases it can cause more serious skin infections or infect the lungs, the bloodstream or surgical wounds.It is spread by contact.“We also found that these lantibiotics were just as effective as a well-known commercially available product used for the treatment of skin infections and did not negatively affect wound healing,” Van Staden adds. “The role lantibiotics may play in wound healing is currently being investigated.”Apart from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, he says, lantibiotics also have the potential to help fight bacteria that cause abdominal infections, crusting blisters on the skin, infections of medical implants and soft tissue under the skin, gastroenteritis, infection of the back of the throat and scarlet fever.“Lantibiotics could be an attractive alternative to traditional antibiotics/antimicrobial treatments and could also be used in conjunction with commercially available antimicrobial products for a more effective reduction in bacterial resistance.”The newly discovered lantibiotic has a stronger stability than two other known lantibiotics. “Commercially, this would possibly translate into a product with a longer shelf-life.”He says his research could have a significant health impact because skin and soft tissue infections are the most common types of infections, made worse by the increase in antibiotic resistance.Source: News24Wirelast_img read more

The Bigger the Deal

first_imgThe bigger the opportunity, the more difficult it will be to win. The nature of big deals is that there are more competitors competing to create value and differentiate themselves. There are also more relationships to manage. These factors (and many others) make them more difficult to win.Larger deals generally take longer than smaller deals, unless there is a super compelling reason to change. Large opportunities are more rare because the companies with partners in place pay a price to change. It costs them time, energy, and political capital. But if there is a serious issue, they can change faster because they have more at stake.It is more difficult to competitively displace an incumbent supplier than you might believe, even when they aren’t doing nearly as well as they should be. In addition to the difficulty changing suppliers, it’s difficult to fire your friends. When you’ve worked with people for a long time, you want to give the benefit of the doubt. If your relationships are great, you want to keep them. This fact is underestimated.Your sales process is more important on larger deals. You can get away with some mistakes on smaller deals. You might even be able to skip whole stages of your sales process without paying the price. But the larger the opportunity, the more closely it is going to need to follow your sales process. Skipping stages will cause you to lose the opportunity, even if you make it to a presentation.Large deals that move for price are usually driven to demand price concessions by factors other than the value being created by the supplier. There are some companies that expect their partners to give them a price concession every year, even though that supplier’s costs go up every year. It’s not an easily sustained model. But many companies switch to a supplier with a lower price because it is easier than fixing what is really wrong with their business.Big opportunities almost always require more people’s approval, increasing the need to build consensus. Bigger deals almost always touch more people. No one wants to step over people and impose a decision on them that will result in their rebelling against that decision, digging in their heels, and blowing up the deal. It’s easier to get everybody on board before the decision is made. This is one reason so many opportunities lose to the most dangerous competitor you will ever have, the status quo.Larger deals almost always come with greater risk. They generally require more assurances that the incoming partner can and will be able to execute. Big spending likely means the purchase is more strategic, even when it is a commodity. Because there is more risk, the client is likely to want more assurances, and they will likely have more and greater concerns.Some of the biggest opportunities will require that you put more skin in the game, that you invest, or that you put something at risk. You may have to invest money to build the right program. You might need to invest in people or building capabilities. Or you might have to provide guarantees.The bigger the deals, the more difficult they are to win.last_img read more

Weekend Reading

first_imgPosted on December 3, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Recently on the MHTF blog:We heard from Young Champion Seth CochranYoung Champion Ifeyinwa Egwaoje spoke at a TED event organized by Tulane UniversityThe Wilson Center hosted a Maternal Health Policy Dialogue on access to commoditiesGood news and bad news from Future Generations in PeruSome reading for the weekend:Unsafe abortions on the rise (via Women Deliver)Antenatal counseling and job aids in BeninMaternova on the paperless partographShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Government Reviewing Decision of the Court

first_img The Supreme Court today handed down it’s ruling on aspects of the 2017 National Identification and Registration Act. The Government is respectful of the court’s ruling and will spend some time carefully reviewing the judgment, after which a more fulsome response will be forthcoming.The Government would like to place on record its sincere gratitude to the full court panel comprising of Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, Justice David Batts and Justice Lisa Palmer Hamilton for their considered judgment. Story Highlights The Supreme Court today handed down it’s ruling on aspects of the 2017 National Identification and Registration Act. The Government is respectful of the court’s ruling and will spend some time carefully reviewing the judgment, after which a more fulsome response will be forthcoming.center_img The Government would like to place on record its sincere gratitude to the full court panel comprising of Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, Justice David Batts and Justice Lisa Palmer Hamilton for their considered judgment.last_img read more