Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Draft Day Thread

I apologize for being an absentee landlord! Life is coming at me fast, but you are all keeping the lights on and I value the discourse, so let's keep it going. I may be short on takes lately, but I'm having fun reading yours. GO RAIDERS!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Chargers Gameday Thread

 The rumors of a Jon Gruden return are a fitting punctuation mark on this flailing 2017 campaign. These are desperate times. Let’s see if we can end this lost season on a respectable note.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Eagles Gameday Thread

Hard to muster much of a take here unless the Raiders muster a good effort tonight. From here on out, it's all about pride and poise, do they have it?

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Cowboys Gamenight Thread

The season is hanging by a thread, so the Raiders need to hang on tight tonight. Let's see if they can find their pride and muster a victory for the home crowd.

Monday, December 11, 2017

One Postgame Take

Unless the Raiders win out from here, they will at best notch a .500 record this year.  

As such, the Raiders will have gone 15 consecutive years with only one winning season. In a parity-driven league, this is inconceivable.

Reggie McKenzie was hired in January of 2012. Therefore, 2017 is his sixth year at the helm (damn, time flies, doesn't it?).

Yet we will still end this season with a massive to-do list: improving a bottom-of-the-barrel defense; implementing a Beast Mode succession plan; and fixing whatever the hell has gone sideways with the passing game.

The half life of Al Davis's poor decisions has long expired. Mark Davis, Reggie McKenzie and Jack Del Rio are responsible for this collective underperformance.

What I saw on Sunday was the worst you could say about an NFL team that was supposed to be a contender this year, and that was in a must-win situation: they were soft.

Del Rio is a defensive-oriented coach, and yet he is presiding over a marshmallow defensive unit. Our offense was humming last year, and he fired the offensive coordinator. Reggie's draft record is certifiably questionable. Mark Davis is taking his toys and heading to Las Vegas. Based on what I'm seeing, this team doesn't seem to have a lot of  heart (if you think I'm mistaken, please explain).

Frankly, it's a buzzkill, and barring a miracle, we are already facing a long offseason. But Mark Davis is getting his stadium in Nevada, and paychecks are being cashed, and the only thing we can do as fans is wonder when it will matter enough to all of them to raise their collective game and give us something to be proud of.        

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Chiefs Gameday Thread

Every week lately has been a must-win situation, and now we've got another one on our hands.

I have to say I was disappointed to hear this from Bruce Irvin this week:

“Guys saw the Norton situation, and that kind of got guys fired up, I would say, and more focused. Once again, I think guys are looking at that situation and thinking, ‘Man, we can get fired, too.’ It’s not only coaches. It falls on the players, too. It was a wake-up call for us, and guys really started to hone in and get in their books. We’re practicing better, and it’s starting to translate on Sundays now."

So that's what it took to get fired up and focused when the division has been there for the taking since day one?

I still wonder about the culture of this locker room. In the end, we're back to the same old mantra we've been saying for so many years here: Prove it. 

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Giants Gameday Thread

It's a make or break game today. No way the Raiders shouldn't
thump Geno and the Giants!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Broncos Gameday Thread

It's probably now or never.

Incredibly, the Raiders are still in this. The Chiefs blew it once again today.

The division is still there for the taking, but first the Raiders must beat the Broncos.

Otherwise, momentum would be fully ceded to the Chargers, and the Raiders would be three games under .500 with five to play, which would effectively derail any road to a division title or a wild card spot, even if they were to win out from there.

Pagano has his work cut out for him. Musgrave is looking for revenge. This is a game the Raiders should win. Will they?

It's time turn it around and win out the rest of the schedule, starting today.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sunday Postmortem: Clown Car Edition

Sorry, I wish it weren't so, but it's time to bust out the Clown Car after yesterday's beatdown in Mexico. 

Yesterday, Tom Brady was a hot knife, and our secondary was butter. One report put it succinctly. "Brady completed 30 of 37 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns against a defense that has allowed the league’s highest opponents’ passer rating." 

Now, say it out loud: "In 2016, the Raiders had a potent offense, and weak defense. So they kept their DC and fired their OC."

How does that sound, and how is that working out?

The Raiders haven't had a defense ranked in the top 15 of the NFL since 2010. 

Here's one metric unearthed by NY Raider: "Per Pro Football Focus, David Amerson, Smith and McDonald have allowed the three highest opponent passer ratings this season out of 121 cornerbacks who have played at least 101 snaps."

Meanwhile, we made a major upgrade at tight end, added Beast Mode and maintained the trio of Carr, Cooper and Crabtree...yet suddenly can't seem to move the ball with any consistency.

This is on Del Rio and McKenzie.

Incredibly, the division is still there for the taking. With the Chiefs bumbling and the Broncos burning, an amazing opportunity has unfolded before us this season.

But instead of racing to the top of the AFC West, we appear destined to sputter to the finish line unless drastic improvement is made. Pronto.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Patriots games day thread

 Improbably, the division is still there for the taking. It all starts today!

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Dolphins Gamenight Thread

Heading into tonight's game, I don't know what to make of the Raiders.

This season began with so much promise, and now the tires have inexplicably gone flat. That game against the Bills last week was an embarrassment.

How many years is it going to take Reggie McKenzie to build a legitimate defensive unit?

Here's a stat from the NFL Network: The Raiders have not intercepted a single pass through eight games. No NFL team has ever done that before. EVER. We don't have playmakers in the secondary.

Meanwhile, our running game remains mediocre. Instead of reaching into the future, we reached into the past with Marshawn Lynch, and it's not putting us over the top. Far from it.

We have a defensive-oriented head coach presiding over a persistently weak defense. We have a new OC who appears to be worse than the one we ran out of town.

What is the identity of the Oakland Raiders? Carr, a wing and a prayer?

They need to figure it out. Starting tonight.

P.S. Thanks for all of your well wishes, my friends. Everything is good on the family front post wildfires. I did get a firsthand look at the devastation and it's going to be a long haul for many people. Very sad.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Chiefs Gamenight Thread: Do or Die Edition

I cannot believe that we are reaching the point of a must-win game by week seven, but here we are...

First off, apologies for not posting a gameday thread last time. Was dealing with some family matters related to the wildfires. Everyone on my end is safe and sound, but the devastation is staggering. Prayers for everyone who lost loved ones and / or property. 

Anyhow, we have a new "Ghost" in Raiderland, and his name is not Casper, but rather Cooper. Click here for a rundown on how bad it has suddenly gotten for our alleged star receiver.

Our playoff hopes likely hanging in the balance tonight. Everyone needs to step up, and that includes the Ghost. GO RAIDERS! 

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Chiefs Gameday Thread

Okay, being on a two-game losing streak, already two games behind the Chiefs in the standings, with E.J. Manuel under center, isn't exactly where we thought we would be after four weeks into the season. It's time for the team as a whole to step up and turn it around. The defense needs to play tough again. Beast Mode needs to recapture his form. The O-line needs play with heart. Manuel needs to avoid the turnovers, and Cooper needs to stop dropping passes. Win this one, watch the Chiefs lose to the Texans, get Carr back and then anything goes.  

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Broncos Gameday Thread

The Raiders put themselves in a spot with last Sunday's meltdown in D.C. If they don't win today, they could find themselves two games behind the Chiefs already. The key to the game today is mental preparation, which is something they clearly left out of last week's game plan. Time to focus on the game, not the president. With Crabtree out, Cooper needs to really step it up. Playing the Broncos in Denver is a tall order, but there's no reason the Raiders shouldn't rebound if they are the team we think they are. Go RAIDERS!   

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Redskins Gamenight Thread

As I write, it's halfway through the first quarter and the Raiders look a little starstruck with the prime-time spotlight. There is still plenty of time to turn it around, but they've got to get the jitters out and start playing RAIDERS 2017 football.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Raiders v. Jets Gameday Thread

A home opener against the woeful Jets? The road to a 2-0 record has never been paved so smoothly...

Last Sunday, the Raiders notched a decisive victory. The offense looked locked in, the special teams play was strong, and the defense toughened up and shut the Titans down toward the end.

The only thing to fear right now is the dreaded "playing down to the competition" phenomenon. Just win, baby!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Alive and Kicking for Kickoff

That's right, my friends, Raider Take is alive and kicking, if only barely of late.

Yes, it has been ages. Life events and other pursuits have taken me off my game for the past nine months, but I still love the comments that you all contribute here, and I'd like to bring a little oxygen back into the room in order to rekindle some of the old conversational fire for the 2017 season.

I don't have a big take right now. The Chiefs look like the team to beat in the AFC West this year. For the Raiders, it all comes down to defense. We'll know soon enough if they've turned a corner on defense, or if they'll continue to get gouged to the potential derailment of what looks like a strong playoff run.

Carr is primed to take flight, and the offense should soar with him. Just gotta return to nasty on the other side of the ball, and if that happens, watch out, because here come THE RAIDERS!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Musgrave Out?

ProFootballTalk is reporting that Bill Musgrave is out as OC of the Raiders. 

I wonder if the playcalling in the Wild Card game had anything to do with it. Yeah, when you're playing a rookie QB in his first start in an important game, you have to start conservative. But when you fall behind and conservative ain't working, you need to star mixing it up and taking your shots before the lead is so great that the opposing defense can afford to just hang back like vultures.  

Anyhow, football debate is great because it's so open to devil's advocacy. Brady wouldn't be great with out Belichick! Oh, yeah? Belichick wouldn't be great without Brady! Ezekiel and Dak are sensational--or maybe they're just products of their offensive line? On and on it goes. 

So after the Raiders took a major step forward on offense this year, was it all Derek Carr (it sure looked like it once he was absent), or was Musgrave pulling some effective strings, and if so, what do we stand to lose (or gain) now that he's out? 

The rumor mill says that QB coach Todd Downing could take the OC reins. Something about all of this seems strange, but we may never know the whole story. Anyhow, whoever assumes the role will be expected to raise an already high bar starting next September.