Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Good News of Bad News

Good news! In its 2006 NFL preview magazine, Pro Football Weekly predicts the Raiders to finish last in their division with only six wins. Better yet, they place the Raiders at 27th in their league power rankings, below the Lions, Titans, Ravens and Packers, to name a few.

Why is this good news? Because they’re wrong.

I earlier made my case for the Raiders winning a minimum of eight games this year and for our divisional rivals to lose a bit of their collective edge. I mocked Jake Plummer’s composure (sure enough, a week later he was cited in a road rage incident), exposed the Chargers’ soap opera and questioned the Chiefs’ direction. I had fun.

In picking the Chargers, Chiefs and Broncos to all win 10 or more games this year, I think that Pro Football Weekly is out on a limb, not me. No disrespect meant to Pro Football Weekly, I like them, I just think they’re wrong.

Why are folks so bullish on Philip Rivers (in addition to PFW’s prediction of 10 wins for the Chargers in 2006, Athlon Sports predicts the Chargers as a wild card team this year)? Based on what? I’m not saying he’s awful, but 10 wins and the playoffs in his first year as a starter? On the team that brought us Ryan Leaf? I’m not going out on that limb.

Last time around, I forgot to mention that the Chiefs’ hotshot offensive coordinator hit the road for big money in D.C. after a brief anointment by Raider Take’s favorite columnist as the
new head coach of the Raiders. Yet the Chiefs won’t lose a step this year?

I know, it’s easy for me to talk AFC West smack in June, with all of 13 wins of wind in my sails over the past three years. But I want to be on the record right now in saying that things aren't as bad for the Raiders, and aren't as good for our divisional rivals, as Pro Football Weekly suggests.

Ultimately, I want to board the Good Ship Return to Glory before it leaves the dock and Captain Shell steers us to the promised land. It may take some time, but I've got time. The view is good. The tickets are cheaper. The beer is cold. Ahoy and amen.


Blogger Raider Take said...

Thanks for your optimistic feedback, Raiderdecoachella!

Folks, this is a guy who gave his kid the middle name "Raider." In my book, that's some serious credibility!

10:03 AM  
Blogger frkyraider said...

27th? you have got to be kiddin me!!! everybody and their brother is pickin the raiders for last in the division. 27th in the power ranks blows me away. this is an up and comin team. well, we'll all be clamoring for coach of the year status for shell then when the RAIDERS win 10 and vie for a playoff birth. since apparently according to these guys we ought to be 27th in the league. WOW!

4:48 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I like the position we are in ...

1) The media and "experts" predict the Raiders to come in last. Check.

2) Raider players and coaches with something to prove. Check.

3) A solid, young nucleus of defenders on the rise. Check.

4) The Raider Nation vs. all other fans. Check.

5) The Raider organization vs. the establishment. Check

6) Low expectations amongst the mainstream media vs. high hopes of faithful S&B fan base. Check.

7) An owner and HC committed to hoisting another Lombardi Trophy. Priceless.

Being the "underdog" and having a line drawn in the sand if fine by me. I love the us against the world mentality that comes with being a Raider loyalist.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

frykraider, I'm glad I'm not alone at being stupefied by the 27th ranking.

Calico Jack, what a brilliant setting of the table for 2006. We will feast on the doubters and the haters!

9:38 PM  
Blogger js said...

While I'm not surprised that the experts are picking against the Raiders, I think a lot of them will be surprised by season's end. We have the pieces in place to put together at least a .500 season and a 4-4 or 5-3 division record. The Raiders have a favorable early schedule, and time should help the players to grow together as a team. I don't know if we'll contend for the AFC West title or anything, but we're bound to be better than at least one of our division rivals.

I expect the Chargers will regress severely under Rivers. I don't think anyone in that organization really understood what Drew Brees meant to them. Schottenheimer's willingness to let Brees get away reminds me of the way we ended up with Rich Gannon a few years ago. Expect opponents to load up with eight-man fronts and run blitzes to stop LT until Rivers demonstrates he can throw five consecutive passes without a pick.

I also have my doubts about the Chiefs. Larry Johnson should be a stud, but the defense is still full of holes and the receivers are in decline. They look to me like a team whose window of opportunity has already closed; they just don't know it yet.

Denver is the only team I see right now in the West that gives me chills, mainly because of their defense. If we can take our home game against them, that's a good sign for the future. If we can win at Mile High, we're either better or luckier than I think we are.

All this means that, at least, we should have a season we can look forward to, with an 8-8 or 9-7 record and an outside chance at a Wildcard spot. With all these new players and new coaches, that result would look awfully good.

Here's hoping.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put me down for 9-7. Football has a lot of technical aspects, and I don't claim to be an expert, but I do know one thing: If you play hard, & smart for 60 minutes, good things will happen.
Art Shell will get everybody on the same page, and pulling in the same direction. It may sound like a simple thing, but it will make a world of difference this season.

JUST WIN BABY !!!!!!! It's really that simple.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say we at LEAST win 9! I think there is no reason to say that we will go 11-5! 27th overall? Based on what? Jerry Porter's complaints? I truly think the reason they gave us such a low ranking is because the Raiders haven't announced a starting QB. They think Brooks is not the guy to do it, and if Tuiasosopo or Walters (more on him in a minute) can't beat out Brooks, then it's another wash. I think Brooks is an underrated QB, that was in a bad system under Haslett.
I read an interesting article on Walters in Inside the Bay Area Sports. They were saying, based on his numbers, he has put up numbers against second/third strings in preseason, that KFC averaged/per game, in a patethic attempt to slam him as being "worse" than KFC. What they fail to mention, is this kid is young, and is still improving. The whole article was about how strong armed QB's don't work anymore. Oh really? What about Favre, Bledsoe (whom many of the media pick the Cowgirls to win it all this year), both Mannings, McNair, and Rothlesberger? These guys are all "strong-armed" QB's!
If Walters is being compared to KFC now, without having started a game; I think he is going to fit the mold of the aforementioned QB's when he becomes a starter. A "heady" strong-armed QB (oh yeah, with Moss and Gabriel to throw too) LOOK OUT!

5:49 AM  
Blogger The Analyzer said...

I did a Raiders schedule analysis on my blog today and I think the Raiders should be able to pull off 10 wins this season. A lot of analysts are projecting our divisional opponents to be much better than they will be while at the same time projecting us to be horrible. They seem to be biased against us.

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to make a quick point. The Chargeless didnt pick Leaf over Manning. The Colts picked Manning ahead of Leaf so the Chargers selected what they believed was the next best thing. Too bad, so sad.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

oaklandrdr, thanks for catching my error, I have corrected it in my take.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:37 PM  

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