Out of Limbo, Into The Future
Rumors of Raider Take’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Immediately following last Sunday’s game, I simply came down with a rare case of writer’s block. I watched the game and just couldn’t find anything interesting to say about it. I think it’s just a matter of feeling like I'm in Raiders limbo or purgatory.
The game was a moral victory, but not a victory. Should I celebrate—or should I wonder how long it’s going to take for us to win one of these games we supposedly shouldn’t?
We played stoutly on defense, but again let our opponent march down the field after our own big score, and at the precise time we needed to shut them down. This stout defensive effort was also vandalized by another jaw-dropping special teams breakdown.
Justin Fargas ran hard, then got hurt. Again. He had a great year, but let’s not kid ourselves and pretend that he’s going to lead a lethal rushing attack for years to come. So who do we run now? Not our future running back Michael Bush, but the twin pine riders of Rhodes and Jordan.
We saw a lot of McCown and a little Russell, a ratio that will hopefully be inverted next season. I mean, this week. Russell looks like the real deal—but what’s it going to take to get a longer look?
The zebras again became a regrettable focal point. I can’t make excuses for them, but I’m sure waiting for the day when we can simply take the refs out of the equation by playing better and getting ahead on the scoreboard. Raiders fans complaining about the refs right now is like a prisoner complaining about the jailhouse food. There’s nothing we can do, and they’re going to keep feeding it to us until we figure out a way to get paroled.
I’m now reading that Stuart Schweigert is unhappy, and that he’s lost his “swagger.” He’s bitching and moaning about losing his starting job. Dude, cue up some game film and look at yourself, starting with the highlight where you got dragged down the sideline in Tennessee, followed by the 10-yard patty cake routine in Green Bay.
I know the team is improving. We’ve doubled our win total and probably tripled or quadrupled our offensive output.
And yet, with just a few breaks, we could have won four games last year, too. We lost a few really close ones in 2006. So, if I were to compare this year’s output to last year’s output solely on paper, I would be inclined to say that we would be a six or seven win team this year. We still could be if we beat the Jaguars and Chargers, but I’m not holding my breath. I’ll jump for joy if we can get to five wins by the end of this season.
The bottom line is that the team is playing better but still needs to learn how to win. Or perhaps I’m being too harsh—playing the Packers, Colts, Jaguars and Chargers to finish the year isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Maybe the NFL will give us an extra game against the Patriots, just for giggles.
So there you have it, my existentialism laid bare. The Colts game just left me a bit cold and wondering about where we’re headed. Maybe I just need a vacation, because it was a relatively impressive performance, one that restored our dignity after the debacle in
I think I’m just anxious. At this point, I’d like to see more of Russell. Dude’s not a porcelain doll, let’s get on with it. I’d like to see Michael Bush, though I know I’ll have to wait until next year. Hiram Eugene replaces Stuart Schweigert? Jeez, what took so long?
Let’s get serious about this future business, let’s deliver ourselves from limbo, let’s shake the personnel tree and see where the fruit falls. And the next time we need to hold the opponent, let’s just do it for once. It’s time to win a game we shouldn’t.