Sunday, October 31, 2010

Seahawks Gameday Thread

Well, here we are again, in what I consider another must-win game...This season seems to be full of them, as the AFC West title is still within reach. Also, it's yet another opportunity to climb what has become our personal Mt. Everest: the .500 mark. Which is sort of laughable if you think about it, but also quite real and therefore meaningful. If we're truly turning a corner, we'll see it today. GO RAIDERS!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Broncos Annihilation Haiku

It came from outer
space; Denver slack jawed amid
the smoking rubble.

P.S. Check out this link to see Broncos fans in full freak-out mode after being trounced by the Raiders. It's priceless.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

BOOM! The Good Ship Raider Has Landed

To borrow a popular word from John Madden: BOOM!

I told you this team has multiple personalities.

If you say you saw this coming, you're full of it (that is, ***it).

From nine points and a passer rating of 10 against a winless team last week to 59 points and an all-time Raiders scoring record the next? BOOM!

The Broncos probably thought they were going to get the meek Dr. Jekyll. And they suddenly got Mr. Hyde. BOOM!

How do you analyze a can of whup-ass? You can't, so I won't. It was creative, dynamic, joyous and unrelenting. I'll leave it at that. Well, maybe I won't...

It's one thing to score 59 points in the NFL, let alone against a divisional rival on the road. Yet it's quite another to do it like a flying saucer coming from outer space, literally out of nowhere as thousands of slack-jawed spectators wonder what just hit them. The Raiders did this? Yes, the Raiders did.

That's right, a UFO landed in Colorado today, the Good Ship Raider, and there are crop circles all over that field. The city of Denver is dazed and confused, smoke coming out of its ears, blinded by Darren McFadden's warp speed and our defense's intergalactic dominance.

Make no mistake, this was a crushing performance, a release of pent-up energy that was seemingly light years in the making.

By the way, congratulations, Mr. Davis. Well played.

What next? I dare to dream: BOOM!

P.S. Share your comments below on this Oakland Raiders blog.

Broncos Pregame Take

If JaMarcus Russell can win in Denver, so can Jason Campbell. Time to right the ship!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One Postgame Take

Today, the Raiders became the goose that laid the golden turd.

Coming off a strong win, with the elusive .500 mark finally within our grasp, and with a magnificent opportunity to gain ground in our division, against a pathetic 0-5 team that seems confused half of the time, we stunk up Candlestick with an offensive (in ever sense of the word) so-called performance that invoked the Ghost of JaMarcus Russell.

Halloween must be nigh, eh?

What is there to analyze about this game, beyond the fact that we stunk? Well, for starters, how do you forget to target Zach Miller for a large chunk of the game, when he's really the only person on the field (with McFadden out) who has proven to be a consistent producer? How?

The defense did okay, but got killed on a couple of big plays that sealed the deal. Sound familiar?

It's clear to me that we have a serious long-term quarterback problem on our hands. Jason "Plunkett" Campbell seems nothing more than lackluster, which is essentially consistent with his career before arriving in Oakland. Gradkowski is a firecracker, but he's frequently injured, and not likely to become the next Drew Brees anytime soon. I don't buy him as a big-time NFL starter.

So where does that leave us on the path to becoming a serious contender over the next few years? Who is going to lead this offense in the years to come and take us to the promised land?

Right now, we can't even find someone to lead us into the Candlestick end zone on a dreary afternoon against one of the NFL's weakest teams. We lost to the 49ers. How sad.

Niners Pregame Take

Well, here we go. We get a two-for-one when we win today. We finally reach the .500 mark, and we send the Niners to 0-6. Plus, the Chargers just lost, and the Chiefs look like they're going down. All things considered, losing has never been more unacceptable. This is the ultimate statement game. Go Raiders!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Belated Postgame Take

Well, well, well...Welcome back to Oakland, Norv.

I actually didn't see most of the game. I was traveling, but was able to tune into the final 12 minutes. It was kind of cool, in a way. I didn't know what had happened to the point. I didn't know why Jason Campbell was throwing the ball. Nothing to that point had colored my view. I felt like true spectator.

As such, I was thrilled to discover a real, honest-to-goodness football game in progress. Normally, I would have sensed how it would end. You know, the familiar flirtation with winning until the final minutes, when we'd either commit some stupid turnover or employ a soft prevent defense as a gift to the last-second victor.

But I didn't sense that this time. It wasn't my normal viewing experience, and there was something abnormal about what I was seeing as well: determination, resilience, aggression. Instead of being fated to lose, we seemed fated to win.

We were, as Tom Cable promised, finally manning up.

Oh, sure, there were some soft moments. But they were rendered irrelevant by the hard ones. Seeing Jason Campbell direct a potent offense with the game on the line was thrilling. Watching Philip Rivers so thoroughly harrassed in the final minutes was a joy to behold. Confirming that the San Diego curse had finally been snapped was priceless.

I still don't quite know what to think of this team. So far this season, the Raiders have demonstrated multiple personalities. But I am encouraged and excited by what transpired on Sunday.

So I hope that, in retrospect, it's not just a fleeting tease (it wouldn't be the first time), but rather the flashpoint of something meaningful and lasting. Consider me bullish on the latter.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Pregame Take: Man Up Edition

Here's what Tom Cable said yesterday:

"I think the accountability has gotten where it needs to be now,’’ Cable said. “It’s not a matter of how we did this or what we called, or whatever this or that is. It’s on all of us and we recognize that, and I think we take responsibility for it now.

"That’s really, really huge for us, for this football team, because it’s the first time in the four years I’ve been here where guys man up and say, hey, that’s on me. So that’s a good thing. The next step is you can’t let it happen."

I'm not sure if I find this statement encouraging or disturbing. On the one hand, it sounds like the team has decided to "man up." On the other hand, it has taken numerous drubbings under Cable's watch to reach this point of alleged accountability.

Too bad this point wasn't reached four games ago, when it would have been much more beneficial for our diminishing chances of winning the division. But I'm going to take Cable's word on this. The expectation is that we are finally going to see a positive shift in the character of the Raiders, one in which resilience and the will to win are the defining assets.

On that note, after losing 13 straight games to the Chargers, it is, indeed, time to man up. Go Raiders!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

One Postgame Take

The bad news is that we lost, we're now 1-3, and we're on pace to win four games this year, which would break our own recently extended NFL record for consecutive seasons with 11 or more losses.

The good news is that we continue to lead the NFL in talent, potential, silver linings and moral victories.

Once again, we delivered too little, too late. By the end of the third quarter, our receiving corps had one catch total for two yards against the NFL's 32nd ranked passing defense.. They woke up in the fourth quarter, but not soon enough. Yet even with invisible receivers, we marched the ball downfield and scored points with our refreshingly dynamic trio of Miller, McFadden and Gradkowski.

With Andre Johnson sidelined, we missed a golden opportunity. The mission was simple: stop the run, and we a great chance to win. Well, 250 rushing yards later, it's safe to say that the mission was far from accomplished.

Our team just can't figure out how to win. It's always something. We seem so close at times, yet so often come up empty. Here, we finally have a functioning offense, and our supposedly improved defense reverts back to old form.

So are we as close as it sometimes seems, or is it just a cruel mirage?

Texans Gameday Thread

Andre Johnson is inactive, this is a golden opportunity, time to seize it! Go Raiders!