Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bears Gameday Thread

I'm pumped up, getting this thread started early. We need to take advantage of breaking opportunities (see Cutler's thumb) and get way out ahead in the AFC West, because we've got some tough opponent on deck. The official march to the playoffs starts NOW!

Monday, November 21, 2011

One Postgame Take

1. I know it was just the Vikings, but that was an impressive victory in my book. It had all the makings of a letdown game, but the Raiders didn't let us down. They went into a loud hostile environment and took command of the game. Of course, they had to make it unnecessarily close, because that's just what the Raiders do, but when push came to shove, they shut the Vikings down and took command of the divisional lead. Bravo!

2. This Carson Palmer dude, he's all right, eh? Watching him, it's easy to forget that he's been with this team for just four weeks and three games, coming in cold off the couch. I'd say that this bodes very well for the Raiders' playoff fortunes. He didn't have an amazing game, but it was solid enough, and he avoided the big mistakes. Keeping him healthy is so paramount that I can't even think or talk about it, so I won't.

3. Regarding the penalties, I do think that the zebras got some wrong, and that sometimes it smells of vague conspiracy, but it seemed that the worst of them were early in the game, and had little to do with the Vikings scoring so many unanswered points and turning a prospective blowout into a nail biter.

Instead of taking his case to the media, I believe that Hue Jackson should have simply made his case in the locker room. And while he was at it, he could have used the words that BlandaRocked posted in the comments on the previous take: "This has been going on since the 70s. There is absolutely nothing the team, the coaches, the players or the fans can do about it. Al Davis could never do anything about it. It is, quite simply, a fact of life. So how do you instruct a team to deal with this fact of life? You tell them to deal with it. The great Raider teams of the past were well penalized too! You suck it up, and you win right in their faces."

I will say that there is one thing the Raiders can do about it, and that is cut down on the stupid penalties. Even if you remove the questionable calls from the record, it seems to me that we're still a perennial leader in stupid penalties. In other words, control what you can control, and, as BlandaRocked noted, don't get distracted by what you can't control.

4. Michael Bush and Marcel Reese are stepping up, big time. This is what depth looks like, and it's a wonderful thing.

5. Nice to see Kevin Boss with five catches. Overall, Palmer did a great job of distributing the ball, completing passes to seven different players. Now it's time to beat Da Bears and take the divisional bull by the horns.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vikings Gameday Thread

Three words: Stop Adrian Peterson.

Two more: GO RAIDERS!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Belated Postgame / Early Pregame Take

1. Impressive win. A must-win that we won. It almost fully erased the bad taste out of my mouth from the Broncos and Chiefs debacles. A win this Sunday would make me minty fresh all over again.

2. Aaron Curry, great energy coming off that guy. Sometimes a bit too much, as we saw in earlier games. But if he can continue to channel his energy and aggressiveness, then we hit a home run with that pickup.

3. This is why I hate it when Raiders fans make excuses for losses by citing injuries. It just opens the doors for Chargers fans to do the same, citing news stories reporting things like, "By the middle of the third quarter, the Raiders were essentially facing off against the Chargers' second-team offensive line." Which may be true. You know what's also true? THEY LOST. Winners win. The Packers won the Super Bowl last year after losing numerous key players. The Patriots posted a winning record one year after losing the league's best quarterback. And we won against the Chargers after losing one of the league's best running backs. JUST WIN, Baby.

4. Carson Palmer's stock is way up after that game. There were some real "wow" throws (not to mention some "wow" catches--hello Denarius!). If he can stay healthy we've got a great chance of taking this division.

5. I'd like to say that this Sunday is in the bag. It should be. The Vikings are pretty pathetic...But we've been known to play down to the competition, and I'm bothered by the specter of our defense reverting to Swiss Cheese mode in the face of Adrian Peterson. I expect a win...Is that too much to ask?

P.S. Hey, Bazjoz, thanks for the kick in the pants. Maybe if you'd comment more often, I'd write more often. You never know...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chargers Game Night Thread

Well, here we are, poised to take the divisional lead after two wretched defeats and falling to .500.

That tells you a lot about how strongly we started...and about how mediocre the AFC West is this year. Every other division in the NFL has a team with at least six wins right now. The AFC North has three teams with six wins. We're fortunate to be in this position with just four wins.

At stake, however, is not only the divisional lead, but also our viability as a winning team. If we fall to 4-5 tonight, we'll have to win five out of our last seven games in order to post our first winning record in eight seasons, and that's with the Bears, Lions and Packers on the docket.

In other words, this is yet another can't-lose game. Talk is cheap, and excuses are weak. It's "prove it" time. GO RAIDERS!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

One Postgame Take

What a joke. That's two disgraceful losses at home in a row to (allegedly) inferior AFC West rivals.

Oh, sure, it looks like we didn't lose divisional ground today (unless the Chargers mount a last-minute comeback), but I'm in no mood for moral victories.

Tim Tebow and the Broncos shoved the ball down our throats today, notching 300 rushing yards. Just like the Bad Old Days, eh? And don't get me started on the penalties.

I thought that this team was ready to take the leap. Now I'm not so sure. The Raiders' mental and physical toughness is suddenly in question. It all has an unsettling yet familiar ring to it.

Broncos Gameday Thread

Well, the Raiders had a bye week, and so did the front page of Raider Take, so thanks to all of you who stoked the coals and kept the comments fire burning. Been a bit slowed by illness here, too.

So we signed Houshmanzadah (I don't care if I spelled that right or not) and McFadden is out. Odd that we finally signed a veteran possession receiver years after we needed one, and at a point where you could argue we don't. But I'm not complaining, because there could still be some Palmer-Housh magic in the house.

Let's face it, McFadden or not, this should be an easy win for the Raiders. Tebow and Company should not be able to mount any sort of serious attack against our defense.

That said, it still may take a while for our offense to sort itself out with Palmer at the helm. So I won't be surprised (but maybe a little disappointed) if it's a close contest. GO RAIDERS!