Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Five Postgame Takes

1. Our defense is almost unrecognizable, in a good way. For years, I've had to liken our defense to Cirque du Soleil (clowns flying around, hitting nothing). Now our guys are swarming and squaring up and hitting people. Check it out: 10 new starters on defense on Sunday compared to last year. Injuries have played a role, but make no mistake: this is the result of a housecleaning, in personnel, mindset and scheming. There's still a lot of room for improvement, but things are trending quite well on that side of the ball. 

2. Jason Tarver's middle finger is way better than Rob Ryan's hair.

3. Via The MMQB, gotta love this tweet from Steelers safety Ryan Clark after Sunday's game: “You have to understand the beast that’s playing quarterback. Once a guy like that gets in front of the whole defense, he’s a legit 4.4. It’s real."

4. I think our offensive coordinator was in a bit of a Catch 22 in the second half. We played not to lose, and came too close to losing. On the other hand, Pryor and his teammates have shown a penchant for coughing up the ball lately. In this instance, going conservative ultimately sealed the deal, but it was uncomfortable to watch. And maybe it wasn't as conservative as it looked, maybe it was just lack of execution. 

5. No doubt, Pryor is electric. He's still raw, but I'm encouraged by the reports of him being so committed to working hard and getting better. Right now, we're on pace for six or seven wins, and he's a huge part of that. He's not exactly working with an all-star cast, either. Let's see how this plays out, but it's looking like this team might be coming together. I haven't seen nor heard the Clown Car yet, have you?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Steelers Gameday Thread

Today's theme is "back on track." After some promising performances, we've squandered some opportunities and lost our momentum. Today is a day to get this season back on track, break the bye-week curse, and light the Coliseum up! Go RAIDERS!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Chiefs Gameday Thread

Let's get this party started. Last week's theme was "turning the tide," and we did just that against the Chargers.

Now comes another AFC West foe in the Chiefs, who have so far staged a startling turnaround to remain undefeated...

This week's theme is therefore "show the world." 

Prior to the start of the season, the Raiders were a league-wide laughingstock, ranked by many as the worst team in the NFL. 

The Raiders still have a ways to go, but they've served up some crow sandwiches, too. Terrelle Pryor has emerged as a bonafide threat, and our defense is starting to raise eyebrows. 

So now here we are, facing a true statement game. It's time to show the world this team can establish momentum and exhibit growth. 

Beating the Jaguars and Chargers is one thing. Beating the undefeated Chiefs, however, is what we need to do next. GO RAIDERS!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Five Postgame Takes

1. The alleged "worst team in the NFL" (according to numerous preseason pundits) doesn't look half bad right now, eh?

2. Again, I just love how our defense is playing. They are agile and unpredictable and swarming to the ball. They went a bit soft there in the second half, but toughened back up at the end. This isn't the same 'ol Raiders defense.

3. Geez, the Matt Flynn trade sure turned into a debacle, but I applaud the Raiders for admitting the mistake and moving on. Let's not get too worked up about it. It's better than starting DHB based on his draft position instead of performance, than talking Javon Walker out of retiring for the privilege of grossly overpaying him, than trading a first rounder and more for Carson Palmer, than paying JaMarcus Russell $25 million, than...I could keep going. But in the annals of Raider reaches and mistakes, this one isn't that big of a deal. Reggie McKenzie blew it, but he knows it, and it's over. 

4. We have a problem that no one wants to talk about, and that is our lack of depth at quarterback. Pryor is doing a bang-up job, but he could easily get banged up running around like that. He's already had one concussion. If he goes down, we're in no man's land. 

5. Woulda, coulda, shoulda...We are what our record says we are. But I can't help but thinking about that missed late opportunity to beat the Colts, and that 14-0 lead over the Redskins. Damn.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Chargers Gamenight Thread

Well, it's Pryor or bust this year...Unless that's Josh Freeman on the other end of the line.

Last week's loss was painful, but easy to pin it on Matt Flynn. Now, Flynn's ship has sailed, and Pryor returns to captain the ship.

Tonight is the kind of win we need. It's a defining game, the difference between tumbling down the slippery slope toward another woeful and wayward season, and scratching our way back into the discussion of progress and direction. The Chargers aren't world beaters. This is a winnable game.

My theme for tonight, therefore, is "turning the tide." We're at risk of being washed out to sea right now. It's time to steady the course and find our compass.