Happy Thanksgiving, amigos. I'm thankful for the opportunity to steward Raider Take (eight years strong!) and to be a part of the community that YOU have all created here. The theme of today's game is "surprise, surprise," because that's what it's going to take for us to contain the Cowboys. If we play the type of defense we did last Sunday, we are going to get absolutely smoked by Romo & Co. So we need to change it up and step it up fast, and keep this season from circling the drain. GO RAIDERS!
1. There's nothing like pulling into the Coliseum parking lot at 9 a.m., cracking a beer, cooking some meat and socializing with the Raider Nation wildlife. It's such a great neighborhood, and you can't beat the ambiance. The Raiders might disappoint, but the tailgate never does. 2. The numbers lie. That was largely a clown show on defense. On that one touchdown, when their guy did a simple juke and left two of our guys gyrating in the dust, I swear I saw the ghost of Stuart Schweigart. Our third-down containment was a joke. Any time we got near Fitzpatrick, he spun and rolled out of danger with the same turn move over and over (hey, how about anticipating that after you've seen it three times?). And that last drive had such an air of inevitability, it was hard to watch. By the last snap, I could see the easy touchdown from a mile away. I was Nostradamus. We all were. 3. Matt McGloin is 6"1', and looks it out there. For the average dude, that's a nice height. But for an NFL quarterback? Well, Russell Wilson is two inches shorter than that, so it can be done. But if I recall correctly, four of McGloin's passes were squarely blocked. It got old quick. He's going to have to find a workaround. 4. I wish they would pull back on the $35 parking fee. For someone working a
minimum wage job, that's most of a day's work after taxes. It's robbery.
If you want all of those seats filled, you need to think about that. If
I recall correctly, parking was $20 not that long ago. Another
annoyance is the intensified "security theater," limiting all bags to
clear plastic and creating an airport-like choke point at the point of
entry. It makes life harder, and I don't believe it's making us safer.
5. The fan experience was awesome as always. This organization needs to field a product to match. It's been a long wait, and we're still waiting. Patience is being preached, and at this point, it's a sermon we'll have to accept.
It seems that every year around this time in the Raider Nation, we start eating our own. The losses begin to pile up, and expectations are cut short as the inevitability of another losing season sinks in. The bickering escalates, and solutions remain evasive. Simple put, we are perpetually on Raider Time. On Raider Time, everything takes forever, and change is painfully incremental. Every year, there's an excuse for not hitting a home run on the fronts of head coaching or free agency or the draft. Right now, the excuses are: we need stability at head coach; we didn't have enough money to land top free agents; and we didn't have a lot of draft picks, and anyways the draft is a crapshoot.
Of course, when we were hiring new coaches every two years, loading up on expensive free agents and picking high in the draft every April, things weren't any better. Welcome to Raider Time, where things change while the results remain painfully the same. You wonder how the Chiefs can get Andy Reid and Alex Smith and go from 2-14 to 9-0 in one year, and how the Broncos can not only land Peyton Manning and John Fox, but load up their receiving corps with guys like Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas. Stuff like that never happens on Raider Time. I'm not saying that we don't have excuses. We have plenty. And that's the problem. We always have plenty of excuses. There are so many reasons why the Raiders are never quite ready to turn it around.
So here we are, with three wins, six losses and a lot of excuses. Again. Reggie McKenzie was dealt a real bad hand. It's not surprising that we're still trying to dig out of what was an epic hole. And yet... I wonder why it looks like we still don't have a plan at quarterback, why the rebuilding didn't begin in earnest until this year, and why we're not getting more out of the draft picks we have selected. I'm wondering why we brought Greg Knapp back and wasted a year on offense when we all knew how it would turn out.
Am I asking for a home run? Maybe I am. Maybe it's about time we hit one, eh? Terrelle Pryor is emblematic of Raider Time. He shows just enough promise to tantalize. But in an era when the best rookie quarterbacks lead their teams to the playoffs, Pryor is still working out the fundamentals in his third year.
But hey, there's always next season. We'll be loaded with cash. We'll have a high draft pick. Our defense will continue to gel. Dennis Allen will show that he's the man for the job.
We're definitely going somewhere, just very slowly. After all, we're on Raider Time.
The theme of today's game is "no excuses." The Giants are beatable. Early game, East Coast, yah, yah, yah...I don't care. The time is now to right the ship and put last week in the rear-view mirror. GO RAIDERS!
There's not much to say about this one. Just when I was praising our defense...Just when I said we were making strides...Just when I said the Clown Car was nowhere to be seen...
And suddenly we start chasing our tails, allowing Nick Foles (Nick Foles!) to tie the NFL mark for passing touchdowns in a game.
Gotta hand it to Jerry Mac of the Tribune for summing it all up in one sentence: The futuristic offense of the Philadelphia Eagles conjured up disturbing images of the past for the Raiders Sunday at O.co Coliseum.
Cue the bearded lady. Call the sword swallowers. Launch the human cannonball. For the first time this year, the Clown Car is back. Damn you, Clown Car!