Monday, December 07, 2015

One Postgame Take

Not ready...yet.

That's my take on the Raiders right now. For a while earlier this year, this team looked like it might be ready for prime time. The playoffs were a legitimate aspiration, and things were clicking.

Now? Not so much. 

Watching the Raiders this year is like squeezing a water balloon. You've got a firm hold on the offense and out pops the defense, but when the defense starts to come around, the offense pops back out the other side, and the whole thing rarely comes together. 

These aren't weak units, but they aren't terribly strong units, either. They have their moments, but these moments bounce around almost seemingly at random.

Derek Carr is the epitome of this phenomenon: young, developing, tons of potential, but still prone to lapses and off days, such as yesterday.

We shouldn't be surprised, nor should be be particularly discouraged. This is a developing team, and at least it's interesting and hopeful (which beats irrelevant and dreadful, and we know that that feels like). 

If there's a point of discouragement, it's that this rebuilding era continues to advance at a snail's pace (to quote Raider00: "")

But it is what it is, and there's no denying that we are inching FORWARD to brighter days with a core of young players we can believe in. 

So yes,  yesterday was terrible. Yes, a stake has been driven through the heart of our playoff aspirations. But dammit, my glass is still half full.


Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I'm there with you. It's frustrating on one hand, and yet, I'm not so bent about it because I know that the only way to go from here is up. Carr, Roberts, Cooper, Hudson, Mack, Amerson, Woodson, Heeney, Ball, Mario Jr; all of these young stars on our team are still developing and there are signs that they are growing and getting better with every game. Unlike the last decade+2, where it spun out of control with no signs of progress.

This is a damn good football team that only has a few key pieces missing from being a great football team. The lack of these key pieces cost us a few key plays; which cost us from being a great team this season. It reminds me of Jon Gruden's first year. JUST WIN, BABY!

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Here is a 2 stanza Haiku about how I feel. I call this, The Warning Shot:

Twelve seasons sinking
League mocking, pundits bashing
Ship needing repairs

Fourth year remaking
BOOM! A shot across the bow!
League ... pundits ... quaking!

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raider Nate how can you say this is a good team? The record is 5-7. They have beaten one team with a winning record--the Jets and that was with Geno playing QB.

This is a team that has some talented players. But it is not a good team


2:53 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

In the context of the game, it was dumbfounding to watch Derek Carr throw 3 INTs in one quarter. Raiders had a real chance to win and Carr just imploded. Still plenty of confidence in his abilities.

In the context of the Raiders, this was always a transition year. The mistakes have already been made wrt to Dennis Allen, Jason Tarver, Greg Knapp, et al. So the drawn out nature of the process was kind of predestined prior to this year. IMO, the bigger surprise would have been if the Raiders made a real run for the playoffs. IMHO

Doesn't make the loss any easier.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

It is a good team in context of competing. Yes, they are 5-7. No, they are not getting blown out except for the first game. They are good in the sense that 6 out of the 7 losses stemmed from the Raiders making correctable mistakes. Those 6 out of 7 losses were at an average of 5 points per loss. That is the difference in the Raiders being a good team from a great team. With all 7 losses, the Raiders lost those games by an average of 7.14 points per loss. A good team has numbers like that. A great team overcomes that deficit. The Raiders are close to being a great team and overcoming that deficit.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nate I love your commentary, but 5-7 is not good. How is below .500 good? Come one man its just wins and losses, close only counts in horse shoes. Seriously does being competitive satisfy you? Hey if 5-7 makes you happy all the power to you, but I remember a time when only super bowls were considered success.

Good would be 7-5. I refuse to delude myself into being satisfied until the Raiders put up a winning record and make the playoffs. No one can call them good while they are losing to teams such as the Lions and Bears. Okay maybe Jones can say that but I did not think you would fall into that camp.


3:49 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

I have reached the conclusion that GM Reggie does know what he's doing. He just does it very slowly.

From the moment Reggie became GM, he put the Raiders on the slow track to success. And there they have remained.

It doesn't even look like a 8-8 record is possible this year. Oh well, maybe next year. What's the big rush ? Remember, we're the Oakland Waiters afterall.

I see the progress a team like Tampa has made in one years period time, and I wonder, why not the Raiders ?

I guess it's because Reggie has a plan. A very long, long, long, term plan. Add a few pieces this year. A few more next year. Some more after that. Stop, reassess. Slow down, stop, wait.

In the meantime, our beards grow longer, whiter. I hope we will add a cornerback next year. Maybe a running back in '17. Perhaps the playoffs at some point in my lifetime.

It's all I can hope for with this regime.

4:20 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I think McKenzie swung for the fences with Dennis Allen, Hayden, Watson and others, and got burned for doing so. Since then, he's been more grounded with personnel decisions, aided this year by experienced coaches and assistants.

So the initial inertia aside, there's hope that JDR and co. will put together a winning team by next year.

4:49 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

"there's hope that JDR and co. will put together a winning team by next year."

NYR....Well maybe, but maybe not.

What if Raiders only win 7 games next year. What do you do with a GM that takes over an 8 win team, and five years later, gives you a 7 win team. Albeit one with a good young QB, and some other good players scattered about. What does Mark Davis do ? Keep waiting ?

BTW, Denver went from top offensive team, to top defensive team, in one year. How did they do it ? It must be magic. Reggie does not understand such magic.

5:12 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

00 - what would I do, or what do I think Davis would do? At some point, even at the lowest standards, the GM has to be held accountable.

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I'm not saying that 5-7 is good. I'm saying the team is good. Big difference. I'm not saying being competitive satisfies me, I am saying after 13 seasons of non-competitive football from the Raiders, I am excited that they are finally competitive and making rumblings in the League. Teams are now afraid to play the Raiders again. I am excited because the mistakes they've made this season are correctable, and the pendulum is about to swing the other way for the Raiders.

The Raiders know, and I know, that winning is the bottom line; and I finally feel the Raiders are not satisfied with this record. Again, this is the first time we've seen this type of emotion from the Raiders in 13 seasons! The organization as a whole, are seeing the mistakes, taking steps to correct the mistakes, and are competitive enough to take the next step and become a great team. The record is not good, but there is no denying the Commitment to Excellence we are seeing once again in the Raiders. Now it's time to JUST WIN, BABY!

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take: I totally agree with your views of the 2015 Raiders. My goal all along was 8-8. I always thought our defense would be our weak spot.
I haven't felt this positive about our team since 2011 - and again it was our defense that killed us.
My biggest concern on offense is all the drops.....we left several 1st downs on the field last week..........including Coopers tip to Branch for the final score.
I can hardly wait for 2016.

All in all, we are close to being relevand

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you guys feel about JDR.

I think he has done some good things in regards to discipline and creating more of a real nfl culture. I also love the fact that he is a real Raider fan.

However I find some of his strategy in regards to game plans and in game adjustments to be lacking. More so on offense than D

I could see JDR getting us back to the playoffs in the coming season but I have my doubts whether he is an elite coach and could deliver a championship.

What are your thoughts?


7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't think the problem on offense is JDR,the problem lies with Musgrave. Keeps running the ball up the middle on first down,2nd and long,then passes on 3rd and forever. That's our offense all game long.We need a more creative OC.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Here is some food for thought. If some offensive minded head coaches lose their job this offseason, do the Raiders reach out to them to be OC, or do they stay with Musgrave?

I make this move if Sean Payton, Jim Caldwell, Mike McCoy, or Jason Garrett lose their jobs. Granted they may get another HC job at either NFL or NCAA level, but these represent the kind of upgrade in OC that the Raiders need if they are going to move on from Musgrave. I say give him a RB and another year.

11:23 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I think Musgrave has had some good moments this year, maybe better than I anticipated. The problem I see with changing coaches is disrupting continuity, particularly with respect to Derek Carr.

Too many moving parts has caused much of the Raiders lingering problems.

My vote is leaving the coaching staff intact and just upgrading the roster as much as humanly possible.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Musgrave has 4 more games to prove if he's worthy of staying as the OC.In my opinion he has failed so far.I see a big mistake with keeping Musgrave,when there are better coaches out there.A handful of teams have already fired their OC's.I don't see a problem with the Raiders letting Musgrave go.

9:21 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

For what it's worth, Musgrave has been the better of the two coordinators, and he doesn't have the assistance of offensive-minded HC. So it begs the question: Are you also prepared to replace Ken Norton, Jr.?

4:10 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I would add that a contributing factor of the setbacks the Raiders experience year after year relate to players having to learn new playbooks. That's what's being invited when you replace a coordinator, with no greater impact than on offense.

I agree that play calling could be better, but so could execution. With better players I anticipate better results. Raiders need Hudson back at center and they need upgrades on the right side of the line... and, arguably, at LT.

4:20 AM  
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