Simply put, the defense needs to get its act together. We are a hair's width away from 0-2 due to this s****show on defense, which has allowed more yards in its first two games than any other team since the NFL-AFL merger.
On the bright side, even though the Titans defense is no slouch, Carr & Co. have proven to have the type of firepower we haven't seen in ages. They may need to once again bail us out if Norton & Co. can't figure it out.
This is no gimme, but it's winnable. So seize the day and GO RAIDERS!
The defense sure looked familiar, but that's a game the old Raiders lose. Not today, however, because the new Raiders showed poise, perseverance and guts, right down to JDR's insane 2-point call.
Derek Carr looked absolutely incredible, Cooper and Crabtree were money. Loved Carr taking control of the sideline at the end, pacing the ranks and making sure there were no more stupid penalties to give the Saints any free yardage on the last drive. Leadership is finally, finally, here after countless milquetoast quarterbacks over the past dozen years.
By my count, this is my 12th straight annual season-opening Raider Take post. Forgive me if I've grown a bit weary and jaded during that span, but it has been largely a desert devoid entirely of winning seasons, and I've suffered many disturbing hallucinations over those dozen arid years: Norv Turner, Shell II, Lane Kiffin (Lane Kiffin!), Dennis Allen, Imposter Stars (Jerry Porter; Darren McFadden, LaMont Jordan, DJ Hayden, DHB, etc.), insanities (Holdout (!)JaMarcus Russell, Randy-Moss-Turned-Jogging-Alligator-Arms, Done Warren Sapp) and inanities (Tom Cable v. Randy Hanson, anyone)?
And yet, for the first time in that span, the Raiders are now being universally looked at as a legitimate team on the rise, with actual NFL stars on their roster, and so moisture may finally cross my cracked and parched lips, and the cooling waters of winning football may flow down my throat, and out of the desert I will stride into a new era that came a decade too late, but nevertheless still came, and it shall be known as THE RETURN TO GLORY. I saw it last year on the horizon, reachable and attainable, an actual team driven by a core of Reggie McKenzie draft picks, with a sense of cohesion and purpose, and lo it had been so long since I had seen that, and so while while that horizon was not conquered, it is now ever so near.
But forgive me if, after all of these years, I cannot rush headlong toward that horizon on a pureblood horse of giddy optimism. I have seen too many disappointments, as so my optimism must be tempered until...yes...they PROVE IT. I--we--have been waiting so long for the PROVE IT moment, tricked and juked many times before like a woeful Charlie Brown trying to kick that football, only for Lucy to tug it away at the last second.
And so those new cornerbacks must deliver, and opposing running backs must be stuffed, and Derek Car must show growth, and Amari Cooper can't fade this year, and Latavius Murray needs to show something more, and Jack Del Rio must not settle for playoff caliber aspirations, but rather cultivate a championship caliber culture. And when the do, they will have PROVED IT, and those long wandering days in the desert will finally become a memory. and 'Just Win Baby' will no long be a parody of itself.
In other words, the Return to Glory starts today. GO RAIDERS!