Sunday, September 25, 2022

Titans Gameday Thread

Time to park the Clown Car and get back on track. Brace yourself for the Derrick Henry show. This is such a pivotal game and the Raiders can't afford to get run over. EVERYBODY needs to step up their game today. GO RAIDERS!

Monday, September 19, 2022

One Postgame Take

That was an epic choke for the ages, fire up the Clown Car. 

There's been a lot of disagreement in the comments lately, but this is something we can all agree upon: that was a massive fail that lands squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff. The players and the refs aren't entirely off the hook, either.

Go back and review the drive charts for the last nine minutes of the game. It's a horror show. Every time we needed just ONE more play to shut this circus down, we couldn't do it. Again and again the Raiders let Murray yank rabbits out of hats while seemingly refusing to help themselves on offense, right down to the last possession that ended with fumble (recovered), near INT, fumble, game over. 

Davante Adams: two catches, 21 yards over 60+ minutes. WTF?

This is the kind of game that can change trajectories and careers if things aren't shored up fast. That may be overstating it, but if the Raiders don't bounce back soon, we're going to look at this game as a pivot point for a lost season and a rough start for the McDaniels era. Let's hope it doesn't come to that, but anything is possible after yesterday.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Cardinals Gameday Thread

 Late start to the thread here, and great start for the Raiders. Davante Adams is money. GO RAIDERS!

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Chargers Gameday Thread

Alright, it's time to move on and look AHEAD to the 2022 season.

Much to be excited about. New regime, new superstar receiver, great core of returning skill players, and a defense that needs to hold the line. Give Derek Carr time to throw and let's see what happens. 

It's a gauntlet of games to start the season, starting off 1-0 today would be more significant than a simple notch in the win column amid a 17-game season. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.

Can't afford to drop a lot of intra-division contests this year. Taking one on the road to start off the McDaniels era would feel kinda epic. Losing wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would be a bit of a gut punch. 

The way the schedule is set up, and considering how tough the AFC West has become, this season feels sort of like a sprint AND a marathon. 

All we can say right now is GO RAIDERS!

Sunday, September 04, 2022

2022 Week 1: Anticipation and Excitement

Let's get this out of the way first...

Debate is raging in the comments about the Gruden #2 Era, and what it means to the present and future of the Las Vegas Raiders. 

My perspective is echoed by a few things I read in a piece in The Athletic this week. First off, from beat reporter Vic Tafur responding in a Q&A:

Q: Observing McDaniels’ coaching philosophy through training camp, how does he differ from the past few coaches the Raiders had? Is there anything special that makes him stand out from previous regimes?

A: There’s not the emotional roller coaster there was with Jon Gruden, with opinions on players speeding up and down from day to day. There has clearly been a focus on fundamentals, details and penalty-avoiding technique, and it worked in the preseason. Players say the offense is more complicated and has defined roles in the red zone. McDaniels admittedly had problems with his people skills during his first go-around as head coach in Denver, and it will be interesting to see what happens the first time the team faces adversity. But everything has been smooth sailing so far.

I like the sound of that. Of course, anything "new" is always the shiny toy before it has been tested. I do believe that Gruden was probably more seat of the pants and emotional in his approach, but there are more than one ways to skin a cat and cultivate winning football. I just like the sound of trying to skin it differently under McDaniels. 

We shall see how it plays out. Every new head coach is a winner before games are played, especially when there's stark contrast with the previous coaching regime. Look at the takes coming out of Minnesota and Miami, for example: 180-degree turns in coaching approaches, with everyone slobbering about how the previous way sucked and the new guys are going to hit it out of the park. Nevetheless, I'm getting the "feels" from McDaniels and Ziegler, and I hope I'm right.

A reader added this in the comments section of the aforementioned Athletic article, and it also sounds about right to me:

We had some colossal hits in Gru 2.0 (Waller, Crosby, Renfrow, Hobbs) and many colossal failures (Arnette, Ferrell, Leatherwood, AB, Littleton, etc). His personnel decisions had FAR too much standard deviation to ever put together a full-ish team. Overall, I'd say he ended at slightly below average. I anticipate this regime to be a bit more calculated and less variable in their decisions. But this quick reload shows that the team was not as bad as much as Gruden gets ragged on for.

Moving on from the review mirror, let's look through the windshield.

Chargers, Cardinals, Titans, Broncos, Chiefs is real gauntlet to start the season. We could find ourselves grasping for patience over panic by Week 6 with a few bad bounces. Or the Raiders could explode out of the gates. Will the new-look offense led by Carr and Adams gel immediately, or will there be growing pains, especially with our offensive line woes?

The division is just brutal. You could finish last in the AFC West and potentially still be the fifth or sixth best team in the conference. But there are question marks hovering over our rivals. Are the Chargers finally for real, or just perennial playoff teases? Is Russell Wilson going to change Denver's fortunes overnight? With the loss of Hill and a host of new skill players, can the Chiefs still set pace? The answers to those questions will play a major role in the Raiders' divisional fate this year.

Most of all, I'm just excited about the return of Raiders football for another season, and to be in good company with all of you, firing off your takes, sometimes veering into heated debate but always willing to cool down and ultimately give love and respect and ultimately not take it too personally. 

We all agree on this: GO RAIDERS!