Monthly Archives: September 2011

Raiders 2011 Week Three: Down Go the Jets

Oakland Raiders VS New York Jets

Old time AFL rival and hated foe the New York Jets came to town. It was one hell of a game as two well matched teams slugged it out at the Coliseum. The lead went back and forth and both teams scored plenty.
However, in the third quarter Oakland’s savage Defense finally started getting thru, with four sacks on Jet’s QB Sanchez. At the same time Campbell, McFadden and Bush used Coach Jackson’s creative play calling to make it happen on offense, scoring twice in under 60 seconds.
This is the Raiders of Week 17 last year, powerful, vicious, attack on defense, aggressive on offense. This is the team Coach Jackson has been building. As he said, they aren’t there yet, but we are getting closer.
This team is fun to watch! What an exciting game against a strong opponent. Win or lose the Raiders are making football fun again and I don’t think there’s any team they can’t beat.

However, let’s look ahead…
Last year the Raiders got SLAUGHTERED by a superior Pittsburgh team. Next weeks game against the Patriots seems like a similar match up. Oakland is trying to take the next step and climb up out of the pit of the last 7 years.  The Patriots will test them to the limit of their ability. Can Raiders keep their poise, confidence and pressure at an all time high to get to Brady and bring him down? My money is on Oakland!
Highlights: Great offensive line has kept Campbell safe game in and game out. WizII is playing at a very high level.
Defense is keeping insane pressure up front, and secondary is wobbly but keeping with it. We may lose some yards, but the pressure cooker up front just keeps plugging away and the sacks will come.
Jason Campbell continues to be a smart, careful, conservative QB.
Darren McFadden continues to be a MONSTER!!!
Mike Bush is our KO punch, leaving defenses in shambles.
Young playmaker D. Moore #17 is making a lot of fans happy!

Negatives: Special teams seems to be giving up a lot of yards on kick returns. Nearly cost us a touchdown this game!
How the HELL does LT continue to torment the Raiders!!! He just seems to make it happen at the Coliseum. Maybe Coach Davis can hire him as a 4th running back just to keep him at our home games!
Secondary has to grow up fast. DVD, Chekwa, and other new guys are being called upon. Sink or swim guys, the stress is now on you big time!

It’s going to get worse…

Oakland Raiders VS New York Jets

In 2009 Raiders were garbage.
In 2010 Raiders became average.
In 2011 the Raiders are striving to become good.

The way to BECOME the best is the FIGHT against the best. Beating up the Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers is not enough. That’s what got this team to average. But to become good Oakland has to face the toughest, roughest, meanest, most physical, most intelligent and most vicious teams in the league.

Lucky for us, the Jets, Patriots and Texans are next on our schedule. This is what Hue Jackson WANTS! This is what he NEEDS to create a powerhouse. One round with Mike Tyson will teach you more about boxing than a hundred wins against no-name tomato cans.

Think about our team at this point last year. Coach and owner hadn’t spoken in months. Campbell benched, massive QB controversy. Offensive struggling, couldn’t get in the endzone. DMAC out with injury. This team was on the ropes.

Now look at the Oakland Raiders. This offense and this defense have the potential to be amazing! We have coaches that can take this squad to the top. We have the talent and the team to become something very special. Now take all of that and throw it into the hottest inferno and smash it with a sledgehammer! Forge STEEL through savage battle and suffering! What emerges when the smoke clears may become the most dominant Raider team in history…

This season will be a heartbreaker. More injuries, more defeats, more bloody, body-strewn football fields. But if the Raiders can keep standing back up and keep fighting for their lives, they will win this division. They will earn the right to compete in the playoffs among the best teams in this league.

They will have earned the right to be called “good”.

Raiders 2011 Week Two: Busted by the Bills

Oakland Raiders VS Buffalo Bills

After last game I felt that the Raiders offense need to step it up and stop relying on the defense and special teams to save their bacon. And you know what, that’s exactly what they did! Powerful run game, and solid catches by our new WR’s put many points on the board. Problem was, defense looked horrible. Talented players were in position to make plays and they didn’t. How they fix that, I do not know, but coaches this week will have plenty to work on. Agonizing as it was to lose, this game showed another aspect of how good the Raiders CAN be when they put it all together.

Part of that growth as a team is becoming clear. Starting from Week 17 last year, you can see that the same team came to play in Week 1 this year. The strengths of a powerful pass rush, great run game and intelligent play by QB Campbell are all still there. Weaknesses of run defense and non-Nnam cornerback play, missed tackles, and lack of clutch playmaking on defense are also still there. With no offseason, we are two weeks past Week 17 last year, and this team continues to develop and grow. Patience is not a virtue among the Raider Nation, but we have to recognize it’s not coming overnight. We went from Garbarge in 2009, to Average in 2010. To become Good in 2011 will take the burning heat of a bonfire…

One way I see growth is the way Coach Woodson is getting our secondary in position to make interceptions. Now, they haven’t made them yet. But at Denver and at Buffalo, Raiders secondary were in position to make 5 or more turnovers per game. They weren’t able to follow thru, but each time they are getting closer. Woodson is getting through to these guys, within a few weeks I expect to see Raiders breaking the game wide open with these opportunities.

This loss was/is a horrible and painful experience. This was our game to win, and only defensive play that was historically bad allowed the Bills to come back and win it. However, it’s Week 2 and I see a Raider team that is ready to play against ANY TEAM in the NFL. We are competitive again, and we are dangerous again, and the Raiders are back baby. No one can pencil us in for a win anymore, and in 2009, early 2010 you couldn’t say that. Hue Jackson is taking this team in the right direction.

Some compare this game to Jacksonville in 2010 and that is an apt comparison. Because we are only a few weeks past that game as a team. Raiders are learning, and building off of their strengths from last year.

Right now, the key is to stay healthy. We may give up a few more painful losses, but by the end of this season, if we can keep our guys in the game, this Raider team will be strong as others fall apart. And the AFC West Division Crown will be ours !!!!!!!

The parts are in place. Iron Sharpens Iron. Bring on the Jets, Bring on the Pats, this Oakland team will give them a fight they will NOT forget! Even as the underdog, it’s clear that Raiders can win these games. This team is getting better each week and will continue to. If we have to learn some lessons, early in the season, it will only make us stronger when we hit the playoffs at the end of 2011!


Raiders 2011 Week One: Brutalizing the Broncos

Oakland Raiders VS Denver Broncos

Brutalizing the Broncos.  A sloppy win for the Raiders, but when it comes to hated division rival Broncos, WINNING is everything.  I saw much the same team the dominated the Chiefs in week 17 of 2010. But now they are more experienced, stronger and better managed. There was some rust from a short offseason, but I am certain Hue will have them ready for next week.

What I liked in this game:
Offensive line looked good. They kept Campbell upright and led the way for McFadden to run.
Jason Campbell had solid ball security on a rainy day. No drops, no fumbles given up. No stupid passes at the wrong time. Just solid ball handling, and handing off. All by the books, and that’s worth a huge amount to this team.
Running game rocked. What can I say RUNDMC is looking awesome. When I first saw him in 2009 he scared me with all the fumbles and drops. Since then he has become one of the NFL’s premier running backs, and all Oakland fans are proud of him and his progress.
Defensive front dominant.  Nonstop pressure on the QB led to big sacks later in the game. Keeping Orton on the run, scared and desperate. Probably led to his slip and drop of the ball which saved the game for Oakland.
Secondary was solid.  The entire media was saying our secondary was doomed without #21.  We saw otherwise.  Against a better QB it might be harder, but our guys got the job done, I’m not worried about them whatsoever.
Kickers awesome. No more to say, these guys are the best ever.

What I worry about:
Offense still relying on Jano.  Last year one weakness was reliance on a brilliant kicker. Enough already. I would rather see us blow it on 4th down than get another 3 point for free.  Because if we don’t take chances on 4th  we’ll never learn how to win when the chips are down.  In the long run, Raiders HAVE to learn to make clutch plays, and that only comes with trial and error.
Defense on the field too long equals injury. Defense was lights out, DEMOLISHING the Bronco offense. Whether stuffing every run or breaking their QB on the ground, our D was spectacular. But depending on them over and over is another Raider weakness. Offense needs to get their job done, and stop relying on the defense to do it for them.  If we keep our D on the field for most of the game, they will get injured. And a defense with no #92 will be a problem…
Staying Healthy is the Key!

Penalties are a problem. But a bully is going to get into trouble at times, that’s the price you pay for physical dominance. And as we know, Raiders have won 8/10 games when they have 10+ penalties. When you play with passion and everything you’ve got, penalties are part of it. I think we all agree though, the false starts and other “dumb” penalties are the problem. From here on out all I want to see are Personal Fouls, and Roughing the Passer.  I only want 15 yard penalties. Because for each one of those, you got 5 more that weren’t called.  Raider ball is rough and tough. Follow Steelers and Ravens lead, fight, play hard but don’t let the refs catch you.

2011 Season: Trial By Fire

Oakland Raiders #47

Entering the 2011 season, it’s clear that the AFC West is in for a beating.

Last year was the easiest schedule in history: the weak NFC West, and the unexciting AFC South were nothing to worry about. But even then the Chiefs only managed 10 wins, with less for the other AFCW teams.

Now we have the brutal NFC North and the AFC East to contend with. These contain many playoff teams, with veteran leadership and QB play, who get to the post season year in and year out.

My prediction is the these NO WAY any AFC West team will get more than 8 wins in the season to come. For sure 9 wins is enough to take the division, but most likely the Raiders will be division champs at 8-8, breaking the tie with San Diego because they will have more wins inside the division.

This year will be filled with injuries, beatings, batterings, humiliating losses and ass whippings.  AFC West teams will struggle with second stringers filling in, and getting outgamed, out muscled and out fought by the playoff teams in other divisions.  This season will be bloody and ugly and the Raiders are sure to take many punches to the gut.

Under massive strain some AFC West teams will buckle, implode and break apart. This season will break them. However, the teams that can handle defeat and keep on fighting, that can take a beating and keep on playing will become stronger than ever.

Oakland will lose games painfully. When they lost to PIT last year, the team imploded and started to fall apart. Even though they eventually banded back together, it was too late to win the division.  If we break like that again this year, it’s over for this team, and 2012 will be more of the same humiliation.  However, if Raiders can take a few tough losses, and get up stronger each time, the sky will be the limit for this team.

2010 was a weak year. Fighting weak teams makes you weaker not stronger.  If you win against pipsqueaks like the Chiefs and Broncos, you just get overconfident.

However in 2011 we play some of the greatest teams in the league. And win or lose, those games will teach the Raiders lessons that they MUST learn in order to become a playoff team again.  To become the best you MUST fight the best.  Oakland has to take the lumps that come with a hard fought game.  And if Hue Jackson can lead these players, this team has the talent to win the Superbowl in 2012.

But only if they survive the trial by fire in 2011.