Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Season of Testing Continues…

Oakland Raiders Quarterback Daryl Lamonica #3


I’m trying to remember how the hell we got in this mess…

20011 Raiders were designed by Al Davis and Hue Jackson to assassinate the AFC West.

Getting Jason Campbell at quarterback and  Hue Jackson as head coach were the final pieces of the puzzle.

The defensive line has talent, leadership. Aaron Curry to compliment Rolando McClain at linebacker. Cornerbacks Routt and Asomugha in the backfield with Safety Micheal Huff.

On offense we fill in the center with Wisniewski, with solid guys on either side. World class running backs, proven tight end Zach Miller in midfield and a young receiver corps eager to make plays.

Then a few things went wrong….

Aso’s contract voided itself due to his substandard play. Zach Miller split when he wasn’t offered enough cash.

The Death of Al Davis.

Then both Darren McFadden and Jason Campbell go out with injury.

Suddenly at midseason we are looking at an entirely different Raider team. No other team in the NFL has lost so many key players including our Hall of Fame commander. We have yet to feel the full repercussions.

Looking at this season beforehand I predicted that 8-8 would win the division and Raiders would hold the tie breaker. Based on AFC Wests tough schedule, generally shaky teams and the upswing in Oaklands talent, I predicted we’d take the division.

Now I don’t know what the to think! Try to look on the upside or not, we’ve been thrown in to chaos and this team is an inch away from totally losing control.

We knew this season was going to be HELL coming into it, and now we are at the midway point. There are more dark days ahead, and near misses, and horrifying losses.  Hue Jackson  is leading this team, through thick or through thin.  Beat up as we are now, this is only the beginning. AFC West teams are going to continue to shed players as they are tested through a brutal campaign. Jason is not the last high profile player for an AFC West team that will be lost this season!!!

Raiders will either collapse utterly or will be forged into possibly the best Raider team in a generation….

Raiders 2011 Week Seven: Demolished by the Chiefs

28-0. An historic and agonizing loss for the Raiders.

Sitting through this game at the Coliseum was brutality.

Nothing went right. Everything went wrong.

Injuries have consumed half our team.

Fire Kyle Boller now.

Oakland Raiders VS Kansas City Chiefs

Hue Jackson’s offense was in chaos.

Worst. Game. EVER!

I am a big fan of Jason Campbell to begin with, this game showed without question how important his leadership and conservative play has helped the Raiders.

Carson Palmer has hope, and there is a lot of reason to think he’ll do well for our team once he’s settled in.

Fire Boller and bring Jason in as #2 when he’s healthy.  We need both!

Bush was amazing as always. Defense only allowed one score per half, even though they were rife with injury.

I glanced up at The Flame and it was sputtering, wavering, getting angry…

Let the Bye Week come NOW!

And Forget this game ever happened!!!!!

We STILL Win this Division!!!

FU KC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Raiders 2011 Week Six: Browns Got Bombarded

Oakland Raiders VS Cleveland Browns

Visiting Ohio this week, I was lucky enough to enjoy the Browns versus Raiders game with the family and it was a good match up! Browns fans are accustomed to being the underdog and they assured me that the Raiders had the advantage in this one. As a honorable guest I insisted that the Browns wouldn’t go down without a fight, and I ended up being all too correct!
Raiders came out swinging, and showed superiority on both offense and defense at first. But once QB Jason Campbell went down with a broken collar bone, all bets were off. Back up Kyle Boller did a decent job and kept us in the game long enough for Jacoby Ford to run one in and for kicker Shane Lechler to become the highest rated QB in history- one throw/one TD, a perfect record!
Browns defense kept it close and Cleveland stayed in the game until the very last seconds. A tough battle between two average teams hungry for some wins! Luckily for me, all the pieces on the Oakland team were enough to get the win.
But for all the steps forward Raiders have taken this season, losing Jason Campbell is a huge step back. Suddenly all the optimism is sucked out of the room and my predictions of glory begin to wobble. It’s a huge blow and all Raider fans are questioning what comes next.
Seems like every game this season has been a serious roller coaster ride! Being a Raider fan has never been for the faint of heart, but this campaign has had me on the edge of my seat.

A few thoughts:
Penalties were WAY down in this game, only 5! Awesome progress and really a huge step forward.
Now that we’ve lost Jason I’m reminded that Hue Jackson is the real leader of this team. No piece of the puzzle can not be replaced, as long as Hue is moving them on the chess board.
I have been a huge Jason Campbell fan, and have seen this team improve in so many ways since Jamarcus got fired. I will always be Jason’s fan and he will always be a true Raider hero in my mind. He did so much for this team and I hope some way some how he can remain a part of it. I feel terrible for him and think that Raiders owe him a huge debt.

Hue continues to call amazing and entertaining plays to win these games. The fake punt/Touch Down pass from Lechler goes down in history as a seriously awesome call.  Special teams is the best in the league.

Offensive line is awesome. Defensive line came out vicious and brutal. DHB making catches. Defensive backs keeping us in the game, and making plays when needed. Rookies doing their best, learning and growing.

We are really missing Fullback Marcel Reece. He hits the defense like a wrecking ball so McFadden can run through the rubble.  Once he is back in, I expect to see #20 doing major damage.

This team has a short window to do something in the NFL. Despite the critics, the pundits, the haters and our own low self-esteem, this team MUST keep fighting, the opportunity to achieve a championship is so dam short!  NOW IS THE TIME!

Raiders 2011 Week Five: Payback Hits the Texans

Oakland Raiders VS Houston Oilers

In 2010 the Raiders got schooled by the Texans at home.  The hated Arian Foster ran wild and Raiders were scattered, disoriented and lost on the field. They had all the talent they do today, but the leadership and cohesion as a team were simply not there.

What a difference a year makes.

Everybody picked Houston of course, but when the smoke cleared Raiders gave the Texans a well-deserved smackdown. And they did it the old fashioned way, with a hammering defensive front, a balanced passing and running attack, and with a TON of blunders, mistakes and fan-torturing screw ups that took it down to the wire!

Whether you call them the Texans or the Oilers or whatever, they have always been second fiddle to the Raiders.  Since the Texans still have a winning record against us, it will be a few years before the natural order of things asserts itself.   This week the spell has been broken and there is no more fear of the Texans, just a sense that Raiders are breaking through barriers left and right. Overcoming the Monday Night Football curse, the away games vs AFC curse and so many others in the last year, Oakland is very much on the right track.

However, being ranked as 31st place, the bottom of the NFL in overall defense, this team has a lot of work to do.  Again, Oakland has a problem with playing below their own talent level, and playing down to teams beneath them. Hue Jackson has taken the job of changing the spirit of this team, and putting an end to the senseless collapses and silly squabbles that have kept our team out of the playoffs for far too long.

The time is right, the coach is right and the team is right to shift into the next gear!

The first third of the season has been a difficult test, but 3-2 against these foes is a great accomplishment. The next third of the season will be a cake walk in comparison. In the past Raiders would proceed to blow it and lose to teams they had every reason to beat. With Hue Jackson at the head, this must not, WILL not happen.

The Pride and Poise has returned… Now– just win it!!!!

Forever Loyal: Al Davis & The Oakland Raiders

Raiders Al Davis

Many who knew Al Davis have spoken on his positive qualities and his achievements as a titan in the world of pro football.

Many feel sadness on his passing, and reflect on his life as a great friend, mentor, teacher and leader.

All I feel is RAGE! Anger that we never got to prove THEM wrong. To see Mr. Davis hold one last Lombardi Trophy, to hold it high and show EVERYONE that he was right all along and all the haters were WRONG.

They said he was over the hill, that he was senile, that he was left behind by the times, that he was a cheater and a liar. The greatest hope of the Raider Hater was that Al Davis would never win another World Championship.

And they won.

Raider Hating SCUM across the world are celebrating, cheering and privately fist pumping, now that our leader is gone. They have always hated Oakland and have always hated the Raiders.  And Raider fans have kept up a 50 year fight against them, never backing down in even the bleakest of times. Confident and knowing that we would someday return to the top.

That Al Davis would hoist the Trophy once more, one final time, one final middle finger to the rest of the NFL and all those who love to hate the Raiders.

We’ve been deprived of that moment.

Al Davis has been deprived of that moment.

Kissing up and making nice is NOT an option. Crocodile tears and fake tributes by the sniveling cowards on TV who made a career of Raider Hate.  NEVER forget that these bastards found every reason to slander our team, to always say something bad about us. How the fans are crap, our owner is demented and our Coliseum must be destroyed.

I don’t feel reflective, or sad or at a loss now that our leader has passed.

I AM ENRAGED!!!!!!!!

Now there is only one options left: FIGHT! DEMOLISH the AFC West, SMASH the rest of the NFL, leave their stadiums in shambles! DESTROY all those teams who dreamed of the day that Al Davis was gone, CRUSH them in the regular season and TRAMPLE them in the Post Season! Make this the most SAVAGE, personal-foul filled season in history, running a VICIOUS rampage through the best teams in the league until they FALL before the RAIDERS ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!!!

2011 Division Struggle- Raiders on the Rise

Oakland Raiders Kenny Stabler #12

Will the other AFC West teams beat Jets or Bills?

Probably not. Chargers will fall to both those teams, as they lost to the Patriots. They simply aren’t as good as Oakland. Last years season sweep showed as much, and both teams are nearly identical to 2010.

Denver and KC are spiraling downhill rapidly and have little chance to catch up to the Raiders this year.

IF all the AFCW teams lose to the Patriots, that game is a wash across the board.

Oakland’s first four games were against a tough schedule. Week 1 was an intense Monday night on the road against a division rival. Those are never easy, even against a crap Denver team. Week 2 against a powerful Bills team showed the Raiders capable of dominance despite the loss. Week 3 against two time playoff Jets was a great win and showed Raiders at their best. Week 4 was a loss from day one, no one expected the Raiders to win this.

So instead of 0-4 we are 2-2. Raiders are on schedule to win the division.

Chargers are 3-1, but Raiders will win against Chiefs, Dolphins and Vikings, as these teams are easy money for Coach Jackson’s bloodthirsty offense. Meanwhile Chargers are very likely to lose to Bills and Jets.

Even though San Diego is at #1 in the division by a game, in the overally scheme of things they are about to hit a brick wall and Raiders are on course for some big wins in the next few weeks.

I predicted an 8-8 season and winning the division on a tiebreaker against SD.

After seeing the Raiders team quickly growing, I may have underestimated Oakland by a long shot! 10 wins are possible for this team. In past years they would have choked by now. Coach Jackson is not letting that happen and has this team prepared for the long haul.

The only real question is, will Raiders be ready to compete in the post season? From what we’ve seen so far, no. But they are getting better. The NFL is on notice, here comes the Raiders…

Raiders 2011 Week Four: Can’t Get Past the Patriots

Oakland Raiders Freddy Biletnikoff #25

In 2010 the Raiders were tested by the Steelers, and they failed that test miserably. In 2011 the Raiders were tested by the Patriots. And although they lost, the Raiders showed that they have grown in the last year and were able to stay competitive against an extremely good, battle-tested, superbowl worthy opponent. That’s not something we could say last year, so in my mind, the Raiders have come a long ways.

However, in this year of testing, there is so much more to be done.  Others have well reviewed the ups and downs of the game.  It’s clear that Jason Campbell is a dam good QB, but not above making mistakes at times. The defense needs to make stops on 3rd down instead of penalties.  Tacklers need to hit the man and take him down. And I see too much of the “dumb” Raiders of pre 2010 – biting on fakes, overpursuing the QB allowing the runner to break through, and giving up big plays in the secondary when linebackers fail to make tackles.  This defense has to get smarter, but I don’t know how or who can make that happen.

Thoughts I have from this game:

Hue Jackson has yet to go for it on 4th down this season. In the 3rd quarter we were 15 yards away from the goal, with 3 yards for a first down and we kicked it? Going for the TD at that point in the game could have changed the momentum, and brought back the energy we needed to stay in this game.  If not then, WHEN do we go for it on 4th? Jackson has a killer instinct, in that case I feel we should have used it.

Offensive line kept our QB clean the entire game without a sack! Amazing work. However, our run game just didn’t catch fire as it has in the past.  We lost some steam in this game and that concerns me.

Seeing Hall of Fame Raider Jim Otto in the owners box with Coach Davis was a reminder that the Raiders franchise has glory beyond measure and that this years team has a HUGE standard to live up to. They aren’t there yet.

Seems like Seymour’s personal fouls used up a lot of his energy for the game. After that he just slowed down.  The D line kept pressure, but never got to Brady, despite getting hands  on him, he was able to squirm away. How can our D line put reliable pressure on the QB?

Raiders entered this season as an average team. Each game they are growing toward becoming good. So far they’ve survived each test. Texans are next, and this will be another opportunity for Raiders to grow. This team is talented, and they play hard. The final ingredient is to play smart, and that is what we need for the playoffs to come.