Raiders Off and Running Wild

I was cautiously optimistic coming into the season about the Raiders, but looking back, I think I have been for the last three since we dumped Jamarcus. There’s something vastly different about this team this year. Even today against the Jets they improved from the previous two weeks in big ways. Penalties was one. Seven might sound like a lot, but to the Raiders that is a good sign. They are notorious for penalties, and somehow we’ve kept them under ten for two straight games. That might be the longest streak they’ve had in four years. I’ll sum up the reason why I believe they have changed, Hue Jackson has the attention of this team. He has them actually aware of what is going on compared to many past coaches that couldn’t get the players to compose themselves in the heat of the moment. Do I dare call them a cohesive team!?! Just looking at their collapse in Buffalo yesterday’s Raiders would’ve gone into a four game losing streak spiral, but not this team, they bounced back and showed the showtime Jets some real swagger.

Another big reason for my optimism this year was that they actually have some playmakers. Everyone knows, and in most cases rips on Al Davis for picking guys on two criteria, athletic ability, and speed. It took seven drafts drought to finally start picking some of the “right guys”, but it looks like Al hasn’t completely lost his touch that made the Raiders great in years past. Sure, some picks were probably easier than others like selecting McFadden (the best back in the NFL right now) in 2008 looks like a no brainier, but the last three years they took their best three receivers/playmakers in the 4th or 5th round. Guess what the pundits said about the picks at the time? Meh, Crazy Al picking the fastest guy in the draft again…

Who were those picks? 2009 4th round pick, Louis Murphy. 2010 5th round pick, Jacoby Ford. 2011 4th round pick, Denarius Moore. I had low expectations for nearly all of them, but at different points they’ve all looked like big time players. Denarius shined for a second straight week. Last week he caught 5 balls for 164 yards and a TD. Today he had an amazing reverse, and broke a few Jets arm tackles for a TD. Jacoby Ford hasn’t even taken the field yet this year, and he is our best receiver imo. I’m not saying any of these guys will be 1,000 yard recievers this year, but everytime any of them touch the ball they have a shot at breaking it into a big play. Hell, even Heyward-Bey has the speed to break a big one, if he can actually hang onto the ball. This team is a run first team, but with many weapons on the outside, it’s become the reason the Raiders are actually consistently putting up 30+ points with a less than exciting Jason Campbell leading the way. Another thing Al never gets credit for is building this offensive line paving the way for McFadden and Bush, three of those linemen were drafted in the last three years as well. This whole rant feels a little strange, because I haven’t defended Al Davis like this in a LONG time.

There is one main concern on defense for the Raiders, and it’s the secondary. I think Mceezy and I have both agreed that the Raiders front four might be the best in all of football. They pretty much hit the QB on nearly every passing play, and do well bottling up RB’s not named Fred Jackson without much help from blitz schemes. They already have 10 sacks on the year. Their glaring weakness is the young Asomugha-less secondary. They seem to account for half the teams penalties called on them for holding or pass interference. They just need to learn to keep their head up, because the front four are putting plenty of pressure on QB’s, so they don’t really need to hold the recievers.

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About chappy81

I'm a dude that just hit 30 years old. Pretty much like everything that is funny, insightful, and has to do with the Warriors, A's, and Raiders. View all posts by chappy81

8 responses to “Raiders Off and Running Wild

  • tophatal

    chappy

    Pop champagne ! The Raiders looked devishly good ! On the other hand the Jets didn’t know what hit them . Unlike the Pats who looked pi@s poor in allowing the Bills to erase a 21-0 lead and then winning the game 34-31 . F##k ! Did hell freeze over….. , over the weekend ?

    And what the hell is it with the teams in the wildcard races in baseball ? The Red Sox and Braves look terrible at the moment .

    tophatal ……….

    • chappy81

      Hey man, don’t feel too bad about your Pats, the Raiders blew a 21-3 halftime lead against those same Bills! Maybe those guys really are legit. Who would’ve thought outside Buffalo that Fitzpatrick would be this good!?!

      It’s going to be hard for the Braves or the Sox to turn it around after limping into the playoffs…

      • tophatal

        Feel bad ! I’d feel a hell of a lot better if Brady allowed me to spend a night with his wife ! Wha’d ya think about that ? LOL ! Payback !

        If either of the two or both make it , they won’t last long in the divisional rounds . These two teams have been playing way too inconsistently .

        I’ll watch the Cowboys and Redskins tonight …… nothing like seeing two self absorbed owners like Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones trying outdo each other !

        tophatal ……..

  • sportsattitudes

    It’s nice to see one revelant team playing in the Coliseum, eh’? Would be nice if the A’s could match the potential the Raiders put on display against the Jets. McFadden is awesome. I loved when he jumped into the stands a tad too deep, combined with no one catching him. It looked like he had bought a ticket. If they keep this up, the West might be theirs.

    • chappy81

      Yeah, I have to say, it’s a worthwhile ticket again! I have a feeling their going to sell out a lot of games this year with people just wanting to see McFadden alone.

      Did you see the recent stuff on Willingham? He was saying he’d sign with the A’s at below market value. Unheard of! A hitter wanting to stay in Oakland at a discount!?! Beane said they aren’t going to do anything until they hear a ruling on the territory rights, so I guess we’re passing up one simple, frugal, and smart signing… Very glad I have the Raiders to cheer for!

  • ChrisHumpherys (@SportsChump)

    They’re off to a nice start, although their next two games are against New England and Houston. That should tell us how for real the Raiders are.

    • chappy81

      Yeah, I wish New England won last week, now they’re going to be extra pissed to play us next weekend. I think if we get some pressure on Brady (which we should be able to), we’ve got a good shot! Maybe Seymour will headbutt his old QB…

  • JW

    I’m with Humpherys…I want to see what this team looks like in three weeks.

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