Even though I had my doubts when the Rangers drew the Rays in the first round, they still came through. For some reason I like the Rangers chances even more against the all mighty Yankees than I did against the Rays. Back in September when the Rangers swept the Yankees, I started to believe in them, and wrote a little about why. In that series they were without Josh Hamilton, and the Yankees were without A-Rod, so I figure those two injuries evened each other out lineup wise. What they got from that series more than anything was some extra confidence that they belong with the best. The Rangers have a swagger to them, there’s no way around it, and they’ve been that way all year. I know I brought this up in an older post, but I remember one game back in June when Ian Kinsler was yelling at the Angels players after the game in Arlington to get off their field. I thought it was kind of stupid since they played each other the next day, but it speaks volumes about this team’s mentality, and how together they are. I mean, how many teams would do a separate ginger ale celebration because one of their players is an addict? How many teams survive a manager’s dirty drug test? How many teams would have survived a bankruptcy during a season seeing guys that played in Texas eight years ago, still not being paid what was owed to them? Not many can go through that much turmoil in the workplace, but I think all those outside distractions just made them closer. They don’t roll over like the Twins did when things went wrong, they just move on to the next pitch. Continue reading
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It’s been a looong time since the Raiders have beaten the Chargers. So long that I couldn’t even remember the last time I was able to talk sh** to my Chargers friends, and one of the reasons I picked the Chargers to piss on our rug in Week 5, but amazingly that didn’t happen! I guess I was just used to it, and even turned down the offer to go see this game live with MCeezy, because I figured I’d just be disappointed if I went. Their losing streak to the Chargers has gone longer than I’ve lived in Socal (6 years), and it was great to fire out those texts immediately following the game for once instead of just receiving them, and responding with something along the lines of “Congratulations, that was a shocker”. For the past decade the Chargers were the white unicorn that always seemed to get away. Yesterday with some improbable special teams plays, and just enough offense we outlasted that lightning bolt of a unicorn. It was kind of like how the Chiefs beat the Chargers on that opening Monday night game. Were the Raiders the best team on the field yesterday? Probably not, but they showed for the first time that they can close out a game, and will play the entire 60 minutes. Aside from week one, the best thing I’ve seen about this season is that they don’t give up even when they have some bad breaks that don’t go their way, a far cry from teams past. They actually seem to care, which might even make Raider Nation come back out for the home games and maybe save them from a blackout or two! How can I say the Nation is back? We had some high expectations for improvement this year (like me predicting a AFC Championship appearance), but there was one moment yesterday when I knew the fans had turned. Instead of booing the Raiders off the field they decided to throw stuff at Rivers all game long from the stands! That’s the classy way I remember the Raider Nation behaving, and I couldn’t have been more proud that they were doing it to Phillip cry me a river!
Why did the Raiders finally win this year against the Chargers? Aside from having some breaks go their way (blocked punts, Rivers fumble not being called a pass in a correct ruling of the tuck rule), but I believe the true reason was because they didn’t have LT. Tomlinson would always torch us to the tune of 150 yards, and two or three TD’s every time he played against Oakland. I know that LT went over 200 yards rushing against us on many occasions. LT always had an extra spring in his step when he faced the Raiders. This year is different though for the Chargers, they need to throw the ball way more than even their norm (which was a lot). Ryan Matthews was their leading rusher with 59 yards on 9 carries yesterday!?! They had the lead for nearly all the second half, and their top rusher only had 9 carries!?! Tolbert had 12 carries for 11 yards, but when you’re ahead don’t you think one of those guys should hit the 20’s in carries? As sweet as their passing game may be, they need someone to get some yards on the ground. Matthews might be good, but this year the Chargers are truly missing their running game of years past. Norv, should worry that Rivers arm might fall off throwing it 50 times a game. I’m happy they managed to pull out that win, and it’s a good sign of things to come as they fell just short against Houston and Arizona, so the way I see it the Raiders really are on the rise, and any rise is better than none. Who knows, now that the Chargers are 0-2 in the division, maybe the Raiders have a shot at the playoffs. With all the parody in this league, anything can happen, even at 2-3.