So I was at the Colliseum Sunday, trying to enjoy the early workings of what was to become a great game, when my Sunday ended. I didn't see any points scored, let alone anything exciting before the moment stood before me. It made me miss a game I had been waiting on, to which I brought 12 people along with me to witness a change in the Raiders' ways.
"You oinks are all the same"
"Well have you been fingerprinted and booked yet?" asked the officer.
"Yeah hella hours ago man."
"Well than you two should be in the release tank, why are you still in here."
All I know is either the laws have changed, or there are to many God Damn Raider Haters who happen to wear a uniform.
This is where it all gets interesting. Week 13, the Oakland Raiders have a home matchup against their division rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs. Up to this point, the season has looked dim, but this week is a must win for the Oakland Raiders.
My reasoning for this is that the Raiders are still mathematically in the hunt for the AFC West title. After the win against the Broncos, we have tied their division Record at 2-2. The Raiders need a lot of help from other teams, but our chances are better than glim. The Broncos will have to face the red-hot Jets, who do not show signs of slowing down. So if the Raiders can get a win at home this week, and hope Brett Favre can keep the train rolling, that leaves Oakland only two games behind.
The Chargers will play a big part in our quest for the glory, but that all plays into effect next week, and in week 17. So I will leave the skepticism to be followed up on a week by week basis.
The whole idea that Tom Cable instilled in this young team was brilliant. By Tom asking the players to do what they have to do in order to leave each game 1-0. The games that you have already played are just notes to use in preperation for next week. It has allowed our young team to erase the mental errors that they seem to keep as baggage, that could become a burden.
If by any chance the Raiders come out of week 13 victorious, it will make the rest of the regular season a real treat for the three teams in the West that are still in contention.
Have you ever had something to say about the Raiders? What Raiders fan hasn't? Have you ever wanted to start your own blog about the Oakland Raiders? Now is the time to get online and start contributing to the blogosphere.
OaklandRaidersNews.com (http://www.oaklandraidersnews.com/) offers all the tools you need to start your own Raiders blog. Joining is free and easy. All you need is a valid email address and an internet connection. Once you join you can create your own profile page, upload an image to represent yourself, and start blogging.
Their blogging interface is easy to use with a nice intuitive MS Word style text editor with a spell checker for you to write your blog entries in. Once you've posted your blog entry other members of the community can comment on it, and of course you can comment on their comments. There are a lot of other more advanced features too, like creating a photo library of all your best Raiders pictures, adding other bloggers to your "friends list," adding a "widget" (a small bit of html code from a 3rd party which can display Raiders information) and adding video to your blog posts through a service like YouTube.
You can also roam around the site and read other people's Raiders blog posts and comment on them. There is also a recently started Raiders forum where you can banter about the Raiders with other fans. Looking at the current blog posts displayed on the home page it's clear that while not everyone is a professional writer, nearly all of the people using the sites are die hard Raiders fans.
All-in-all OaklandRaidersNews.com offers a great online experience for Raiders fans. If you have a moment check it out.
- First we must protect the ball, the Ravens defense is as good as it gets, when they turn an offensive miscue, into a defensive highlight.
- That might mean running the ball on third downs if it gets into a game that is decided by field position.
- Make sure you know where Ed Reed is lined up at, on every down.
- The Raiders could also benefit from another decent game from our wide-outs.
- Defensively we need to apply a lot of pressure on Joe Flacco, and hope for him to give our DB's some plays to make. Their WR are getting old, so our corners can manhandle them, giving our front four a chance to get to the QB.
- We must convert on third downs, keep our defense fresh.
- Bring out the aerial assualt, and go deep on them. The best defenders the Ravens have are mostly up front.(exception: Ed Reed)
- Mix up our blitzing schemes, to confuse Flacco.
- Try to get McFadden the ball at least fifteen times, to change the pace of our ground attack.
- And let's try to be 1-0 come Sunday.
Well there you have it. These are my keys to the game, if the Raiders can manage to get 6 out of 10 done, I think we have a good chance at making things complicated in the AFC West
(Photo courtesy of Jed Jacobson, Getty Images)
Last Sunday, which just so happened to be October 19th 2008, the date is of real significance to anyone who had it planned as a Raider Nation National holiday. A day in which us Raider fans were going to have our last farewell to Brett Favre. This was going to be our chance to give Brett our revenge from what he did to us on a Monday Night game back in 2003.
In my article titled, "Why Raiders Fans Love Brett Favre Being a Jet," I rambled about why the team would rattle Brett, and cause him to have one of his worst games in a while.
- Brett Favre will have his glory moments that is for sure, but on October 19th, he will be wishing he stayed retired.
- His boxscore will look something like:
12/27 1 TD 3 INT 1 FUM 6 Sacks
- It gives the Raiders one more chance to show that we are not a victim of Favres anymore, and that this will be the game he remembers the rest of his life. It will be a non-friendly farewell for Brett in Oakland.
And I was almost dead on, except I threw some horrible stats at him, and look what he actually did:
21/38, 0 TD, 2 INT, 3 FUM, 3 Sacks.
He actually had a worse game than I was hoping for.
About the game itself, simply amazing. Being apart of one of the loudest crowds I have ever heard, that helped propel the defensive stands in overtime, is indescribable. The team actually looks like they figured out how to close out games which is basically all they were lacking. Otherwise, the Raiders could be 4-2 at this point, but never the less the Raiders played with some Pride and Poise down the stretch of the game.
The Raiders might be able to turn this around, they still look like a team that can be a tough matchup come the second half of the season.
(Photo courtesy of Dobson Images)
Week five ended on Monday Night, as the Saints hosted the Minnesota Vikings. The game was a complete disaster for the Saints, doing whatever they could, to try and lose that game. Drew Brees, was hurried, and hit quite a few times. The Offense for New Orleans could not hold on to the football, nor could they sustain many drives. Their Special teams aside from Reggie Bush, was terrible. After I watched the game a second time, it seemed more to be that the Minnesota players were at the right place at the right time.
Will the Saints be able to rebound after a short week? Going up against a team that has had two weeks to get healthy, will make it seem a lot harder.
With the Raiders having the bye week, it was "pretty" successful. We installed a new Head Coach, watched two of the three teams in our division lose again, and the Raiders have gotten Justin Fargas back fro his injury in week 2.
Tom Cable, told the team as well as the media, that we were going to establish a more balanced offense. JaMarcus Russell will have chances to make plays. A LOT of plays. Kiffin seemed overly conservative with Russell. If he missed a throw, or the receiver dropped the ball, Kiffin was too quick to abandon the passing game.
Maybe Cable will tell Russell, "We need you to go out there and make some plays." Let Russell have some freedom, let him establish a rhythm passing the football for once. How else are we supposed to strengthen our passing game, if you do not give it a fair chance to work.
For example, Trent Edwards in Buffalo, also a young quarterback that is growing into the mold of a quality passer. But how many times to they let him throw the ball? The same thing goes with Jay Cutler, he has been given a free roam of the playbook. These are things that build up the QB's confidence, showing him that you believe he can get it done.
The Oakland Raiders running a balanced playbook? Tom Cable has the right idea. Make the opponent be ready for a run first team, and come out throwing on first downs at the beginning of the game. We may have to mix up the receiving corps just a bit, and allow Chaz a chance to be our deep play guy.
In this weeks matchup, I for one, think the Raiders have a good chance at keeping this one close, and if it comes down to field goals, I believe we would have the advantage. There will be a few key factors in this matchup. One being the wideouts for the Saints, David Patten and Robert Meachum, and Marques Colston. They will have a tough time against the Raiders secondary, and may try to run the ball more then they have recently.
So my thinking leads me to believe that the Saints will try to run steadily against our Defense, but It is easier said than done. Surprisingly, this season, it has been our run Defense that has stood up, and can be a big game changer come Sunday. Our front line defensively will rattle Brees up, and cause him to check down or make errant throws. Our defense should have plenty of oppurtunities in this game.
This is definately a winnable game for the Raiders, we will just have to see if they have the intesity under Cable.
(photo courtesy of Dobson Images)
During the first three weeks of the NFL, there have been a lot of angry teams, and coaches. Some screaming at the media, and others at themselves. In Raider land we have had to put up with a lot of rumors about Lane Kiffin getting the axe.
Many reports predict Monday, then say Tuesday, because it didn't happen Monday. I for one think Al has finally seen a Raiders team that was actually woth watching and has decided to pull the hounds back. After a bitter loss Sunday even Al saw the positives. His team is in the mix.
So that brings me to my point for the week: Lane Kiffin has breathing room. This may be the week that JaMarcus Russell gets to pass the ball 20 or more times. Seeing that this might be a do or die game for the coach, but also for the team, being 1-3 without a coach is pretty difficult.
In the second home game of the season, we are already going to have an idea of what our division is about this year. The Broncos look like a team that can put up big numbers on any team. And the Chargers, well they are week to week. In this particular game we are going to need an early lead to give us the opportunity to run right at them, which will then open the field for Russell to complete passes on third downs.
With the crowd behind the Raiders with an early lead, and a mobile offense, this will give our good defense time to get motivated. With long drives to eat up the clock our defense can catch a breath or two, as well as plan for the next series. Having Gibril Wilson in the game will be a huge factor, because Rivers will be looking for Gates over the middle often. If our Defense can keep the Chargers out of the endzone a couple of times, making them opt for three, this game could be very close. By the way, a few turnovers wouldn't hurt us either.
I am also going to look for Darren McFadden to have a few more direct snaps in this game, as well as some chances to catch some balls, lined up in the slot. Our production on offense will still be on the shoulders of J-Rock, and if we let him throw the ball often, he could end up making a few big plays.
My players to watch for:
Look for Kirk Morrisson to be coming into the backfield more than last week, he is a big athletic LB who can disrupt Phillip Rivers timing, because he can jump, chase, and catch.
Another player to single out is Michael Huff, because Wilson will be looking for the big hits over the middle, huff might stay back a bit and catch a few free balls flying around.
Also Look for JaMarcus Russell to complete closer to 17-20 passes this week as they open more of the playbook to confuse the Chargers defense.
(AP Photo/The Ottawa Herald, Elliot J. Sutherland)
When Oakland was on the clock in this April's 2008 NFL Draft, many Raiders fans and fans of other teams were quick to judge Al Davis when he selected Running Back Darren McFadden. There were all sorts of blasts against the 22 year old from Arkansas, some of these remarks were, "His legs are too skinny," or "He fumbles too much." Which both comments could be justified, but lack depth or any facts too back them up.
The comment that made me laugh the most when I was firmly behind the notion that Al would take Darren, was the people that would claim that Oakland had enough running backs, and simply didn't need him. So here we are two weeks into the season, and many of you have now realized my reasoning for taking McFadden, because Justin Fargas has never been able to play a full sixtten game season, nor will he. Well Fargas left the field yesterday with what we are being told is a groin injury. Luckily we had two strong RB behind him to carry our offense with 300 team rushing yards. 164 yards from McFadden, and 90 yards from Bush who also sealed the game with a long TD at the end of the game.
Darren became only the second rookie in Oakland Raiders history to rush for more than 100 yards, the other player was Bo Jackson. McFadden showed the fans what he can bring to the table on every play, his big play ability, helps by shortening the field.
The Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards stated, "They ran the ball right down our throat." Which was not a fairy tale in any way. What about all of the fans that said Glen Dorsey was the better player at number four? How did he look yesterday? In the game he had 3 solo tackles, followed by a bunch of zeros on the statboard. What if the tables were turned, and we did pick Dorsey 4th, just to watch the Chiefs take D Mac? Being 0-2 and being shutdown in two straight would be embarrasing. Thank Al for that one.
photo courtesy of Jachdeja
Last week for the Oakland Raiders was dreadful, and provided us with a new outlook on the season. Our beloved Raiders will be a team that has to pick up scraps to pull wins together. During the week the were a lot of contrevsy about the Coaches.
It seemed to be more of the he said she said than a real problem. It still happens to make headlines in Northern California and its decent sized media markets. The coaches have basically been put on the waiver wire without those words actually being said. Which makes this weeks matchup against the Chiefs that much more important, since both Lane Kiffin and Rob Ryan will be possibly looking for an unemployment check next month. After what happened to the Raiders by the Novice offense in Denver, Ryan doesn't look like a good candidate for hire.
What I personally will be on the lookout for on Sunday against the Chiefs in for the defense to rebound bigtime. The point is that the secondary should be able to shutdown any passing game. Not only are the fans aware of this, but so is every other team, as well as the critics who kick us when we are down. Gibril Wilson, hopefully took it upon himself, and his "champion" leadership to bring the secondary up out of their funk. Look for the Raiders defensive backs to have a big impact on this game, and force Kansas City to run the ball.
The Linebackers were forced to drop back into coverage, instead of applying pressure. Even on a few third and long situations the defense put the Broncos in, Ryan didn't blitz the quarterback. Sunday will give us a better look at our 2008 defense that is supposed to be one of the best. With a few more blitzing packages our defense will look way better, and might silence the critics.
Our offense will undoubtedly be a huge change, maybe the biggest from last week. My reasoning is how they finished the game. Russell will play about the same, hopefully a little bit better. The only thing we are asking of him is to control the game, and take care of the ball. In this game the Chiefs shouldn't be able to score at will, giving the Raiders the ability to stick to their game plan, which we all know is run first, pass next. If our running backs can set up short third downs, this should allow Russell to be more effective throwing the ball. Keep the Defense close and take advantage over the top, with a good play action bootleg. The points might be scarce, but we should be more effective in the red zone.
The players I believe will have a big game are:
DeAngelo Hall - He is looking to show why the Raiders paid him, once we rush the QB, there will be passes off target.
Darren McFadden - Look for him to get a few more than 10 touches on Sunday, and hopefully he can get a pass or two in the open field.
Derrick Burgess - His Pass rush skill mixed with some help from the Linebackers may give him the ability to get into the backfield.
There are many reasons that cause many of us to bet. We either think the odds are in our favor, or the game can't really be that hard. But it is no laughing matter, some people such as myself, love to gamble, and sometimes push our luck to far. When your girlfriend or wife is standing next to you with a death look, waiting for you to leave the table, or walk away from the machine. But it is not that easy for you.
You explain to her, "I am only trying to have fun."
But she knows the truth, you are addicted. For those of you that have a problem call the hotline, for the smart-minded people who bet on sports rather than when a computer wants to pay you, stay tuned.
I am going to put reason behind my headline, it is not a joke. The headline doesn't say to win, does it?
There are many ways toearnings on a regular Sunday filled with games from sunrise until about midnight on the East Coast. My favorite way to bet is to place an even wager on the underdog, as well as the favorite, so you give yourself better odds.
Now for the first weeks game against the Broncos, which will be intriguing. Because the last I checked the Broncos were only the favorite by three points, this would be a good game to pick the Raiders to win, because I do not believe that we will allow the game to stay any closer than three.
Here is the plan, grab as much money as you can, and play the Raiders as the Underdog to come out Victorious. When a game is only at a three point spread you usually want to play the underdog, for the fact that you will win more money. If you do not like my theory, I am by no means trying to push you into using it, but when the Raiders pull out some bigtime upsets this year, you will wish you had your pocketbooks out.
If there is a game with a spread over seven, I would also say that that is a safe bet to take, although it is usually 6.5 or 7.5 rather than seven. because in the event the Raiders lose by seven, if you only had 6.5, you lose anyway, but if you had a 7 or 7.5 point spread, you leave the game with money in the bank. It will turn a loss by the Raiders, into a win for you.
I usually do not bet on the Raiders, but this year is very tempting with some big upsets that could result in a large sum of cash.
Each week will give us a new chance to bet on more games, if the Raiders can keep a close spread, it is a chance I am willing to take, and sometimes, it just doesn't make sense.
Rules in Betting on NFL:
1. Do NOT pick the Pats to go 16-0 again!
2. Take Risks, do not be timid!
3. Don't bet if you have any addiction to gambling.
4. If you do not know which team will win, do not bet.
5. And last but not least, if you lose money, well..., your a loser.
In Last Weeks matchup against the Tennessee Titans, the Oakland Raiders Punt Returner Johnnie Lee Higgins, made a huge mistake. In case you missed it, he fielded a ball inside his own 10 yard line, then started off running backwards. He in turn lossed the football, only to have it recovered by the Titans in the endzone.
This particular event, paired with a couple that happened last season, have the Raider Nation wondering what if? What if we had a healthy Tyvon Branch back there? What if Darren wanted to return punts? Can Todd Watkins field the end-over-end kicks?
While pondering through all of this, I believe I found the solution... Louis Rankin.
He is our undrafted RB that came out of the Univesity of Washington, where he would return kicks, so he has the vision to do it. In all of the times I watched him at both UW, and the local Lincoln High School games, never have I seen him go backwards or try to field a ball in the presence of his own goal line.
This could be a great solution for a player who is fighting to make the roster. I would even go as far to say he would thrive at an oppurtunity to return punts. He plays football, meaning he is willing to play anywhere on the field as long as he gets to play.
When being interviewed by Bob Highfill of the Stockton Record back he was asked why NFL scouts should look at him,"I can break the long run, I can make plays, I can catch the ball out of the backfield, I can block for the quarterback and return kicks," Rankin said. "I bring a lot of things to the table, more than a lot of guys."
The picture above is his returning a kick against Cal. There are several highlights of him in the return game. He is more than capable of becoming a threat to opposing special teams coordinators around the league.
If we choose not to let Rankin field punts, so be it, but I think Saturday's game against the cardinals would be a perfect time to test him, let him have his shot and see what he makes of it.
Whatever the outcome is, we need consistency in the return game, and Rankin can provide that. And to those of us from Stockton, we want him on the squad, if you have the chance, take it.
I began to panic, thinking that I was going to lose my tickets. Or that they were already gone. After work I decided to go pay the holders of my tickets a visit. Once I arrived at the address to which they were shipped, it became apparent that the home was empty. It had been Foreclosed. So I ravaged around, didn't see signs of anybody.
This was about the time I decided to call United Postal Service, the company that was shipping the product. After a long wait, followed by an automated conversation, I was able to speak to somoeone who might have an idea where my tickets are. What I was about to here, was proobably the worst news ever.
"Sir, according to the delivery agent, they had it placed behind the middle pillar on your porch."
I was furious. "How do you leave a 1,200 dollar package on the porch? At what price does a signature become required?"
For these questions, the guy had no response.
After talking it over with my season ticket representative, they decided that we would wait til Monday, to see if they surface, or if anybody turns them in. To which I agreed upon.
Yesterday, which was tuesday, I finally received my tickets, but only for the two preseason games. Meanwhile I wait for them to print out my commemerative tickets.
Since the tickets were stolen, some unluky prick, will walk up to the gate, and hopefully get his dreams of watching this years Oakland Raiders crushed, as he gets beaten over the head with a night stick, and charged with theft of a persons mail.
Long before the game is even close to starting, the parking lots around the ballpark serve as backyards, only to those here early enough to take them. There will be entire families sitting in the back of there vehicles, drinking, cooking, and talking about what is going to happen within the next four hours. Beyond the outer walls of the stadium the air is filled with a rich bar-b-cue aroma, from patrons cooking everything from hot-dogs, to T-bone steaks. The smell has its own flavor, and is almost strong enough to taste. As you are walking through the parking lot at 10 am, you will see how close this fan base is. People will often open their grill and ice-chest to you, as long as you are wearing the colors; black and silver.
Around game-time, as you begin walking through the tall grey tunnels on the way to your seat, you will notice the wide variety of ethnicity. From Whites, to Blacks, some Latinos, and Asians. A crowd made up of all walks of life, and diplomatic status. There will be doctors, teachers, policemen, truck drivers, and even some ex-convicts, who all come together, to form the strongest fan base in the National Football League. This has become widely accepted as the Raider Nation.
It takes a gathering of seventy thousand plus fans, who turn the dark hallowed hallways, into a mysterious form of housing for the rowdiest fans in the league. The devotion, along with pride and swagger is apparent as you see people pouring into the stands, by the thousands. For the next several minutes, the only thing you will hear, are the fans screaming, “RAI… DERS,” the pausing in between is to allow the echo to fade away. While the players are being introduced, the entire place erupts into a roar that is unfamiliar to human sound. This sound cannot be categorized, because it is simply too loud. As certain chants start, you can almost watch the sound swarm the stadium in seconds. Encompassed by the growing roar, the stadium will quickly change from a cheer of joy, into a furious booing in no time flat. Usually when the decibels increase, is when you will see the display of excitement on faces throughout the stands.
During the Intermissions, many fans will rush to the concession stands immediately, grabbing whatever is possible in fifteen minutes. As these manic Raider fans pile up into the oversized bathrooms that reek of urine, they are now chanting, and making friends in their brief visit with the fans to either side of them. Back at the snack shack, the fans who do not need more beer are spilling whatever more they just bought all over the history stained concrete they are walking on, which soon forms into a golden resin once it dries up. Polluting the air with an unpleasant booze stench, that seems to linger throughout the stadium. Leaving the only fresh air left to breathe in the smoking section of the park. As you gracefully make your way through the congested lines for food and beer, towards the smoking area, you will catch a strong whiff of some Marijuana. Most Raider fans that choose to smoke somehow form their own mini huddle close to the outskirts of the upper deck where they are smoking the grass, it even gets smoked in the bleachers at times. The odor of the Coliseum will never leave your memory, even months after you have left.
Within fifteen minutes after the first half, this new breed of animals, now seem to be more intoxicated than most people have ever been, in there entire life. It takes about two hours or so, until the majority of the crowd is under the heavy spell of alcohol, a nice game of football, has now turned into a chaotic uprising to any opposing fans. If you wear the blue and orange into Oakland, I may suggest hiding it under your black sweater. These drunken fans are no longer watching for the fun, it is more about life and death. There is too much history embedded into the concrete walls, for any one Broncos fan to uphold. The pride associated with the Raiders organization, is more than history about the game. There is a distinct way of life in Oakland, and it’s, “live by the shield, die by the shield.” This is where the best teams of the seventies played, and dominated, and just by walking into the stadium you can somewhat feel the energy this place brings.
When and if you ever happen to have a chance to visit McAfee Coliseum, I would strongly encourage you to visit. It is a place similar to Disneyland, in how, once you’ve been there, the thing you keep asking yourself, is when I will be able to go back.
Since the Raiders appeared in Super Bowl XXXVII, the team has not been able to secure many free agents, and the ones we were able to bring to town were not the talented players the rest of the league sought out. This became a huge reason why some players' salaries are out of control, or is it?
Nobody can be classified as overpaid, until they have shown what they are being paid for. This is my personal take on Rookies pay, as well as most signings for veteran free agents.
Now looking at what the Raiders spent, for their free agent acquisitions, and drafts in recent years, did they get the short end of the stick? With players like DeAngelo (trade), Gibril Wilson, Tommy Kelly, Javon Walker, Drew Carter, Nnamdi Asomugha (franchised), JaMarcus Russell (draft), or even Darren McFadden (draft). Can anybody who watches the National Football League on a regular basis tell me that the Raiders didn't improve these last two years?
One thing the Raiders have done with the bleak seasons that keep coming by is that they were able to wait on the big spending for a franchise Quarterback, and Running Back, and now that we have both, with a good receiving corps, and a defensive that has been well praised so far in training camp, it will undoubtedly bring back a tough Raiders team.
Haters beware, we don't let other fans step on us, especially when we are on top. I can feel the Autumn wind Blowing, and right now it is blowing harder than it has since 2003.
All of the improvements to the Raiders Lineup, mixed in with a soft schedule, this season is destined to be fulfilling to the eyes of the hardcore fans of the Silver and Black. This season marks the beginning to a new chapter in Raiders Football, a good time to be a Raider fan is around the corner, and no longer are we going to be the laughing stock of the NFL.