It is no secret that my beloved Oakland Raiders have underachieved this season. A quick look at the win-loss column can show this.
There plenty of things one can look to and say “Oh this is why!” Examples are numerous. Sebastian Janikowski’s timing issues, injuries, combined with Marquette King’s struggles at holding have made the Polish Cannon about as accurate as a Scud missile. I don’t think we have ever had our projected starting offense on the field. We had to switch quarterback’s at the start of the season. Matt Flynn’s less than enthusiastic attitude and outing against the Washington Redskins, had him seeking a new job, and left us with an undrafted rookie free agent as 2nd string, then 1st string quarterback.
Get the picture?
We can’t even manage a .500 season if we somehow manage to win out the season. But we can redeem ourselves.
Start off with beating the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend. Yeah, they had a heck of a win streak going. The last of the unbeatens until, well, they got beaten. This means they can lose. In fact, up until the 4th quarter back in week 6, we were in the game.
That had a lot to do with Terrelle Pryor having one of the worst games he played in. His timing was off, he threw 3 interceptions, including one for a touchdown, and he had only one touchdown pass. Did I mention that all 3 of those interceptions were in the second half, 2 of them in the 4th quarter? Should I bring up the 10 sacks? Naw, I think you are getting it.
But I don’t expect that type of melt down from Matt Moxie, aka Matt McGloin. Odds are that the KC defense will attempt to apply pressure, but this kid is cool in the pocket, and gets rid of the ball quick. I am hoping for short drops, quick slants, screens, with the occasional deeper pass thrown in to keep the defensive backs honest.
McGloin is developing a nice chemistry with Andre Holmes, Rod Streater, and Mychel Rivera. Plus we have Denarius Moore looking like he may be healthy enough to play this game. He had 82 yards on 5 receptions against the Chiefs earlier this year. He has the most touchdowns receptions for the team, also. Makes me almost forget that he has dropped so many balls. But with Holmes. Streater, and Moore, that could be problematic for the Chiefs defense.
Our running game should include Rashad Jennings, who already has 2 games with over 100 yards. It could be a rather heavy 1-2 punch if we keep using Marcel Reece, who also has a 100 yard rushing game under his belt. With both of them on the field, it could help confound the defense using a split back, or I formation with Reece behind Jennings.
What I am saying is I think our offense can put up more than the 7 points they put up at Arrowhead Stadium.
We also need that same defense we had that game to show up. We forced them to punt 8 times. They were only 4-14 on 3rd down conversions. WE stopped them from scoring TDs twice in the red zone. They dropped the rock 3 times. If we can get force that again, that would be good, too.
We need the defensive line to show up and get pressure on Alex Smith. We got to him 3 times last game, and it did rattle him. He had only 128 net yards. We missed on 17 of his 31 pass attempts. Nick Roach, Vance Walker , and Sio Moore were the players that got to Smith. Hopefully they can do the same this time around.
We did pretty decently stopping Jamaal Charles’ running game, but he averaged 10 yards a reception. We have to keep him covered. Dwayne Bowe isn’t a chump when it comes to receiving, either. We did keep the offense pretty much in check, though, so the defense needs to be just as successful as they were back then.
We also have to avoid the mental mistakes and breakdowns we have seen on special teams. Jamize Olawale can’t allow anyone to come in up the gut at Marquette King again. We have to make sure that Dexter McCluster doesn’t have a field day returning punts, and if we stay in our lanes, we will keep Quentin Demps in the end zone with touchbacks after all our scoring.
Basically we just have to execute against this team in all phases of the game. We have a chance to redeem ourselves, beating a winning team, in our home, where we are under dogs and not expected to win. We can prove we are competitive team that CAN finish a game. One that CAN play all 4 quarters.
A little help from the fans would be good, here. Make noise when KC is on offense. Not just the 3rd downs, every down, especially if they are going no huddle. When our offense is on the field quiet down. Pretend you’re in a library.
It’s a chance for the Raiders fans to show they know how to act at a football game ,too. One of the last chances we have to support our team, to help them get a win, to build their confidence.
So are all y’all with me?
Win, lose, or tie, RAIDERS til I DIE!