Here is the opening to my Thursday column about the state of the Raiders:

This column is a plea for patience with the Oakland Raiders.

It is a plea for patience even though the Raiders lost their first two games, lost them miserably, lost to the Miami Dolphins, one of the allegedly beatable teams on their schedule. The Raiders easily could begin the season with five straight losses and could finish the season with fewer than four victories.

Please be patient.

Already some fans and sportswriters are criticizing the Raiders, just eviscerating them. Not fair. It’s impossible to reach conclusions after two games, and early devastating criticism ignores the root causes of the Raiders’ problems.

The Raiders have root causes.

To read the full column, click here.