To read my column on the Raiders-KC game click here
Yes, the defense is horrible. But yesterday’s loss was equally on the offense. They came up tiny. When your defense is that bad, you absolutely can’t be going three and out, over and over and over. But maybe it’s a good thing, in the long run, to be so exposed on both sides of the ball.
Especially against a team that is not set up well, at this point, to defend the pass. Hali is old and not fully healthy, Justin Houston not playing, basically a pass rush missing their top two guys…totally playing into the Raiders strength, rain be damned.
I don’t see how any of your points can be denied, in fact I can only add to them. The defensive side of the ball is a disaster, which is the word I’d use to describe the experiment of using Ken Norton Jr as defensive coordinator. He’s overmatched. The players consistently don’t look like they know where they’re supposed to be or what to do. Good coordinators like Andy Reid make him look like an amateur.
But this goes deeper. Jack Del Rio hired an inexperienced coordinator because he feels like he can bring a less experienced guy along as a former D-coordinator himself. But JDR might not be that good either. Denver’s defense went from really good to all world when JDR left and Wade Phillips was hired. Not only does Norton have to go, sooner than later, JDR for next year needs to hire someone who is a better defensive mind than he is. I hope he has the courage to do that.
Khalil Mack is a star in name only. Even last year, in spite of the accolades, he disappeared too often. He has had way too many games where you don’t even know he’s playing unless you stop watching the game and find him. He’s not continual disruptor the way great defensive players of the past are. JJ Watt, Ray Lewis, Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White. These guys never disappeared.
The defense is so bad that the only games the Raiders can score less than 28 points against and have a chance of winning are against the Titans of the league.
I mostly like the offense but don’t know why it’s been years since this team could consistently run. I like what Bill Musgrave is doing mostly, but he seems to have no rhythm as a player caller. Big plays are sandwiched around too many 3-and-outs in the best of times. He doesn’t seem to be able find out what his unit can do better and consistently beat the other team with it. The Raiders offense wins because Carr can make amazing throws. That’s the only thing the team does well and I think that’s more on Carr than Musgrave.
In short, they will be 9-7 or 10-6. They aren’t threats to win the division or win a playoff game until further notice. That’s better than they were. But still a long long way to go.
Greg Roman is available.
Good one Dennis, I knew that one was coming back to haunt me!
OTOH, if we got him a run-game coordinator I bet it would help.
I couldn’t resist.
The Raiders need the same thing the 49ers need – real good run stopping middle linebackers. They just can’t stop the run.
They can’t freaking tackle. It’s amazing to me that this most basic skill is still wanting. Coaches, players and coordinators have all come and gone, and yet they still can’t simply tackle when they need to. I’m flummoxed by that.
You would think that Norton, of all people, would be able to teach that. Having said that, KC does have a pretty good running game. That is their thing. I mean after all they do have Smith as their QB. A running game has to be their thing.
Tackling is a lost art boys because they almost never hit in practice.
The CBA allows 18 padded practices a season including training camp.
These players can’t just turn it on every Sunday when they only practice 18 times a year.
But that works the same for both teams on the field no?
It works for the whole league my friend!!!
Show me a team that knows how to tackle and I’ll show you their Lombardi trophy!!!
Pittsburgh, Denver, Seattle, New England they all have OLD SCHOOL defensive coaches who still emphasize technique as opposed to kill shots.
The Seahawks, Norton Jr.’s former team, has a video out which has received praise from the league office about how to tackle without pads or helmets. In fact, it’s on YouTube. Several NFL teams are using the techniques highlighted int he video. Sorry, but no excuses!!!!!!
By the way, the CBA allows only 14 in-season padded practices, no more than one a week, over the 17 weeks, so that means for 3 weeks there are no pads at all. One of those weeks with no pads definitely should be the week that the team has a Thursday njght game.
On the other hand,nobody overrated the defense..it was the offense that stunk out the joint. Carr was all smiles after the game- weird. He played like crap. What was there to smile about?
What does it all matter? They are leaving in two years. Screw Mark Davis and the whole Davis family that stole the Raiders from the Valley family. We all know that.
A bundle of joy Stan, as always!
AND, I wish Mark would take flying lessons and bring John Fisher,Lou Wolff ,Billy Beane and Radnich with him on his maiden voyage in a terrific winter storm over the Sierra’s!!
Not to get personal…
Davis didn’t steal the Raiders, McGah gave them to him. (Why do people always leave that part out?)
“GAVE?” Only the lord gives- all others pay cash. Or in the Raiders case,Davis got McGah to also back-stab.
Back in the 60’s a friends Dad owned a part of the Raiders..a tiny part I guess. He lived in those same little Oakland bungalows in the Coloseum area too.
I imagine when Al bought out all the shareholders,he made enough to buy a new refrigerator with an Avocado burnt edging color.
Back stab, maybe, but not steal. We’re a nation of laws, and everything was done legally, which is why Valley lost when he sued. (I don’t understand the Avocado refrigerator but I laughed all the same.)
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched their games and seen who they played and how they won, this team could very easily be winless if a few things went a different way (2pt conversion fail vs NO, end of Tenn game/15 yard penalty/offensive PI on TD, no call on last play vs Balt that should have been 15 yard helmet to helmet, and SD going SD and totally imploding). They are lucky to be 4-2 and the teams they beat are NOT good.
The thing is, when you look at the Raiders upcoming schedule, who do they play besides KC and Denver that the Raiders won’t have a chance to win. They have a truly soft schedule, especially as this season is playing out…Carolina and Colts are way down. Really, you can, at this point, say they should lose vs Buffalo, KC in KC, and Denver twice. Thats 4 more loses to go with the 2 they already have, which puts them at Lowells 10-6 record. I could see them losing to Carolina, Indi, Texans and possibly in SD, which would flip that schedule to 6-10, but its highly unlikely. I will say 9-7 and on the outside looking in on the playoffs this year. And considering how much they spent in free agency, would be underachieving yet also progress since this team has not been 8-8 since 2010/2011 and not had a winning record since GwB was in his 2nd year in office. Ouch.
Hayden, Amerson, Carrie, Smith and ESPECIALLY NELSON. Weak sauce in the secondary. We couldn’t cover or tackle. NELSON, we need a better CB. He is done. D line? Like Swiss cheese. O line? I’ll give Donald Penna “A-” and everyone else a “C”. Would have been a “D” but we kept the penalties down. Carr?? WTF was the deal with that?? Slow, no feet and behind on almost every pass play.
They’re an 8 – 8 team because they can only win shootouts against other poorly performing defensive teams.
The good news is that the offense is in great shape for the next 3 – 4 years which should give Reggie time to fix the defense for a championship run.
Honestly, I see no real improvements over last year. We are still winning close games, and only showing up for half the games. We make mistake after mistake. I am sorry, but I am out of patience for Del Rio…Carr seems sooo over rated…he is a choke machine, and his turnovers are some of the worst in the league. Musgrave and Norton Jr. really need to go. They are making the same exact mistakes they did last year. The chiefs lost last week 48-13(or some absurd blowout) to the sub-par steelers, yet Oakland couldn’t even put a touchdown on the board in 3 quarters. Jack Del Rio, you are doing a poor job. You and your staff haven’t done NEARLY ENOUGH to make this a winning football team. I can’t imagine that the current staff we have is capable of much. 3-1.4-1.4-2…
We were 4-3 last year, and then we lost 3 in a row, and never looked like a real team since…same goes this year. Every game we won, was just the other team screwing up more than us. We aren’t ready, guys aren’t being prepared or coached well, the playcalling is some of the worst in the league, and the defense is the joke of the league.
Even the games they win, they NEVER show up for more than half the game…same thing last year. The team just has the wrong mindset, they have subpar coaching and staff and leadership. And don’t even get me started on Carr.
We had it within 2 scores, and Carr choked and gave it to the other team. THAT IS WHAT HE DOES.
Mack, the most overrated guy in the history of sports. Carr, just a choker that probably be a backup within 5 years. Our drafting genius Reggie really showed those Cowboys…
I have no problem supporting a losing team, but for the sake of fuck, stop being the embarrassment of the NFL.
The offense needs to stop blowing chances, and STOP CALLING POOR PLAYS THAT ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR THE SITUATION. 3-21 DON’T THROW A 4 YARD SCREEN PASS TO WASHINGTON BEHIND THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE. THAT IS HOW YOU LOSE GAMES.
And the defense, they are a mockery of professional sports. MAKE THE TACKLES. Why do I see Raiders missing tackles on a regular basis? Why can’t they put a solid rush out there? Why can’t they handle the other team? How can they be so much slower than the other teams? Again, it makes me wonder how bad our coaching is, from the play calling to the conditioning, to the motivation…have the Raiders looked even near their potential in the last few years? They could EASILY be 0-6
They aren’t improving, they aren’t getting better, they aren’t making the changes, THEY ARE JUST WASTING ***ANOTHER*** YEAR.
Just read the piece linked on PD front page with Merrill Hodge saying what I have for a while, Kelly’s system can’t work in the NFL, it is a college system and he is just a good college coach.
The sooner that organization figures that out, the sooner they have a chance to move forward….
I just couldn’t care less about the Raiders these days. I’m always surprised when I stumble upon them on TV and realize they are still in the Bay Area. Haven’t they left yet? Vegas can have them for all I care at this point.
Lowell Cohn, retired columnist for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, covered sports for almost 40 years and never ran out of things to say.