Well this will be short and painless, unlike today’s game. To win football games in the NFL, you have to score touchdowns. You have to, at all costs, avoid turnovers, interceptions, and fumbles. You have to have players that want to dominate the pit on both sides of the ball. You need a leader that has no fear and you can see his reflection in everyone on the team. Finally, and most importantly, attitude reflects leadership.
The Raiders defense was the bees knees; the cats meow. They were the link to the future of the franchise and the pilots to the play-offs. Guess where that ship may have already sailed? 135 points scored on a franchise that prides itself on defense. 214 points scored on the Silver and Black in all losses this year.
Looking at the Raiders today, it’s almost impossible to believe this franchise went to a Super Bowl this decade. Since 2003, the Raiders are 45-110, while they enjoyed a record of 33-15 from 2000-2002. In 2010-2011 the Raiders were 16-16, .500 on the two years, making progress. Can someone shed light on why the shift to downgrade the franchise?
Reggie McKenzie is the leadership that is responsible for the attitude and altitude of the players, coaches, and fans. The secret to winning is constant, consistent management.
The game as always has heroes and villains. Marcel Reece emerged today as a hero as he rumbled for 103 yards rushing, and hauled in 90 yards receiving on the long day. Carson Palmer was hero, and part villain. Palmer chucked the rock for 312 yards with two TD’s, plus his gratuitous interception. This one went for a pick-six for the Saints. Unfortunately, for Palmer it didn’t stop at one. It is hard to place blame on the pass to Brandon Myers that bounced out of his hands, and into the waiting arms of defensive back Roman Harper. Yes, the same Roman Harper that led the Saints in tackles with 11.
Palmer was harassed all day, having to throw off his back foot. On the pick-six interception, he clearly threw off his back foot, and floated the ball, enabling the defensive back Malcolm Jenkins to scamper for 55 yards, and six points to put the Saints up 14-0 in the first quarter. Needless to say, the pit was dominated by the guys NOT in the black jerseys.
Get ready; the Raiders are headed for Paul Brown Stadium and the feisty Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are 5-5 and looking for a slip up from the Steelers to snatch the division from them. The Red Rifle is hot and looking for another notch in his gun.
Finally, looking at the game today, I’m not sure the Saints won the game, but it was the Raiders who lost it!
It is never too late to be what you might have been.