James from RaiderRamble.com reminds Raider Nation that preseason is just that; preseason. Every year each NFL team plays four preseason games. Moreover, every year the Raiders players, pundits, and coaches remind us that the preseason is simply a time to evaluate players, shake off the rust and build the fans’ excitement. In spite of these reminders, many fans cannot help but use the preseason as a crystal ball for the upcoming regular season.
After the Raiders lost their second preseason game in a row, Raider’s fans lit up Twitter, many complaining about lackluster performances and some even calling for defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.’s firing. While there might be some cause for concern, it is important to remember that wins and losses in the preseason rarely have any correlation with the regular season record. In fact, sometimes winning in the preseason may portend a regular season disaster. In 2013 the Detroit Lions had a perfect 4-0 preseason record and then posted an abysmal 2-14 regular season record. NFL history is replete with such analogies.
Last year, the Raiders started off the preseason with an impressive 31 to 10 spanking of the Arizona Cardinals only to drop the next three preseason games. However, we all know what happened next; the Raiders went on to post a regular season record of 12-4 and made the playoffs for the first time in well over a decade.
When examining the Raider’s win-loss record over the last decade, we all know that the regular season tallies were horrific. From 2006 through 2015 the Silver and Black did not have a winning season and were only able to hit the .500 mark two times, in 2010 and 2011. In 2006 we posted a perfect 4-0 record in the preseason only to go 2-14 in the regular season, the worst record the team had in this period. In 2010 we won 3 of 4 preseason games played but again, finished with an 8-8 regular season record.
The Raiders are already 0-2 this preseason and while the next two games may give some general idea of how individual players will perform or who is likely to make the final 53 man roster, the preseason record is no cause for worry OR optimism. It just gives us fans something to do for the next two weeks until the REAL and meaningful football starts!