Is it time to panic for the Oakland Raiders?

Some would answer that question with a resounding yes. In fact, many fans already have. Those who have not at least know where that button is, just in case. It certainly is tough to be optimistic when the Oakland Raiders chances of even making the playoffs now are just over 20%. All but gone are the hopes for a division crown. And as far as a Super Bowl? Those hopes are looking pretty grim!

Since the Baltimore Ravens beat the Raiders 30-17 I have heard it all. It is owner Mark Davis’s fault for bargain shopping for coaches. It is general manager Reggie McKenzie’s fault for Sean Smith and an “injury prone” draft class. Some fans are wishing the Raiders had let offensive coach Todd Downing leave, and had kept Bill Musgrave. Then there was the tried and true “fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.” mantra. Heck, some people are openly wondering if extending head coach Jack Del Rio’s contract was a “mistake”.

Seriously, have those people already forgotten 14 years of futility? Is this season disappointing? Sure and I understand the frustration, but the overreaction level with some of the Raiders fan base is, quite frankly, embarrassing.

Then there is me.


pff edge

The Raiders are better than their record.

Some of you, even Coach Del Rio, will disagree with me. His words of wisdom being “You are what you earn” and the Raiders are 2-3. There is no disputing that fact either. At the end of the day, it does come down to their record. Having said that, there is still time to right this ship. I am not here to say that the game against the Los Angeles Chargers is a “Must-Win” situation. However, it is as close to one as it gets.

This team though is better than its current record suggests. I know the last three weeks have not looked like it though and I get it, but it really is true. The offense has all the tools needed, especially with Derek Carr coming back to the helm. The defense has been a solid anchor for this team, except for last week. And while the defense started off sloppy, they adjusted very well after halftime, only to then lose both starting inside linebackers, Cory James, and Marquel Lee. This was in addition to corner Antonio Hamilton, who was injured on the opening kickoff.

So what has been the problem?

Distraction, hubris, and key injuries have all played a part. There has also been execution and play calling issues. For the last three games, the offense is vastly underperforming and the defense has only played decently at times. Neither side of the ball has shown a level of consistency that was expected or shown in the first two games. Unfortunately, there really is no single focal point to say this is the problem. Which means it falls on the default focal point, head coach Jack Del Rio. He is the captain of this ship, he is the man ultimately responsible for wins and losses, like it or not.

So what does that mean?

It means its time for coach Del Rio to reignite the fire the team had to open the season. He has to get all these men refocused on the task at hand. He needs to reassert his will on this team and help this team find the passion it has lost in the last three weeks. The next two weeks are crucial. Going to 2-5 would be a disaster of epic proportions for a team that many, including myself, pegged as a legitimate Super Bowl team. That would be time to hit the panic button.

Honestly, this team needs that wake-up call. Winning is the only thing that will cure this ailment. This week is desperation mode, because the Kansas City Chiefs are in town the following week, possibly still undefeated. The biggest thing this team needs though is Carr. For better or for worse the Raiders season lives or dies on the arm of Derek Carr. He needs to be ready to play, and be allowed to run this offense unhindered. Because for the Raiders to keep their playoff hopes alive they really need to win one of the next two games.

The Raiders season is hanging in the balance.

Advertisements

8 comments

  1. I think it is a weak argument to say that because we were so bad for the last 14 years that we should be happy with a team that was sold as a SB contender playing exactly like the last 14 years. JDR’s decision not to go for it on 4 and 3 from opp’s side of the field was one of the stupidest coaching decisions I’ve ever seen, with other candidates coming from recent Raider games. I think an even worse omen is the fact that former Raiders players are making impacts with their new teams that they never saw here. All signs point to a team whose anomaly was last year, a year where a few bounces would have left them 8-8 with a particularly weak schedule. The last 3 games are not the anomaly; it is the expectation for a team with major question marks on most units.

    This team is getting out-coached and out-played and you say you are embarrassed by Raider Nation’s over-reaction. Well, 14 years of “things are heading in the right direction” will do that to you. Things need to be fixed, and from a personnel standpoint that takes time. But we shouldn’t be talking about motivation, focus, preparedness, adjustments, game-time decisions, etc as problems with a veteran head coach at this stage of the game.

    I get that you think the Raiders should play their hand out as best it can, that everything will work itself out. Maybe it will. But I take offense to the concept that fans that care about their team, fans that can see how bad things are and want them to change, is embarrassing to you. I find it equally irritating that the media looks down their nose at fans that say things in the heat of the moment because they bleed Silver and Black like they don’t understand the game as well as they do.

    That’s bullshit. If the media understood the game as well as THEY think they do, they would simply bet on the games and retire. But you guys don’t know your shit well enough to do that, so maybe you could take it down a notch with the judging of the fan-base that knows bad coaching and bad play when they see it.

    If someone calls for a coache’s head, I see a fan who cares. You see an embarrassment.
    You have officially made the transition from fan to media. Congratulations.

  2. Thank you for the complement on my transition from fan to media.

    As to the difference between being unhappy with how the team is performing and knee jerk over reactions which calls for everything from Mark Davis Selling the team, to firing the entire coaching staff, to cutting most of the players. Yeah that is embarrassing, and ignorant. Just because those individuals are a passionate fans does not give them licence to act the fool without someone calling them out on it.

    I understand that fans are upset with the teams performance, its certainly not all peaches and creams. However the things they are suggesting are exactly what caused 14 years of misery. Cutting the nose off to spite the face. Look at the successful franchises, they do not turn over their coaching staff over and over. Pittsburgh has had 3 Coaches in my lifetime. New England has had stability for two decades. The Chiefs went 1-5 to open the 2015 season and stayed the course with their coaching staff and now have won 27 regular season games out of their last 31. Green Bay, Seattle, Carolina have all stayed the course.

    Unfortunately typical “Knee Jerk” fans live only in the moment. They get upset at things in the here and now, without taking a breath and trying to see the big picture. Is it possible that Coach Del Rio is not the long term answer for this club. Of course. However since Jack has taken over this team it has improved dramatically. One 3 game losing streak, and a few bad decisions, does not warrant a reevaluation of his employment statis. No matter how upset or “CARING” a fan is.

    Its like watching someones child at the supermarket having a temper tantrum, only its adults doing it. One fan tried to sucker Donald Penn into hitting him so he could get a lawsuit, Yep but these fans are “Caring”. There is no excuse for acting like a petulant child, PERIOD.

    Its Sans Logic.

  3. “Things need to be fixed, and from a personnel standpoint that takes time. But we shouldn’t be talking about motivation, focus, preparedness, adjustments, game-time decisions, etc as problems with a veteran head coach at this stage of the game.” <—That sounds like a very fair statement no?

    1. Its fair to a degree. Belichicks defense is the worst in the league, same issues plaguing them. Is it time to replace him? Carolina looked horrible on both sides of the ball last season, Look at them now. Giants had similar issues when they Fired Coughlin, now where are they, and whats Coughlin’s new team look like?

      Were tallking about a Head Coach that just went 12-4 and is in a 3 game losing streak after starting 2-0. That’s Context. Way to early to be saying his extension was a mistake.

  4. I understand what you are saying Scott, but the examples of crazy fans you just gave are not the examples in the article. You state that it is embarrassing for fans to bring up that letting Musgrave go to promote Downing was a mistake. That is a far cry from the Penn incident, and an even further reach to your analogy of children having a temper tantrum. Yes, I think it was a mistake to take a number 6 rated offense and mess with it. Now I am a petulant child. Can you not see how this message comes across to me?

    But the more important point is that these fans aren’t actually firing people, they are just running their mouths because they are frustrated. A big part of the reason they are disappointed is the media pumped the Raiders up to incredible heights, which was flat out wrong. Being wrong has had zero effect on the superior attitude of analysts. Something has to give…were you wrong about the talent level of the team? If not, then then coaching comes into question. But then a fan questions the coaching and you are now an impatient child. The message is simple…either take the disappointment of a season circling the drain, like no one predicted, quietly and gratefully (remember how bad it used to be) or you are child. This is unrealistic…where there is passion there is also chaos.

    If it bothers you that people shower you with knee jerk suggestions when the team is down, I get it. But be careful not to lump everyone that thinks some measure of change might help the team in with the bottle throwing crazies that think Mark Davis should sell the team. That bothers me even more. You think you are right about patience, but history has shown that patience isn’t always the answer either. Musgrave got zero patience, but you support that change…so how is that not hypocrisy?

    Every fan base has its crazy fans that can ruin the fun at games as well as ruin social media. But on the other side of the coin is the blanket judgement from the media that all Raider fans are rowdy, impetuous, and don’t understand the game.

    One of the most pervasive notions out there, propagated by the media, is that Raider fans are more unruly than most. Nothing could be further from the truth. I saw a teenager push an elderly lady over several rows of seats at a Vikings game because she cheered when the Packers scored. I saw three rows of seats that had to be evacuated at a Miami game because they had to bring in a haz-mat team to clean up blood from a massive brawl. I have never seen this at any of the Oakland games in the ten years I was there. Not everything is as it is portrayed to the masses.

    My point is this…give the frustrated and disappointed a break and stop implying that we are all idiots. It’s coming across as a dis of the entire fan base. In my heart I know you are not referring to me when you say this, but you nonetheless dismiss my opinion as that of a fool, and that rubs me the wrong way.

    Look, I have always deeply appreciated the painstaking, phenomenal work you have done on the relocation. I have tremendous respect for that. I just wish that I didn’t get so much disrespect in return.

    1. Disrespect was not thrown your way. If you notice the above reply was not directed at you personally. If you choose to believe that, that is your prerogative. But I intentionally spoke to a specific group of fans who have the attention span of children in a theme park. As to the media pumping up this team, it was right in its assessment to do so. The Team was coming off a 12-4 run, the overall talent improve, and everything was trending upwards. Only now, that team has been in a 3 game slide, are people looking for someone to blame. Whether its me/media, the coaching staff, the players, whatever. That is handling the situation poorly. It would be like screaming bloody murder at a Doctor who is in the middle of performing brain surgery. Wait to see how the season unfolds, wait to see how this team does for the season, not just a small part of it. I get frustration, but lashing out IS childish. This team could crash and burn, its a possibility, but it is also much more of a possibility that the team will get back on track. We have to be patient and wait and see. Its not Chicken Little time yet, as said in this article.

      As to the choice forced upon the Organization. They had to choose between keeping Downing or Musgrave. The Organization unanimously felt it was better to promote Downing and not renew Musgrave’s contract. Was that a mistake? Time will tell, but a 3 game losing skid, after only 5 games, is NOT even remotely enough time to make that decision. In that situation you absolutely need patience. Do you really want another 14 years of fire everyone? Do you want the Raiders to become the BROWNS again?

      Offering constructive criticism is one thing, I even point out there have been mistakes, its openly calling for TDs job, 5 games into his tenure, is just asinine.

      I can’t tell you how to feel. I can tell you that most of the bitching I have heard from a select group of fans, is pure running at the mouth. An adult temper tantrum. If that describes you, then I am calling you out on that behavior. If you are constructively criticizing the teams decisions, then this was not directed at you. As to the Raider Nation, they have fantastic fans, passionate fans, and their share of idiots also. Raiders games are typically in the top 3 in Arrests every year. That is a fact. That does not mean that the vast majority of Raider Nation is like that, but it does mean there is a certain segment that is.

      I spoke to a certain segment of fans, “but the overreaction level with SOME of the Raiders fan base” That was the exact quote. But if you believe that to be directed at the entire fan base, your assertion is incorrect.

  5. Fair enough.

    You’ve earned the right to express your opinion far more than I have anyways, whether or not I agree.

    You will definitely not find tweets from me that call for massive action in the middle of a season. I will, however, always criticize what I believe to be bad coaching decisions with fervor because they drive me up a wall. That doesn’t mean I think I can coach a team, or run a team, even at the pee wee level. It FEELS like that sometimes, I will not lie, but I don’t truly believe it. I wouldn’t even have the balls to stand up at the podium.

    Truth is I’m not even sure why I care…three decades plus of talking Raiders football for six months out of the year and nothing has ever really changed…only one fan base gets to enjoy the spoils each year. The expectation it will be us is a sort of mathematical folly.

    I think I will go on vacation now and hope things don’t get worse for both of ours sake. In some ways it was more relaxing just knowing the team had no real chance and you just root for the underdog win that pisses off the contenders.

  6. Oh Gosh, I have no more “Right” to express my opinion than you do. My goodness that was never my angle and I apologize if you took it to mean that. Criticizing fans actions/statements does not equal them not having the “right” to do so, unless its criminal lol. Just as I have the “right” to criticize them for doing it lol. But I am not attempting to silence them, just to offer them some feedback, wanted or not lol.

    As to how I feel about you the person. You are awesome. I always enjoy our dialogue no matter whether we agree or disagree. If I did not value that I would not respond. Lets hope for the both of us, the Raiders pass these next few challenges with flying colors.

    Winning cures everything!

Leave a Reply