Vertigo: A sensation of whirling and loss-of-balance that’s accrued at great heights.

Achieving great heights seems to be a challenge for Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders this season, although, it seems like they’re playing with a great deal of vertigo. 

Defensively, Oakland conveys the possibility of holding dizzy bat tournaments on the sideline. Bad angles to the ball carrier, lackadaisical tackling, getting torched down the field, and an absence in pass rush have led to the team ranking No. 30 in yards and points allowed.

Offensively, the Raiders are playing games of give-away rather than keep-away. Derek Carr initiates hot potato and the receivers want nothing to do with it, hence the recurring drops and interceptions. Or maybe they’re just too dizzy from this vertigo. Which now that I think about it, could also be linked to the erroneous play calling. But wait a sec, play calling isn’t always on Dizzy Derek’s shoulders, is it…

Gruden must’ve tumbled around in the dryer before he came back to Oakland because he’s got the worst vertigo of the whole organization, literally. 

“I’m not a great traveler,” he said. “I’ll be honest with you, I hate it. I’m concerned. I’m more worried about that than our goal-line offense right now.”

Gruden’s comment is an uneasy one to accept. Not only have they been playing shaky, but now they are literally going to be playing muzzy after an eleven-hour flight and eight-hour time change for Sunday’s game in London against Seattle. 

Proper rest and preparation are vital to a win in London, especially for a team that’s had to dig deep into the depth chart. Let’s hope Gruden and the Raiders aren’t affected by this unwanted vertigo Sunday but are lifted to new heights with a bold victory.

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