Perhaps Jon Gruden will get the last laugh and, as Troy Aikman alluded to on Thursday night’s broadcast, the Khalil Mack and other trades is the catalyst to a Raiders renaissance under Chucky.
But, perception is reality and there’s a lot of Raider Nation seeing nothing but — as tight end Lee Smith eloquently said in defense of Derek Carr — horseshit.
There’s no better word than that to describe what the Oakland Raiders exhibited in a 34-3 lopsided thrashing at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara.
Gruden’s crew got ran around and run through by Kyle Shanahan’s kliq. Helmed by a rookie third-string quarterback, the Red & Gold was bold and went on the offensive on both sides of the ball. The offense made a mockery of the Paul Guenther orchestrated unit and the defense dropped Carr so many times, a defender was literally doing roundhouse kicks in celebration. Shanahan and Robert Saleh topped their Bay Area counterparts Gruden and Guenther for the night.
The Santa Clara set of head coach and defensive coordinator inspired their team while the other duo virtually said “No mas”. See that exchange where Gruden slapped Guenther on the arm and questioned — with colorful language, mind you — what happened during Raheem Mostert’s 52-yard touchdown run where he was untouched.
I imagine their conversation to be like:
Gruden: “Paul, your defense stinks man.”
Guenther: “Well your unit has only put three points on the board, Jonathan.”
“It feels like as a team, we just let things roll and we don’t stand up for anything,” defensive end Frostee Rucker said. “If someone makes a play, we don’t really respond well … For whatever reason that is … It’s disheartening.”
Sounds like throwing in the towel, no (mas)?
Let’s hit the Quick Slants as fast as the Raiders packed it in on Thursday night:
- If Reggie Nelson continues to play and start, there’s no hope or reason for the Raiders replacing rookie punter Johnny Townsend. Coaches continue to shank the kicking situation on the reg.
- Gruden gave the rook a vote of confidence in Monday’s presser saying he’s going to remain patient with the boot specialist.
- I joked Gruden let some of the Las Vegas plays slip into the game against the Indianapolis Colts. Maybe it wasn’t a joke …
- So … Gruden needs to give Guenther blue chip and Pro Bowl caliber players. Anything less and what we’re seeing now is the result. Yikes.
- Guenther is as bullet-proof and safe as Gruden. The head honcho said as much on Monday. There’s little that the defensive coordinator can do that can get him fired. No way Chucky replaces him in the near future.
- Besides, Gruden can quickly go to the “I gutted his side of the ball” defense and point to subtracting Mack from the equation.
- It’s imperative the Raiders personnel and scouting departments are stellar from now until after draft day. IF they perform like the players have during this 1-7 first half of the season, God help Raider Nation.