It was a lot of fun, but Oakland’s winning streak came to a violent stop last Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets put a beat down on the Raiders in all three phases, and before the third quarter was over, Derek Carr was benched for Mike Glennon. Oakland’s “probable” playoff run turned into a “doubtful” in an instant. But fear not! This fake fan is back with more reasons to be optimistic in spite of the loss.
The Silver (And Black) Lining: Week Twelve
I Told You So
I hate to start a positive article on a negative note, but I had a feeling about this loss. Everyone was aggressively retweeting bad Raiders takes, and I sent this little message out, only to get buried by my Raider Nation. Most of the harsher replies have been deleted because ironically, people who love to force-feed others humble pie don’t like the taste.
If the Raiders beat the Jets, and then turn around and beat KC in Arrowhead, by all means, let everyone hear it. But this is a team that has allowed more points than they've scored, coming off a game where they barely beat the worst team in the NFL. Let's just chill for a sec.
Now, I’m not just sharing this because I like saying I told you so; there’s a positive message here. Because I was skeptical, or some would say, cynical, I had realistic expectations. So I wasn’t as devastated by the embarrassing loss, even though I attended the game in person. The loss was harsh, but believe it or not, the Raiders are still on schedule.
Nobody expected the Raiders to have a winning record at this point in the season for a few reasons. Firstly, they’re a very young squad. Just look at the projected starters and see how many of them are still on their rookie deals, if not rookies themselves. Secondly, they still have holes. The loss of Antonio Brown hurt the receiving corps, injuries destroyed the secondary, they lack depth at pass rusher, and linebacker remains a neglected position. The Raiders have overachieved in 2019, and that is a good thing. That just means it’ll be that much easier to succeed in 2020.
Maxx Crosby is killing it. The defensive end wasn’t expected to produce as a rookie, is dominating lately. He has nearly as many sacks as runaway Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa does with half the surrounding talent. Imagine what Crosby could do on a defense like San Francisco’s? And yes, for those keeping track at home, he still has more sacks than one Khalil Mack does… and it didn’t take two first round picks to get him either.
I know Josh Jacobs was pretty much silenced by the NFL’s number one run defense last week, but as someone who was at the game, I do have something positive to report. Every time Jacobs got the ball, he ran hard. He played his heart out, even when the game was obviously out of reach. Effort doesn’t show up on the stat-sheet, but the future Offensive Rookie of the Year never gave up, and that’s more than you could say about some of Oakland’s past backs.
This isn’t really a positive thing, but it does soften the blow a little. The Raiders receivers dropped everything but a mix tape on Sunday. Early in the game, they dropped passes on three third downs, including a few passes down the field to Tyrell Williams. Hearing about Derek Carr being benched isn’t reassuring, especially with a massive game against Kansas City looming, but it wasn’t all the quarterback’s fault. The Jets were fired up, and frankly, Oakland didn’t show up. That’s still a criticism of them, but not necessarily a reflection of how good this team can be.
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