Raiders

When The Going Gets Tough, The Raiders Get Going!

The Las Vegas Raiders have been kicked around like a can down the street. Few things, if any, have gone right for the Raiders in 2021, but it’s time they start making things happen for themselves.

No one is above the Raiders

Just Win, Baby.” It was more than a mantra, it was a way of life for the Oakland Raiders.

Al Davis himself would tell anyone that nobody is bigger than the Raiders’ shield. The Raiders don’t retire jersey numbers because not a single player is elevated above the shield. Davis, to this day, is still the only NFL owner to have traded his head coach. An owner who was perfectly capable of making an unhappy superstar sweat out the rest of his contract on the bench.

The ideals of the Raiders were founded by Davis. The Raiders were a world-class organization, with the best coaches, the best players, and a commitment to equal opportunity and excellence.

History repeats itself for a third time…

Losing to the Washington Football Team last week eliminated any type of cushion the Raiders had to make the playoffs. Now, down to their last playoff permutations, all roads to the playoffs start with winning five games in a row. The Raiders haven’t won five games in a row since the middle of the 2016 season.

For the last two seasons, the message coming out of training camp from everyone was “no excuses.” Adversity dropped an atomic bomb on the Raiders. Make no bones about it, the Raiders’ hit parade continued with tragedy befalling stupidity. But it doesn’t matter.

All the Raiders need is for quarterback Derek Carr to remain aggressive on the football field and not settle for check-down options when provided with time. Josh Jacobs is having a down year running the football, but he is playing with effort and heart. The receiving corps is still capable and ready to make plays. While the offensive line may not be the best offensive line, they are far from the worst. Carr has enough time to work through progressions and let plays develop. It’s what he needs to do in order to deliver on all of the promises he has made.

Poop or get off the pot!

At 6-6, the Raiders aren’t dead in the water yet. What is needed is for the man with the “IT” factor to step forward and make it happen. Carr started the first seven games of the season by completing 180 of 266 passes for 2,269 yards, 12 touchdowns, five fumbles, and five interceptions for a 101.6 QBR rating and was sacked 17 times.

Since the bye in Week 8, Carr has completed 126 out of 185 passes for 1134 yards, five touchdowns, four interceptions, three fumbles and two lost, a QBR of 90.2 and has been sacked 10 times.

Down at the crossroads is where Carr finds himself. In one direction, he’s consistently maintaining the aggressive quarterback everyone knows he can be. In the other, he’s checking down safely to another year of not reaching the postseason. At his back is a 53-69 record with only one winning season.

Brass Tacks

While Carr may have another year remaining on his contract, the same contract also carries no dead money if cut. Should the Raiders not make the postseason, another regime change would surely be incoming. Putting his Raiders future in jeopardy.

Raider Nation

Most of the discord is based on instant gratification, lack of respect for one another and not understanding our culture. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you come from. #Legacy #Culture #Tradition -The Violator

A once proud fanbase is divided and sick. The stands are being overrun by opposing fans. Fans are attacking the fandoms of other Raider fans.

I have seen some of the ugliest pieces of human interaction over disputes about a man. The fandom of the Raiders was never predicated on one particular player. Instead, the whole team shared the notoriety of the Raiders’ mystique.

Lately, I have seen friendships end, debates near the stages of violence end in threats. Family members of players attack people’s newborn children. Media members have received death threats for sharing their opinions.

This is out of control. Everyone is tired of losing, but football is a freaking game. It’s supposed to be something that brings people together, not turn us into hooligans. Raider Nation needs to improve!

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*Top Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group

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