Loss In Final Home Game Ended Dream Season Raider Nation Would Have Loved To See Happen In Oakland.
Terrell White – Dec 23, 2017
Holla At Me Raider Nation!
People, outside of Raider Nation really have no clue what it truly means to be a RAIDER FAN; We deal with nonsense that, in my humble opinion no other fan base has ever encountered. Our football team has suffered losses that. again in my humble opinion no other franchise would be able to survive. A few that come to mind; The lie that is Franco Harris & the Steelers. The malarkey that is Tom Brady & the Patriots. The right place, right time, wrong team, that is lucky John Gruden & the Buccaneers. I need to stop now, I'm feeling nauseous. The bottom line is, we are truly a force of one. Every team is our rival, because deep down inside, they all want to be RAIDERS. Even the zebra's who are paid to be impartial, are against the Silver & Black!!
What people outside of Raider Nation don't (and can't) understand, is that we wouldn't have it any other way. There is nothing more satisfying then thriving, despite your enemies best efforts to plot for your demise. It's a mentality, that if you're going to have a long term, successful career as a Raider you're going to need to develop. I felt that Jack Del-Rio, was a man who could, and did understand that simple fact; Which is part of the reason why I was glad to see him take over the job of head coach.
As we all know, last season our Raiders were 12-4. However, it wasn't just about the record; It was about how the Raiders went about obtaining those victories. More often then not, Oakland took what they wanted. If it was fourth down, with the game on the line, and we needed a first down, we took it. If it was late in the game, down by four, and we needed a touch down drive, we'd make it. The refs could call enough penalties to stop us. The opposing coaches game plans and adjustments were irrelevant; Due to the fact that our combatants couldn't come up with enough big plays against us. It was beautiful to watch. It was a thing to savor, despite the fragility of the whole situation. It made you dream that bigger things were possible, and that you might actually get to witness them.
The elephant in the room was (and still is) the fact that Mark Davis is in the process of fulfilling the dream of his late father, the legendary Al Davis. Sooner, rather then later the Raiders will be playing their home games in an actual football stadium. A stadium that unfortunately will not be located in California. The Raiders days of playing on that baseball dirt in Oakland are numbered; Which is part of what made last season so special; Moreover, it was also why so many fans were dreaming big things (can you say Super Bowl? Because I can't right now) for the franchise this season.
Moreover, with the architects of that 12-4 season returning, a year wiser, a year stronger, all being injury free, and having added MarShawn Lynch to the roster, the Raiders should have been looking to make this season magical; We all know that as fans we had every right to feel that this team was going to build on their success; It's what they were expected, and what they should have expected to do. However, they have failed us; Moreover, they have failed themselves.
For the first couple of weeks, this season was looking magical. I just don't know what happened. Quarterback Derek Carr was given a lions share of the credit for the teams success last season. Therefore, it only seems fitting that he take a lions share of the blame for the way things have turned out in 2017. Since week three the Raider signal call has struggled with his accuracy, and found it difficult to make plays. Forget about the interceptions, and the questionable decisions with the football. Think about this for a moment: Derek Carr, and his inaccurate throws have gotten both wide receivers Michael Crabtree, and Amari Cooper injured; Injuries that have forced them to miss games this season. Have you every heard anyone say anything like that about an Aaron Rodgers or even a Cam Newton?
We can't mention the Raider wide receivers. without talking about all of the passes that these guys have dropped this season. Michael Crabtree, Seth Roberts, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jared Cook, and on, and on, there isn't a guy on the roster who hasn't dropped a ball in a crucial moment this season; However, the most egregious culprit has to be Raider wide receiver Amari Cooper. This was a season in which, like Carr you had to be expecting Cooper to elevate his game; What he's done unfortunately is the exact opposite. Cooper hasn't taken it to another level; He's taken a step, or even two, backwards. Put simply the player that the Raiders were counting on to make big plays for their offense has gone missing in action; Moreover, I don't know when (or if) we will see him again.
The Raiders problems weren't only on offense. I don't care what anyone has to say, the strong leg of kicker Sebastian Janikowski has been missed this season. On defense Khalil Mack is still without a true counterpart on his other side. The linebacker play has been questionable; Especially when it pertains to the coverage of tight ends, or running backs catching passes in the flats. Speaking of coverage, do we really need to talk about the Oakland Raider defensive secondary? How many big plays have these guys given up, at the worst possible time? Moreover, who would have thought more then half the season would pass before one of them would come up with an interception?
However, I can't put it all on the players. I mentioned earlier about being in good spirits when Jack Del-Rio took over as head coach of the Raiders. I spoke about how I felt he understood the mentality one would need to have in order to thrive in Silver & Black; A mentality that was clearly lacking (among other things) in his predecessor Dennis Allen. Last season Del-Rio almost always made the right call, or challenged the call at the perfect time. This season however, I've (on more then one occasion) questioned his decisions. Staying with the staff; Why did it take so long to remove Ken Norton Jr. of his defensive responsibilities? Furthermore, with Jacks background in defense, why was the Raider defense so bad to being with? Some of this has to fall on general manager Reggie McKenzie; Who can't seem to draft a defensive back who can make plays to save his life! Don't think I've forgotten about you offensive coordinator Todd Downing; You dear sir, are a huge reason why the Raider offense has transformed from sports car, into garbage truck.
There is plenty of blame to spread around for this dismal 2017 season. Now, is not too soon (as far as I'm concerned) to start wondering about the Raiders playing in Oakland next season. Will it happen? I don't know. The city has the "option" of having the team play there; Them exercising that option however, is another matter. The only thing I know for certain, is that the Raiders are going to Vegas baby. With their days in Oakland numbered fans really can't say "Wait till next year." Going into this season they had a chance, if the team would have cooperated to witness something special. Instead we've been left (once again) with shattered dreams.
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Who should the Raiders take with the 24th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft
|Jarrad Davis - LB - Florida|
|Zach Cunningham - LB - Vanderbilt|
|Kevin King - CB - Washington|
|Tre'Davious White - CB - LSU|
|Chidobe Awuzie - CB - Colorado|