Captain Jack's Post Pre-Season Game Three Reaction - Do You Feel Good Yet?
Captain Jack Rack 'em Levy – Aug 28, 2012
Well here we are, 48+ hours after the hoopla and glad-handing of our Saturday night victory against the Detroit Lions – the same Lion team who kept us out of the Playoffs in week 16 last year and then went on to their own Playoff berth. Yeah, the team coming from 13 points behind in the second half as the Raiders snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last December… but you can put a good portion of the blame on the Raiders defense that day…
…because seriously, after all, wouldn’t YOU play a linebacker on one of the league’s best wide receivers in crunch time? Well if you’re Chuck Bresnahan you do… pfffffffffffffft… duuuuuuuuuuuh you ingrate, what are you some silly arm-chair Defensive Coordinator?!?!
Ok, that dead horse has been beaten so horribly both PETA and the ASPCA have served warrants against the Captain to move on… to turn the page… so I am. Hey, how about the weather we’re having anyway?!?! (If you’re currently in the Caribbean, Florida or the Gulf States, or in the heat-oppressed and burning South-West, not much of a positive segue, but still…)
It’s easier to turn the page now that we have shown to have a “REAL” Defensive system run by a coordinator who has a clue, one who not only has the backing of his Head Coach and General Manager but also can concoct a scheme of flying bodies and 21st century schemes – how about employing a zone-blitz using stalwart ‘tweener Dave Tollefson perhaps? Awesome!!
What’s that you say? We employed a similar scheme last year against the Lions using RoMac in a haphazard way? Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude I thought we weren’t going to ‘Go There’ anymore!!
Jason Tarver, the new Defensive Coordinator known affectionately by some media pundits as ‘The Mad Scientist’ has gotten the most out of his Defensive charges, having the full attention and respect of all Raider defenders to go along with the front office and fanatics of the Silver and Black brotherhood. After all, Michael Huff and Mike Mitchell have stated words to the effect of being ‘gainfully employed’ this year, which is indeed a start. All of the Raiders’ D have truly ‘bought in’ to the system, which has looked incredibly good when they’ve played.
And therein lies the rub as they say, since this has only been ‘Pre-Season’ and this portion of the schedule doesn’t count.
True, but let me school y’all on an ‘old trick’ the Captain has used in the past when it comes to judging a team in the preseason – and feel free to use it from now on:
For PS (Pre-Season) Game one – look for the score between the two teams at the end of the first quarter, since that is when the starters and key subs usually play and gives you a ‘good feel’ as to how the team looks.
In PSG2 – look at the half time score, for the reason cited immediately above.
In PSG3 – the score usually in the mid-point to end of the third quarter is tell-tale, as again, most of the starters and key substitutes get their ‘real game action’ as their final tune-up to the regular season in two weeks. Game three additionally is the contest where teams actually 'game plan' for the opposing squad and most resembles 'regular season activity' more than any other preseason affair.
For PSG4 – unless you are a true diehard fan and can’t live without seeing game action of your team - I know that includes many of our readership here, take your wife (or husband or significant other) out for dinner and a movie for this game, since your starters and key subs see little to no action here, and the players getting on the field are fighting for those last few spots on the 53-man roster as well as the Practice Squad, while the remainders hurriedly brush-up and refine their resumes for the Arena League or Canadian League (if they’re lucky) or most likely to become Associate Grocery Manager at Ralph’s or Shift Supervisor at Del Taco or Der Weinerschnitzel.
So, if you go by the Captain’s methodology, the Raiders looked incredibly great in PSG1 against the ‘Boys (although there wasn’t any scoring to conclusively back that claim) and were gang-busters and totally kicked as in this latest game against the Lions. Yes Virginia, we DO have an offense and key contributors, so Katy-bar-the-door and let’s get to the Monday Night opener already!
(As for PSG2 against the Cardinals, as many know, I didn’t see nor hear nor have any true indications of our play, so that game can’t be used on the ‘Rack’Em Scale’ for this article…)
One of our esteemed writers here (I won’t mention names, but his last name evokes a ‘Capital of a great time in a true Irish pub’ if you catch my drift) wanted to see what ‘The Real 2012 Raiders’ would show in their game against Detroit, as he – as well as a certain nautical leader of a sailing ship – were sick and tired of having an overall team effort resembling a group of somnambulists wearing Silver and Black being trotted out on the field for the first two games of the preseason.
I think he, as well as the entire Raider-loving audience around the world, got a positive response from the play of McFadden, Jones, Streater, Myers, Criner, the offensive line, as well as some practical rookie named Pryor in last Saturday night’s game at the O.co which showed the true Raider Offensive capability this year. Yes, even our starting quarterback named Palmer had a good game (minus one throw into the teeth of the Lion defensive line on an ill-fated screen pass to a ‘mugged’ Taiwan Jones) but I digress. Also, the other INT which shows on his record wasn’t his fault – so there!
The Defense concocted by Tarver played well, too, holding the starting Detroit Offense to two first half field goals when the game was truly decided, with two second-half touchdowns only padding the score for cosmetic purposes for the BSPN and NFLN scroll on the TV screen.
Now, if we can just get the Special Teams onboard this Galleon to buy off on not letting a big play occur on kick-offs immediately following a Raiders’ score, although I do wish to give some Captain’s props to Matt Giordano for pushing Justin Miller out of bounds and preventing a touchdown, along with accolades to Eddie Carmona’s 56-yard end of the first half field goal, filling in for a hobbling Polish Cannon who tried to assist in getting a previously identified demon ex-Raider kick returner to the ground.
Make sure the team has your cell number Eddie, just in case Jano needs to start the season on the Binnacle List, ok? We’ll need you (and King) to step up this year in case the legs of our Dynamic Duo get hurt for any length of time.
Yes, the Captain does feel better about how this year’s team will show in the ‘regular season’ standings, starting on Monday September 10th. I’ll be sure to tune in – minus the sound, because who wants to listen to Berman and Dilfer blather on for three hours and will endeavor to listen to Papa, Plunkett and Coach Flores tell me what’s REALLY going on during the game – and I suggest you do, too!
Also, be sure to remind any fans of the KC BBQs, SD No-charges and Denver Peytons the AFC West race this year is indeed a four-team race, in case you as a Raiders’ fan have been listening (and summarily brainwashed) to crock commentary from BSPN, NFLN and FOX… but the Captain is just trying to take care of his crew.
Until next time, have a great dinner and movie this upcoming weekend!! We’ll let you know what you missed… YAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!
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