Raiders Have Opportunity At Statement Game With Victory Over Denver.
Terrell White – Sep 29, 2012
Holla At Me Raider Nation!
I think that it's safe to say "It's been a good week in Raider Nation!" However, now the time has really come to look past the euphoria of the win against the Steelers. Now it's time to find out if the Raiders can handle success. Now it's time to find out if the Raiders can develop consistency. Now it's time to find out if the Raiders are really diamonds, or if their really cubic zirconias.
Let's be honest, this game against Denver isn't a MUST win situation. However, while the game may not be a must win, it is a statement game. Let's look ahead for a moment. Week six we have a game in Atlanta, against the Falcons. A game that right now, I don't see us winning (bye week to prepare or not).
Lose that game, and this one in Denver, all of a sudden that win against Pittsburg is a mighty distant memory; The losses would leave Oakland with a very ugly 1-4 record. Moreover, the losses would have the team dwelling in the cellar of the AFC West. However, returning now to the present, that future does not have to become a reality.
At the end of their first fourth of the season I had the Raiders playing .500 football (2-2). Over the next two fourth's of the season (the next eight games) there are only two teams (in my view) that will certainly be favored over Oakland.
In the first fourth (of the discussion) we face the Falcons (L), Jaguars (W), Chiefs (W), and end the second fourth of the season with (in my view) a home win against the Bucs. In the third fourth of the season we open up at Baltimore (L). Next we win against an un-inspired Saints team in Oakland. We follow that home win with "Carson's Revenge" when we beat the Bengals in Cincinnati. The Raiders end the third fourth of the season the way we did the third; This time with a win at home against Cleveland, instead of Tampa Bay.
This would leave Oakland with a respectable 8-4 record headed into the last fourth of their season. All of this is of course IF (the biggest two letter word in the human language) the team plays the game the way that their capable of, and avoids major injury.
Raiders vs. Denver.
Flashing forward, back to the present (ride the roller coaster with me Raider Nation) we know that the donkies are going to be looking to take a crap in the Raiders' helmets this week. It was wonderful to watch the Atlanta defense (hope YOU were watching Jason Tarver) confuse, befuddle, and intercept Payton Manning.
Moreover, it was wonderful to watch the Raiders play aggressive, and opportunistic, both on the offensive, and on the defensive side of the ball. I believe that if the Raiders are going to continue to be successful they're not only going to need to be aggressive on defense; They're going to need to continue being aggressive in their play calling.
Going for it on fourth down, in certain circumstances is now mandatory in the N.F.L. The fact of the matter is there are certain team that you MUST score touch downs against (Dener being one of those teams); In those games, when you get a good opportunity for seven, even if you've got a sure three, you've got to be aggressive and look for the touch down. With that in mind, I wouldn't be upset to see the Raiders taking more shots on fourth and short this week.
Side Bar: I also wouldn't mind seeing the team attempt another unexpected onside kick, down the road (as long as some one teaches Mike Goodson how to fall on a football).
In harmony with Raider Aggression the team is going to need to continue to develop, and use innovative and unconventional formation both on offense, and on defense; This will certainly help to keep Denver, and Payton Manning off balance. Last but not least the Raiders must continue to control their penalty situation.
Payton Manning, and the Denver Broncos are going to be looking for redemption this week against Oakland. Denver will be looking to take out their frustration from last weeks embarrassment on our beloved Raiders.
Well, you what I say?!? - Who cares what Denver is looking for!?!
I don't see any reason why the Raiders have to conceit their divison to San Diego, or Denver for that matter; Despite the fact that we lost to the Chargers opening night, and Denver looked very good (better than Oakland) in their win against the Steelers.
Now, I'm not taking anything away from Dennis Allen's first win as a head coach; With that said, it's not like we won that game against the Steelers while WE were playing on the road. Moreover, Pittsburg did play without two of its defensive stars (Troy Polamalu and James Harrison). However, circumstances aside - the Raiders did win the game.
Speaking of winning the game: As I stated earlier, everyone (outside of Raider Nation) is expecting Denver & Payton Manning to rebound in a big way from the loss to the Falcons in Atlanta this week against our beloved Raiders.
However, what happens when the Raiders win the game?
IF (there's that word again) the Raiders can accomplish this goal they will have beaten two of last seasons playoff teams in back to back weeks!! They'll be sitting with a decent 2-2 record, with momentum, and with positive energy headed into their bye week.
Note: Believe me Raider Fanatic, or not the press surrounding the team at 2-2 is going to be a lot better then it would be with the team at 1-3.
A victory against Denver this weekend would be one of those games that the Raiders can use to build upon. It's one of those victories that energies the coaching staff. It gives the players a stronger belief in themselves and in the system. The fans can use the victory as actual proof positive that the team is improving, and headed in the right direction.
In short - A Raider vcitory over Devner, with Payton Manning at the helm, and with all the hype that has been surrounding the Broncos sends a statement league wide that: The Raiders are back baby!! (so deal with it!!)
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