Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Yes, the title is making fun of the fans of the Raiders. But our fraternity of piss poorly-run teams has to make fun of each other, so the title remains. If you take a look at the standings in the AFC, you see an unfamiliar team at 2-1 in the West. For most of us, seeing Oakland having a winning record is something you thought about in the 70's and 80's. Otherwise you expect them to maybe win 5 or 6 games a season. And lord knows that some fans of the Silver and Black aren't what your would call mentally stable because they pick the Raiders to win the West each and every year.
But something is happening in Oakland. I will give credit to Mark Davis. Even though the Raider Nation wanted Reggie McKenzie's head on a silver platter for the past year if not 2, he stuck with the GM and it looks like there is a plan that will bring winning back to O-Town. (Remember that sucky Boy Band?) Anyways, look what Reggie has done for the team.
He has a QB that can man the position for the next decade. Derek Carr looks like he will develop into a better than average QB at the very least. He has the respect of the veterans, at least according to Justin Tuck and Charles Woodson. The Raiders drafted Amari Cooper who looks like he can turn into a good pro. To help the receiving corps, they brought in Michael Crabtree who has been on good and bad teams and could help steady the ship. A smart move was letting Darren McFadden go to Dallas and drafting Latavius Murray in 2013, I believe. He was the 16th RB taken in that draft. You find a player like that late in the draft, develop him, and have him shock people with his play. That is how the successful franchises stay on top. Now if they can find more stability on the Offensive Line and get a top flight TE, you could have an offense that will score in bunches.
On defense, it is slower going to build. Khalil Mack looks like a monster. I am a Ray-Ray Armstrong fan. Justin Tuck and Charles Woodson bring the veteran leadership.There are still some upgrades that need to be made to get the defense to the next level, but the one thing that it does have going for it is that the team ranks in the Top 15 of rushing defense. That is going to keep the Raiders in games that the offense might be able to steal.
The AFC West is up for grabs this year. The Broncos are 3-0, but is anybody really scared of that offense? The Chiefs are 1-2 and finding ways to lose. The Chargers are also 1-2 and both lines are a weakness for the team. Why not the Raiders? The young stars aren't afraid of anything. And if the bounces go their way, they could pull out 9 or 10 wins. There weren't many people that were looking at the team winning that amount this year. In fact, I read a publication that had them saying that the Raiders had the least amount of talent in the NFL.
So to R.J. and the rest of Raiders Nation: The rebuilding plan that you have is looking good. You can also look at it this way. Your team is better now and probably will be better in the future than Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Miami, Washington, Chicago, and St. Louis. That means that you are better than 25% of the league already. Continue with the improvement and the Raiders can get back into a position of prominence. But don't go crazy and think Super Bowl for the next couple of years at the very least.