Posts Tagged ‘Chiefs’

It’s Christmas All Over Again

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

I didn’t want to celebrate, or even blog about, the Raider win over the Texans last week because I was afraid of a face plant in Tampa Bay like the embarrasment in Baltimore after the NY Jet win or the collapse vs lowly Kansas City after the Denver route.

To my surprise, I received a late Christmas gift in the form of back to back Raider wins.  This one against a team fighting for the playoffs, in their house, across country, and the most unbelievable – after being down by 10 points with only 11 minutes left in the game!

As if the Raider win wasn’t enough, everything else went well this Sunday.  As a Raider fan of late, I’ve had to take pleasure in watching the teams I hate lose.  I know, it’s a little sad and hopefully that will change soon.

The team that is known by their obnoxious fans and mediots as “America’s Team” was absolutely blown out by Philadelphia 44-6 to miss the playoffs entirely.  Ha!  Super Bowl bound, my ass.  They haven’t won a playoff game in over ten years and yet they’re still media darlings.

Speaking of obnoxious fans and media darlings, even better was the 11-5 Patriots not making the playoffs.  Nawt fay-uh, they’re surely crying.  Perhaps this is kismet for all the cheating they’ve done in the past.   Maybe Belicheat is regretting not trying to do just a little more cheating this year to get them over the hump. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.  Ahhh….I think I’ll drink a Sam Adams to celebrate their demise.

Well, that pretty much completes my football weekend.  I think the only thing that might improve on it is if that crybaby Jay Cutler and the Broncos get knocked out of the playoffs tonight at San Diego.  I’m no San Diego fan, of course, but it’s definitely the lesser of two evils.

Dumbness Prevails

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Seabass can runThere’s a lot of dumb in football. For example, how many times have you seen a dumb defensive player pick up an incomplete pass and run the other way with it (yes, I’m talking about you Rickey Brown)?  Or celebrate before crossing the goal line (calling Chris Johnson and DeSean Jackson).

You thought the fact that Donovan McNabb, who plays what is regarded as the smartest position in the NFL,  didn’t know that there could be a tie in the NFL was pretty darn dumb, right?  (I still can’t believe that one)

Well, Tom Cable may have trumped them all last weekend.  The Bay Area writers are having a field day with him, but rightfully so, for calling that ill-advised fake field goal Sunday against the lowly Chiefs.

Normally, I’m all for a little razzle dazzle to keep your opponent off balance.  The Raiders haven’t done enough of it these last several seasons.  But in this case, it was plain crazy.  Here’s why:

  • It was against an opponent the Raiders should beat straight up, without the need for trickery.
  • It was 4th and 10.  Not 4th and short, but a whopping ten yards.
  • The plan was for Janikowski to run the ten yards (plus the extra 7 yards or so behind the line of scrimmage) for the first down.  Yes, Janikowski.  The fat, Polish guy.  Probably, the slowest guy on the team.
  • Upside-downside.  There was much more risk than reward here.  Kick the field goal and you’re up three.  Fail and you give a weak opponent renewed confidence and decent field position.  The worst happened, of course, and that weak opponent took it the other way for six.  Instead of up by 3, the team with easily the most pathetic offense in football is down 7.  10 point swing.  Game over.
  • Did I mention this was against the sad sack Chiefs?  Why? Why? Why?

I really like Tom Cable.  Both for his mentality and the fact that he has a loyalty to this team, being a fan growing up, but that play alone was probably enough to relegate him back to assistant coach next year – I hope with the Raiders still.  Head Coach though?  I don’t think so, unless the Raiders hire a dynamic offensive coordinator and he’s more a teacher and figurehead.

It’s 2006 All Over Again

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

The Raiders looked like the historically bad 2006 Raider team today in Baltimore, losing 29-10 and dropping to 2-5 on the season.  I’m extra sad because my brother and two nephews made the trip all the way from St. Louis to witness it.

Bad defense, really bad special teams, and embarrassingly bad offense.

I could have written this post mortem around the middle of the second quarter because the game was essentially over by then.  It was 19-0 and the Raiders had something like 35 yards total offense.

If you could look at one stat, try third down conversions.  The Raiders have been horrible on third downs all year.  This game, the offense was only 2 for 13, while the defense allowed Baltimore to convert 10 of 18.

Could it have been any more obvious which Ryan brother is the smart one and which is the dumb one?  Rex’s defense was without three out of four starters in the secondary and started Raider bust Fabian Washington, yet they looked like they were in another league.  They attacked with blitzes and allowed no running room for the Raiders.  Raider runners averaged less than 2 yards per carry.  The Raiders defense, on the other hand, looked weak against the run again and could not stop the trickery and let a rookie quarterback get way too comfortable (again!) in the pocket.  Zero sacks.  Very few QB pressures.  One very noticeable zone defense mistake which resulted in a 70 yard TD pass.

Rob Ryan is not putting the players in a position to win and utilize their skills best.  He is just an absolutely terrible defensive coordinator this year and for the last five years and is proof that Al Davis is lost in what he’s doing with this once proud franchise.  Note that last week’s win versus the Jets could have easily been another loss if Brett Favre hadn’t over thrown a wide open receiver in overtime against a loose Raider zone.

That said, a lot of Raven third down conversions were accomplished due to Raider missed tackles and  some poor run defense.

The Raider Special Teams contributed  to this pathetic display of football as well.  They allowed a huge punt return by a back up returner that led to a field goal, made some untimely penalties, and featured the Bonehead Play of the Week:  With the Raiders struggling with bad field position all game, Johnnie Lee Higgins fields a kick off at the two yard line while he allows his momentum to carry him out of bounds.  Note to Johnnie – let those bounce into the end zone and down it there.

But all in all, the core of the Raider loss was due to the inept offense, just like back in 2006 when the Raiders went to Baltimore with Aaron Brooks as their quarterback.  They are painful to watch.  While the offensive line has greatly improved since then, the results are the same.  I think that in this game, they layed right to Baltimore’s strengths and insisted on running the ball up the middle on just about every first and second down….and, curiously, a lot of third downs.  Please be more inventive Greg Knapp! The other offensive coordinator schooled you today.  Remember, both teams had rookie quarterbacks….actually, JaMarcus is not a rookie, which should have put him a little ahead of Flacco.

JaMarcus looked better on a couple of his long throws, but his accuracy and decision making still bother me.  He just looks like he’s locking into one guy on a lot of plays.  This game showed that the Raiders’ unimaginative offense actually only puts one receiver out into a pattern, so I’m not so sure I should blame JaMarcus or the play calling.  I do like that he took off and ran it one time though.

This game was a step backwards.

Victory is Ours, but……

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Another blown callI’ll get to the “but” part later.

The Raiders ran for a whopping 300 yards and defeated the Chiefs in Kansas City, 23-8.  It wasn’t pretty and the Chiefs came back to within a score late in the fourth, even with their 3rd string QB, but the Raider running game looked strong and the defense went after them.

What a difference from the passive defensive plan that Rob Ryan employed last week.  Could it be that Kiffin’s comments, the fan outrage, and the media ridicule made Ryan reacquaint himself with the concept of a blitz?  I still think the guy is a terrible defensive coordinator because one good game against a hobbled and mediocre team does not redeem five years of bad football.

Besides opening it up and mixing in some blitzes, Ryan had Kalimba Edwards back to rush the passer at RDE and Derrick Burgess finally looked like his old self at RDE.  Last week, rookie Trevor Scott was swallowed up on every play and Burgess was invisible.  DT Gerard Warren had an excellent game as well.

Props to all the running backs – Fargas, McFadden, and Bush, but the most credit should go to the offensive line.  It’s pretty obvious where their strengths lie – the running game.  If they can just improve their pass protection, this unit will be solid.  I was very worried about the left OT situation with Kwame Harris out, but “super” Mario Henderson looked pretty darn good going against a decent DE in Hali.  The Raiders made sure they kept most plays going right, but the young guy acquitted himself very well.

Some random notes:  Higgins looked much better than last year as a return man, but then again he had a return where he tried to reverse field and went backwards.  What happened to Ronald Curry’s hands?  Is Javon Walker ever going to be a factor?  Tyvon Branch looks like a player!  DeAngelo Hall still looks shaky to me.  How did McFadden, with his 4.33 speed, get caught from behind on his long run?  Why doesn’t a professional announcer and a former pro QB not know the rules for touching the ball on punts?

Again, Raider fans should temper their enthusiasm because of the weak opponent, the fact that the opponent had a chance to tie the game late, 55 yards passing is not something to write home about, and the “but” part I alluded to earlier…

He (Kiffin) saw a reporter and said, “See you later . . . maybe,” before ducking behind a red curtain. The he poked his head back out and added with a playful grin, “If I don’t, it’s been good.” ….more

There are reports that Kiffin will be fired by Monday, regardless of the game’s outcome.  If true, this is ludicrous.  Raider fans should all boycott Davis and not attend games or buy merchandise.  I sincerely hope this is media fabrication or just some sportswriter hazarding a guess based on the bizarre week leading up to the game.  From the writer’s perspective, he can just say he was fed bogus info if he’s wrong.  If he’s right, he gets credit for breaking the story.

Here are some disturbing signs that this may actually happen:

  • Davis reportedly saying, “He’s not the guy I hired.”
  • Kiffin always referring to Davis as “the owner”, which Davis may take as a sign of disrespect.
  • The crazy press conference that Ryan had where he disputed (and contradicted himself) the Ryan-as-Davis-stooge theory.
  • This quote from Kiffin, “We don’t have a general manager; everything goes through the owner.  That sets up a difficult situation at times. Knowing who the owner is, you know from Day 1 there’s no job security.”

After a day where Raider fans taste sweet victory over a hated rival and have some hope for the rest of the season, it may turn bittersweet by this time tomorrow.

(PS In honor of the blown call by Ed Hochuli that gave the Denver Broncos a second life vs the Chargers (and led to victory), the photo above shows another call the zebras missed on Sunday. It was called an incomplete pass and took a sack away from Burgess and the Raiders. It wasn’t reviewed. By the way, that bad call by Hochuli was exactly like the play where Russell fumbled near the goal line last week vs Denver.)