What’s up RaiderNation? Welcome to my new column entitled My Two Cents, here at silverandblackdaily.com your one stop shop for all things OAKLAND RAIDERS!!!!! As the name implies, my columns are going to be my opinions on whatever it is I am writing about that week. Before I get to that, I want to give a shout out to the manager (didn’t catch his name) at the Texas Roadhouse in Fresno who came to our table this past Saturday. Of course, I was in Raider gear (always repping my Raiders), and he came over to the table and said “Alright, Raiders rule. Give me a high five!” The family at the table next to us said “We are niner fans” and the manager promptly turned around and said “Well, you don’t have to leave, but you are going to have to eat your food out on the patio!” Of course, he wasn’t serious, but the fact that he said what he said to paying customers (even if it was in jest) is worthy of a shout out in my book!!
OK, back to the column. This week I am writing about the sky falling on the Raiders. You know, what I am talking about. We probably won’t win a game this season. We have no depth. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I hope you all know I am being sarcastic here. All the doom and gloom I am hearing out there because the Raiders lost their first pre-season game, is starting to make my blood boil! (OK, so I am exaggerating there) But seriously folks let’s stop looking at the glass and calling it half empty. Yes, Carson Palmer threw a pick, yes Jacoby Ford dropped two passes, and muffed a punt. Yes, Marquette King was horrid at place holding, and our back-up OLine was porous to say the least giving poor Terrelle Prior no time to do anything. And finally, yes we got shut-out at home. But you are ignoring all of the positives, and they far out-weigh the negatives when put into perspective.
First of all, Darren McFadden is back, and looking better than ever. He touched the ball a total of three times, and gained 38 yards, that an average of almost 13 yards a touch. If he hadn’t been taken out of the game after the first series, there is no doubt in my mind that we would have won the game. But we need him to keep him fresh for the regular season, and I would much rather lose a pre-season game, than risk him getting hurt on some freak play in a game that means nothing.
But lets talk about the biggest reason for optimism for the upcoming season of all. Why didn’t we make the playoffs last season? Because our defense could not hold the opponents from scoring go ahead touchdowns late in the game. Did anyone notice how dominating our defense was Monday night? Do you realize we only gave up 9 yards rushing in the entire first half, and only 3 yards in the first quarter? Aside from the one completion from Romo to Dez Bryant on their second offensive play, they did virtually nothing. In fact, that was the Cowboys longest play of the game. They second string defense also did well and we held them scoreless in the first half, ending the Cowboy’s offensive half on an interception by Mike Mitchell. While the third string defense did not do anywhere near as well as the first string, they gave up only 45 yards rushing in the second half, making 54 yards total given up on the ground for the game. The Raiders gave up a total of 148 yards passing for a total of 202 yards of offense. If our defense can dominate other teams like we dominated Dallas, the offense will do the rest.
Rod Streater was another bright spot in the game. The undrafted rookie out of Temple was 6-6 at one point, and finished 6-8 for 66 yards.
Again, we lost the game, and our running game was suspect at best (except when McFadden was in), but Goodson and Jones will be back soon (possibly in Friday’s game), and things will be different when we aren’t pulling our starters out after the first series or so. Don’t hit the panic button because we lost this game, and to all of you chicken littles out there, the sky is not falling, and the season is not over before it started. Have a little faith in your Raiders. As our glorious forefather, Al Davis used to say, “The greatness of the Raiders, remains in its future”. The nation will rise to glory once again, and it starts this season. Have faith my Raider brothers and sisters! Peace out RaiderNation!!
Questions? Comments? Email me at OldTimer@silverandblackdaily.com