What’s up RaiderNation? Welcome to this week’s edition of My Two Cents, with your favorite one-handed Raider fan, Old Timer. I say one-handed because that is how I am having to type this week’s column, as I had surgery on my left wrist on Thursday and can’t use that hand yet (and my boss is a slave driver and won’t give me the week off unless I give up my red stapler and move my office back into the basement, just kidding). For those of you who don’t know me very well, before you get upset with the name of this week’s column, let me just say that I am just being sarcastic. The season is far from over, but you wouldn’t know it listening to some people out there!
We are a quarter of the way through the season, and the Raiders are 1-3, and tied with the Chiefs for last place. That means our season is over, Greg Knapp. Jason Tarver and Dennis Allen all need to be fired, and the Raiders will never make the play-offs ever again. At least that is how some out there are thinking (OK, maybe I am exaggerating a little). But seriously my Raider brothers and sisters, please don’t lose faith so early in the season. Last year we missed the play-offs by one game. Let’s just take a look at last year’s numbers, compared to this year’s shall we?
Last year after 4 games, on offense we had 1,126 yards, 11 touchdowns, 5 field goals, 1 interception, 2 fumbles, and were 2-2. This year we have 1,275 yards, 6 touchdowns, 8 field goals, 2 interceptions, 2 fumbles, and are 1-3. The biggest difference here being we scored 92 points last year and 66 points this year. But keep in mind that last year at this point, everyone was healthy, and we weren’t running a completely new scheme. This year we are running an entirely new offensive scheme, we have Jacoby Ford out for the year, we had DHB out last week and part of week 3, we had Denarius Moore out for the first game, Brandon Myers hurt, Wisniewski out at the beginning of the season, Khalif Barnes out with a groin injury, and very little depth to work with thanks in part to salary cap issues, lack of draft picks, and a bloated team salary that needed to be dealt with.
Our defense, while it has given up entirely too many points this year giving up 14 touchdowns, an 9 field goals, is not that far behind where we were last year at this time. Last year we had given up 14 touchdowns and 5 field goals at this point in the season. But keep in mind we lost both of our starting corners in the first 2 games this year, and have had to resort to putting our free safety into that position. And Aaron Curry has yet to play a snap this year. Again, lack of depth is hurting us tremendously, but as I mentioned previously, it is just something that we are going to have to live with this year. Next year, we will be in a much better situation I am sure. And the addition of Andre Carter should help the almost non-existent pass rush we have had so far, taking some of the pressure off our DB’s.
The bye has come at a very opportune time for us. DHB should be back, and possibly Khalif Barnes as well. It does not look like Spencer will be back as he is still in a walking boot, but there is an outside chance that Bartell could be back, and Aaron Curry is reportedly close as well. Bottom line here my Raider brothers and sisters, if Jon Condo doesn’t get injured in the first game, we are sitting at 2-2, and in a 3-way tie for first place in the AFC West. Of course, the glass would still be half empty for many of you.
I don’t know why, but I do know I can’t live that way. I don’t believe the season is over. I do believe the defense is going to turn around and consistently do what it has shown flashes of so far under Dennis Allen’s and Jason Tarver’s tutelage. I do believe that our Offensive Line will get better and better in the ZBS and our running game will become dominant once again. Although I personally believe we would be best served with a power blocking scheme such as the one we used last year, I do believe we can have a dominant offense with the ZBS, I just believe it will take some time to get there. There is no doubt it is one of the most effective schemes out there. Just look at what Denver used to be able to do every year; plug in any running back that nobody ever heard of, and get a 1,000 yard rusher. Dennis Allen feels it is the scheme that was most difficult for him to defend, and that is why he wants to use it with our offense. But where power blocking can be extremely effective as individual blockers, the ZBS requires an orchestrated team effort. That is why our line needs more time for the run game to become dominant. They are already getting better. The yards per carry are increasingly becoming 3-5 yards, as compared to 1-3 yards at the beginning of the year. And though our rushing yards in the Denver game was nowhere near what it was in the Pittsburgh game, we were too busy playing catch-up to spend much time trying to run the ball.
Look. I am just saying to have faith. Don’t give up on the season already. Don’t give up on the coaching staff so quickly. The season is far from over. The sky is not falling yet. Give Dennis Allen and his staff some time to get the kinks worked out. The players definitely have faith in the system. They are not giving up on the season. If they can have faith, why can’t we? The answer is we can, and in order to support our beloved Raiders, we must have faith. Faith is an incredible thing. It is a powerful thing. It is an infectious thing. The good book says that faith has the power to move mountains. Have faith my Raider brothers and sisters. That is all your team is asking of you, let’s give it to them. Go Raiders!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, that’s it for this week my Raider brothers and sisters. Hit me up with any comments or questions. You can leave comments directly at the end of the column, or can email me from the link below. I promise to respond to all comments and emails as quickly as I am able to do so. I am also always open to suggestions as to what I am writing about. Make sure to check back next week for another edition of My Two Cents. Peace out RaiderNation!!
Questions? Comments? Email me at OldTimer@silverandblackdaily.com