In order for the Raiders to win today they must play with the explosiveness and confidence they did when Gradkowski first replaced Campbell. That offensive drive and the following defensive drive I don't think anyone in the leauge could've stopped them. I know it's there, hiding amongst the ego's and bad habits, amongst the finger pointing and lack of confidence, amongst the turmoil there is a championship team with a championship attitude hiding. Old Habits die hard, and we must Murder those habits today, and not just for 3.5 quarters, all the way through.
We have so much talent and ability on this team, but It's just so hot-cold. One moment were playing with a purpose, the next were the laughing stock (I.e. arizona 2nd half opening td return). But Gradkowski is a good thing, McFadden's ability to step up and establish a run threat is a good thing, the dependability of Zach Miller is a good thing , and while this receiving core is still maturing, we have seen that they can step up, make those catches, and score touchdowns. I mean if you look at players on this team (from a fantasy point of view) statistically we should be atleast a 3-1 team (Titans loss was an outright blowout).
But I am proud. I'm proud were scoring touchdowns, I'm proud were mounting successful drives, I'm proud we have a quarterback that get's exicited, wants to lead and wants to win games (instead of making excuses). I'm excited about the youth and promise of this team (especially in light of how long it's been without any hope).
I want my cake and eat it too. I just feel like we could make a run at the playoffs this year. I mean we must have one of the weakest (if not the weakest) schedules this year, not to mention how weak the AFC West is, and we play the NFC West in most of our games, another weak division. It seems like the perfect storm for a return to legitimacy. TODAY is huge, TODAY is a chance to make a statement. If we can beat the Chargers at home, It can set the tone for the rest of the year. These division games are Huge, especially if we expect to make a run on this Division.
#1 Mix it up Early
After the 2003 super bowl loss players said they could tell what plays we were running just from how we came up to the line. We cannot fall into this "2 runs, short pass, punt , 2 runs, deep throw, punt" habit of play calling. Hue Jackson Has proven he can mix it up and we need to do this especially today. The Chargers have had our number for years now, and I know that the Raiders Playbook is larger than it looks sometimes. Let's dust off some pages and show San Diego something they haven't seen before. I mean the success of the Saints last year is a direct result of their ability to show the defenses so many looks that they never know how to defend properly, sounds like a good Idea to me.
#I Want TD's
I dont want feild goals, another feild goal might make me puke. Not anything against Janikowski, but we start scoring TD's in the red zone in stead of 3pts, we start mounting some defendable leads. Who knows, how about a 4th down red zone try for 6 instead of 3? Show some beleif in your offense and give them a chance for 6. I mean if were not in the red zone, and within Sebass Range, sure get the points. But Redzone, I want TD's!
#3 Defense, Mix it up (sound familiar?)
What I said for offense goes for defense as well. In our loss agains the titans, I think we ran zone the entire game. Just like Cable says, this team practices well, and I know at practice they don't just run the same 2 or 3 defensive looks. We need to reach into the depth of our defensive playbook and give San Diego something new, I mean obviously make sure we have the right match ups but lets see some blitz packages, some shifts/audibles and force a turnover of two. Let our defense set the pace, and lets not look like were on our heels so much.