At long last, Oakland Raider fans, we have a football season. As it sits today, the Oakland Raiders are 2-3, should be 3-2, and are looking directly across the Bay at a 49er team that knows a loss on Sunday will destroy their franchise. Why would it destroy their franchise?
Because being 0-6 with a home loss to Al Davis, who does NOT tolerate losing to the 49ers, and the Oakland Raiders will shift the media attention in the Bay Area from the "Darling" 49ers and their Head Coach, "Mike The Mouth", who said he "Wants Winners" and who spelled "Physical" with an "F", to the cross town Raiders.
I also know that the water cooler will be a much more comfortable environment for all Raider fans on Monday with a victory on Sunday.
The Raiders are on the precipice of regaining the Bay Area crown. In short, there is NO bigger game than the game this week. (I think that I've said that for the past two weeks and will say it all year) ((In fact, is any term more overused?))
A victory will have the Raiders at .500 in week 6 for the first time since Gruden was here and they will then have Denver, Seattle and Kansas City going into the Bye Week.
I'm feeling too good right now to point out what would happen if we lost, I just want to focus on a victory and being able to exclaim that the Raiders are BACK BABY!!!
Click on the jump to see the rest of my thoughts:
- Janikowski is back. He took his lessons from the Arizona game and has been on freaking fire ever since. I hope that the coaches see that and if we have a chance to kick a 50 yarder to take the lead in the 3rd Quarter this week instead of going for a 4th and 2 and a Half, they will let the Polish Cannon do his job.
- The Blitz is back baby!!! Nnamdi just pointed out that the Raiders blitzed 15 straight times against the Chargers to end the game. After years of us crying for the team to blitz, they finally did it. There is no way that the team would have won if they had played that soft zone at the end of the game.
- Special teams and defense will need to be as good as they were on Sunday if the Raiders are to win this Sunday.
- This 49er team is not as good against the run as they have been in years past (18th at 111 YPG), so I expect the Raiders to POUND THE BUSH and try and force the action against Alex Smith and Frank Gore.
- Conversely, the Raiders rank 31st against the run, so there will need to be HELL-MITTS on balls this Sunday in order for this team to win.
- Interestingly enough NFL.com says that the Raiders have only forced one rushing fumble this season. Forunately, that was on the Goal Line last week and is hopefully something to build off of.
- Good news is IF the Raiders need to air it out, the Niners are 21st against the pass this year. (Yet, Alex Smith and the OC get the heat when "Mister Fisical" has a bottom tiered defense)
- Don't look now, but, Zach Miller is tied for 14th in the NFL in receiving yardage with 340 (Tied with Brandon Marshall) and 15th in Receptions (28). Those are the 2nd best numbers for any TE in the NFL behind Antonio Gates.
- Did you know that even without our #1 receiver all season and playing musical quarterbacks the Raiders are improving as a passing offense? Last season they finished at 29th in the NFL with 159 yards a game and this season they are averaging 205 yards a game (Ahead of Favre and the Vikings).
- The Oakland Raiders Rushing offense is 7th in the NFL at 134.2 yards a game and a 4.4 yard average. Last season they finished 21st at 4.1 yards a carry and 106.3 yards a carry.
- The big question is where can this team improve the most. Without a doubt that would be in passes defended/intercepted and gap discipline. The Oakland Raiders are second to last in passes defended, second to last in interceptions and have given up the most runs over 20 yards and 40 yards. So, while we are all high on the San Diego win, let's stay grounded because good defensive teams don't fall into those categories.
How do you feel Nation? Let me know in this thread and we'll whoop it up until Sunday!!!