I am a firm believer in playing for 4 quarters, and I am sure Hue agrees. For me that 4 quarters theory applies to the season as well. The first quarter of the season is now over, with our Raiders going 2-2 over the first four games. I would normally think of a 2-2 start as maybe a C+ start, but considering how tough the last two opponents were I will give them a solid B/B+ for the start of the season, especially considering the lack of prep time. Hue Jackson was suppose to be at a disadvantage because of the lack of prep time with the locked out offseason but it seems he has the teams full attention already. It helps that he was on the coaching staff a year before, but now it is his team and I like what I have seen so far. Hit the jump....
I will say the loss this past week hurt quite a bit. Not because I expected to win, which I hate to say I didn't, but because we lost mainly because of a lack of discipline. I hope that changes after this loss, because even though penalties are part of our culture they are unacceptable. We can not beat a team like the Pats with stupid penalties and turnovers. Especially not turnovers in the redzone. Yes, I believe we get bogus calls but everybody should know that already. Since we get calls against us others do not, we have to have more discipline in not putting ourselves in a position where questionable penalties can be called. I believe Hue is working on this and we will do better as the season goes on.
The win against the Jets catapulted us into a positive light from the mass media unlike anything we have seen in quite awhile. It was the first game that we really saw our bully be formed, and I hope there will be many more. We ran it all day against a vaunted NYJ defense, even though they expected it. That is what Hue's bully is; you know what we're going to do and you are not going to be able to stop it. That game, more than anything, is what I believe warrents a solid B grade for the first quarter of the season. If we can get this team to perform like we did against the Jets on a weekly basis, we not only will be in the playoffs, but will be making noise with Hue swinging his proverbial big stick.
The Buffalo game still hurts me to think about. I know our offense played incredible but damn it, one more play and that game was ours. We did see the DMoore coming out party during that game. We were not surprised by his performance because we saw it throughout training camp but the rest of the nation might have been. We need to do a better job of keeping Moore strongly involved in our passing game from here on out. He was not enough of a factor against the Pats. We will see a lot "Moore" of him through the rest of this season. I am already on record as saying DMoore will be the AFC offensive rookie of the year. The one other thing that I can say that came out of the loss against the Bills is that it implanted playing all 4 quarters firmly into this team's mind. However if we miss the playoffs by one game, the Bills game will be the one we want back.
The Broncos game was a good way to start the season. We needed to end the 8 year streak of losing the season opener and the Broncos game did that for us. There is not much more that needs to be said about that game though. The Broncos are not a good team and it was one of those games that we needed to win. It was a good way to start the season and a good way to start against the division.
All in all its been a good start to the season. We are a few plays away from being 3-1, or even 4-0. Lets build on this momentum from these first 4 games. I believe if we perform well we can win all 4 games in the 2nd quarter of the season. Another reason I give this start a B/B+ rating is we have already won 3 awards this season. In week 2 "Please sir can I have DMoore" won the Pepsi rookie of the week award and in week 3 DMC won the fedex ground player of the week and lil Wiz won the Pepsi rookie of the week awards. There is a lot to grow from this start and the 2 losses gave us a lot to improve on. That is a good thing to realize early in the season instead of later on. Remember Raiders, we always need to play all 4 quarters. We still have 3 quarters left this season, lets play well through all of them.