The 2011 Oakland Raiders are statistically among the team's worst in several categories, almost entirely due to the teams' propensity to commit penalties that give up third down conversions when the defense makes key stops, and giving opposing teams first downs in scoring situations, and offensive ones that negate clutch chain moving drives and even change outcomes and momentum of games. We have long known that the Raiders are typically league leaders in penalties per game, and even historically the great teams of Raiders past have had to compensate and overcome the yardage and conversions lost to penalties; this year's team is no different.
We also know that the brand of Raider football we expect to see means we'll draw a few more flags than the other guy, and essentially do not wish to see that characteristic of silver and black gridiron change. What we do wish for, is for the costly stupid penalties to come to an end, and we want it to happen now. The false starts. The neutral zone infractions. The personal fouls for getting caught up in the hoopla and taking the bait of opponents who look to take advantage of this aspect of our game.
Hit the jump for some great links from Aleatoric on the subject, and some awesome video work from NinjaGoro highlighting where we continue to struggle.
Aleatoric was good enough to post this provocative and telling piece that highlights the concerns, and we are in agreement the message needs to be sent to coach Hue Jackson and the organization that we need to see, not an end to penalties, but a significant reduction, and that we can ensure this problem doesn't compound an already difficult path to the playoffs by costing us wins we'd otherwise be getting. We aim for less than seven, and ask that coach make this the highest priority. We know it has been a focus of his, and see the struggle. We are also aware there have been other bumps in the road to getting to where we are, but have faith that we can reach a goal if it becomes and remains the highest priority.
Here are some of the links Goro provided us:
while you're there, there is some other great stuff DEFENSIVE #S VS. TEXANS. Some great slo-mo and player profiling worth checking out if you haven't already. I felt it was worthy of front page, and will post on future stuff of his for sure.
When we look at them in back to back games like this, we can see where we have repeat offenders, and perhaps understand better what continues to ail us in the flag department. Bottom line: it's a key problem, one I think could cost us too many wins this season if not curbed, and as hard as I try, I don't see us improving significantly enough in time for a difficult stretch of schedule approaching.
Many thanks to Aleatoric and NinjaGoro for the great work. My expectations following a bye week of preparation is that we see fewer than seven versus Denver Sunday. The Nation has faith in you, coach Hue.