After the loss to Denver I wrote a post "Raiders Lose...However, there is NO Need to Panic" With that said, I knew what many doubted.... The Raiders are the best football team in the AFC West....With losses to KC & Denver, the Raiders beat the San Diego Chargers in their house for sole possession of first place in the AFC West. The defense showed up tonight and played hard, Lito Sheppard had a solid game, and our D Line played hard all game long. Carson Palmer is getting more comfortable and the Raiders are well on their way to being AFC West Champions.
There was NO need to Panic!! The Raiders Football players were seething after the Broncos game, every player on the Raiders team wanted to play the next game. Why, because they all knew they should of whipped the Broncos, they were upset and embarrassed. The Raiders are playing with more at stake than just wins and losses, they just loss Coach Al Davis. Now I will say this again, The Oakland Raiders are the best football team in the AFC West without question.
Defensively with all the turnovers in the second half the D did NOT quit, they played every down. Our second unit really proved they can play, they stepped it up and got the job done. Lito and Stanford did an outstanding job tonight on the corners and the D Line, 6 sacks and all kinds of pressure stayed the course 4 quarters..
For those that have been hard on Carson Palmer, get over it, he is the truth, and you will see improvement every game. Carson Palmer did an outstanding job against the Chargers and considering he had No Camp, No Organized Off Season activities, No team anything and showed up in Oakland was handed a playbook with the equivalent of a foreign language in it, and was told you are our starter, he has done nothing less than killed it. Can you now begin to see the Football team the Raiders really are?
Lets talk about what we learned from our back ups this game, and the heart this team showed to play until the last second. By the way, Michael Bush is a beast and would start for many teams around the league. He has more than proved he is worth being a long term Raider, we all know DMC is our guy, however, we also know he is a little injury prone, to have both on our roster is a great change up and should one get banged up, we don't have to stress on our running game.
I felt Lito Sheppard was a good acquisition in the preseason, being of Cornerback pedigree myself, I always considered him a solid player on the island and he proved his worth last night. I have been hard on Branch, but when I see my Safety making solid tackles wrapping and bringing his man down, he will always have my utmost respect. I love the big hit, however, I will take fundamentally solid tackling over that any day. Now of course, it wasn't perfect, however, it is a sign of what they are really capable of. Philip Rivers is one of the leagues best QB's and the Raiders D kept the heat on him all night.
You will see a renewed Raiders Football team, they will be playing to Win it all the rest of the season, and though Palmer had a few problems, he will get his football senses back completely soon. He will feel the guy running up behind him, remember he has only been in organized Football for a few weeks in over a year.
I expect the Raiders to go 11-5 or 10-6 and win the AFC West...