A vivid reality came to light from that sad, ugly, embarrassing debacle of unfathomable proportions.
We can blame the Rolando McClain distraction. We can blame the coaches for not preparing them. We can blame Chuck Bresnahan's ineptness, but those things only hide the real problem at play. Let me explain.
This game was almost a mirror image of last year's.
The Raiders lost this game because they got out physicaled and they got their ass kicked in the trenches.
Last year the Dolphins had 49 carries for 168 yards. This year they had 44 carries for 209 yards.
Last year the Raiders had 12 carries for 16 yards. This year the Raiders had 14 carries for 46 yards.
Last year the Raiders couldn't protect the QB or get to the QB. This year same story.
These results have lead me to undeniable conclusion. It is a savage reality, but it is undeniably true. This Raiders have formed a habit of crumbling like babies against physical teams. They want to be the bully, and instead they are the kid willfully handing over their lunch money instead of fighting.
They had done a better job of masking this deficiency this year. Victories over the Jets, Texans and Bears gave hope that the Raiders could trade punches with the heavy hitters, but this game exposed those as beacons of false hope.
Turnovers guided the Raiders against the Jets and Bears, and the spirit of Al Davis led the way against the Texans.
This problem has plagued the Raiders for years. We have seen it in recent matchups with the 49ers, the Steelers last year, and countless times seasons before that—the Giants debacle and the Jets shutout come to mind.
It is the one hurdle they can't seem to cross. It has persisted beyond personnel, coaches, and now Al Davis. They have games where it is clear they are going to get pushed around the field from the opening snap. I'm sick of this beyond words. However, I also have faith that this disgusting effort and display does not mean the season is over.
The Raiders bounced back from the Dolphins debacle last year, and they can this year. The Packers game is a daunting task, but if you ask me they are ripe for a letdown.
However, even if they lose that game, even if they get blown out (remember the Dolphins game followed the Steelers debacle) the Raiders can bounce back and win their last three.
The good news is that the Raiders don't have a game left on their schedule against a team that is a bully. The Lions would like to think they are, but they are an even more hollow bully than the Raiders.
The bad news is that this team will never get to where we want them to be until they find a way to keep from packing it in when they encounter a more physical team.