The first half of this game versus Cincinnati was one of the ugliest halves of football I have ever seen the Raiders play. Those are strong words considering this team just confirmed their tenth straight non-winning season with this loss to the Bengals. It has officially been a decade straight of mediocrity at best and abysmal for most.
What really grinds my gears (Family Guy reference) about this game is they had started to play well in the second half. For once this coaching staff went into the locker room at halftime and actually made adjustments that were working.
That was until the offensive line forgot to block Manny Lawson, the refs forgot that clipping requires contact, the refs forgot that plays are not suppose to be whistled dead until they are over, and the team forgot that they are suppose to be beyond getting into boxing matches. Seriously? Talk about mayhem, that small stretch of football could have fit perfectly into a State Farm Insurance commercial.
Don't get me wrong here, the Raiders did not deserve to win that game and there was no guarantee they were going to continue their comeback. However, they absolutely did not deserve to have that possible comeback stopped short from absolutely terrible officiating. The brawl that happened is squarely on the refs shoulders as well because it wouldn't have happened without their incompetence.
Carson Palmer specifically did not look prepared to play this game. Sure, he didn't have any time to throw the ball, but that hadn't stopped him from averaging over 300 yards a game up until now. Whether he says it or not I believe he was uncomfortable in that environment. Maybe he had hoped for an applause instead of a constant assault of boos.
I think the Bengal fans were pretty disgusting with the boos actually. Palmer gave them everything he possibly could until that team took the love of the game from him and he could no longer even get the will to play for Marvin Lewis anymore. I understand the boos in the beginning but to boo the man through the entire game was incredibly excessive.
That was worse than what Brett Favre went through his first time back at Lambeau in a divisional rival Vikings' uniform. I could understand more if the team hadn't been successful after Palmer left, but they have been. They made it to the playoffs last year, and are now on path to make it there again this year. Palmer leaving at the time he did allowed the Bengals to get a very talented, although red-headed, quarterback in Andy Dalton and they got two high picks for Palmer as well. You already won from that deal Cinci, move on already, people!
Enough about the Bengals, this is about the Raiders and their awfulness. Fortunately the Raiders now host a team in the Browns which has played just as bad record-wise. Unfortunately the Browns just beat Pittsburgh and will be coming in with confidence from that. They also have one of the best running backs in the league with Trent Richardson and he is capable of demolishing the Raiders defense single handed.
Lets face it, Dennis Allen absolutely needs a win this week against Cleveland. He has already lost the faith of most Raider fans and a win against the Browns wont even alleviate much of that damage. He needs to do something though because this downward spiral the team is on seems to have no end. This franchise's fans cannot handle more losses like these last four.
Each one of these 4 losses were absolutely terrible. I do not think this team has given up on Allen, but the argument certainly can be made that they have. For Dennis Allen I was prepared to give him a pass on this season even if it was bad because this coaching carousal the Raiders have been implementing has done absolutely no good. The Raiders need stability in their coaching staff which has been the one major thing missing over the past decade.
However, Dennis Allen has done so badly as head coach of this mess that I cannot give him a free pass on it. This team is not as bad as they look this season, and because of that DA's job security does have to come into question. I sincerely want to root for him and if he gives me anything at all to grab hold of I will. That is exactly the problem though, he has not given any reason to believe in him.
Even DA's discipline that was nice to see in the beginning of the season is coming unraveled, as proven by Tommy Kelly running into the brawl from the sidelines. When I was asked to name one thing that I like about DA that should give faith that he can do this job I was unable to give an answer. I was unable to name one thing about DA that gives me faith that he can be a successful head coach for the Raiders. Can you?