In perhaps the best description of distraction used positively, Maulik Doshi once said “Ignorance is one of the best defense available. Distraction is a remedy.” I have so many things on my plate nowadays and my share of personal struggles financially and domestically that football is my personal drug. I need this to function much like an addict needs a fix.
With the struggles of the team I love so visible and lack of progress, it's easy to jump ship or call for firings. As if that worked in the past. I am taking the glass half approach and thinking this season is a marathon and will back this team regardless of the situation.
Looking at history, both the Cowboys and Patriots started out 0-2 and won the Super Bowl. 12% of teams that started 0-2 have gone on to make the playoffs. The odds are not in the Raiders' favor but last I checked that is better than 0%.
One year the Pats started the season with a 31-0 drubbing to the Bills and finished the regular season returning the favor to the Bills, claiming home field advantage and winning the Super Bowl. Oakland also has the advantage of playing the part of underdog every week.
After the game against the Dolphins last week and the schedule ahead I don't see the Raiders favored in many if any games going forward the rest of the season. With max effort from the players and coaching staff they can surprise teams.
As for those of you whining about the West Coast Offense and Carson Palmer not being a good fit need look at past history. Carson Palmer played in the West Coast Offense at USC under head coach Pete Carroll, who like Dennis Allen got his start as a secondary coach and not much fanfare about his hiring either.
Carson started his career with the Trojans 19-18 which is almost as mediocre as his Raider career. He finished his career with eight straight victories to cap off a legendary Heisman campaign. If you still think he's not a fit after that, consider Brett Favre and John Elway, both noted gun-slingers who thrived in the WCO.
Finally a note about the ZBS. Many teams came out of nowhere after installing the scheme and ended up making history.
Those of you playing fantasy football know who Arian Foster is and guess what, another undrafted free agent that made a name for himself running behind the ZBS.
The Raiders had struggles against San Diego and Miami but so did Tennessee last week. Also those of you who follow football should know Miami has one of the best nose tackles in the game in Paul Soliai. They gave up just five runs of 20+ yards last season. As in five total runs in 16 games!
As for this Sunday, I see the Raiders upsetting the Steelers with the formula used in the past.
The last year the Raiders went to the Super Bowl they met the Steelers in week 2 and Rich Gannon spread them out and winged it 65 times, knowing the running game was secondary.
A few years back, Bruce Gradkowski made himself a cult hero lining up in the shotgun and throwing for 3 TDs and 300+ yards with the same game plan against the same 3-4 defensive alignment. Remember the worst season in franchise history? The Raiders upset the Steelers forcing the same QB, Ben Roethlisberger into throwing 4 INTs and won 20-13.
Keep your head up nation. I know I will be, win or lose.