Greetings, Raider fans! It is I, RaiderDamus, the seer of legend who traverses the future for news on what shall befall our beloved Oakland Raiders. I have consulted the fates, who are quite frankly distraught by how awful the Raiders have been so far, but what do they see for this game?
In consulting with the Great Beyond this week, I was struck by a few things. First, it was wearing a Groucho Marx glasses-and-moustache mask. Apparently it was so embarrassed that it did not even want to be seen giving me the message for this game. As it handed me the scroll containing the week's results, it whispered in my ear with a voice that sounded like clawed feet walking over a bed of dried leaves.
"Fire Knapp!" it hissed. "Promote Al Saunders to offensive coordinator. Or bring back Tom Walsh! Or something. Otherwise there will be doom. Dooooom!" The Great Beyond then disappeared in a cloud of smoke and ash.
Hesitantly I unfurled the ancient scroll I had been given. Upon it was scrawled a simple sentence. "YOU ARE SCREWED". It appeared to have been written in crayon. Further down on the scroll was some more writing. As it would make your ears bleed to hear the text in its original language, I will paraphrase for you.
This game is going to be bad. Very bad. I suggest watching it alone in a dark room, surrounded by pillows so you don't hurt yourself. When the game is over, you should take a bath or go to the gym or something relaxing. You will need the courage to deal with the dorks on ESPN and NFLN talking about how terrible the Raiders are and the opposing fans' needling laughter. After this game the Raiders will be ranked #32 on all major relevant NFL power polls. This, however, will be their lowest ranking for the rest of the year.
The schedule this year is extremely difficult. We get the AFC North and the NFC South. However, after two weeks of utter garbage play we'd really love to play the Buccaneers or the Browns just to get back on our feet. Nope, we get the Steelers, who are fresh off a dismantling of the Jets. Now, the Jets are not a particularly good football team, their week 1 blowout of Buffalo notwithstanding, but the Steelers just destroyed them. They will destroy the Raiders as well. No Polamalu, no James Harrison, it is irrelevant. They have good players in a great system and Ben Roethlisberger is the luckiest scumbag ever to walk God's green earth. This one will be over quickly, but the Steelers will drag out the slaughter for three hours.
The good news that was revealed to me is that this might just be rock bottom. Dennis Allen is a good coach and a good man, but he is strong-willed and stubborn. He knows things aren't working, but he has faith that what he believes in will eventually work. The zone scheme works, with players other than what we have. This game will serve to make that so abundantly clear to Coach Allen that he will have little choice but to make some changes. There will be nowhere to go from this game but up.
Reggie McKenzie has performed wonders and miracles in the front office thus far. He has taken a moribund, heartless, overpaid, salary-cap-offending team and turned it into a semblance of a normal NFL team in under a year. It is going to take time and many changes to make the play on the field strong again. But Raider fans are used to adversity, and we are used to enduring. We must endure some more. The Raiders are going to get better, and while it may seem like all hope is lost during the game, it will be the start of a return to greatness. The Greatness of the Raiders.
Steelers win, 42-12.
I'm on Twitter! Follow me @RaiderDamus. I'm always up for talking about the future of the Raiders, fantasy football, or whatever else.