Tim Tebow made it look easy in the first quarter. Embarrassingly easy. I am so glad it did not end up mattering in the end. I'd have hated hearing all the Bronco fans chatter about how Tebow is sent from God himself to them. The next player up in their attempt to move on from John Elway, Tebow will have to try again against some other team if he wants his first NFL win. 200 plus yards rushing and a 73 yard screen pass to Marcel Reece put an end to that rubbish. Don't nobody want to be the first one to lose to Tim Tebow. Three turnovers that turned into TWO touchdowns by Tebow sure doesn't make any Raider fan smile, but Tom Cable chewing out the entire team at halftime resulting in an entirely different team coming out in the second half certainly should.
Speaking of smiling. We have 7 wins this season. What does that matter? How about that we finally broke free from our NFL record 9 season streak of 10 or more losses. That is a huge hurtle. No matter what happens the rest of the year this has been a great season. Lets get 2 more victories against playoff caliber teams! Even just beating the Chiefs in the last game of the season to go 8-8 if we lost to the beatable Colts would be a great triumph for us. I wouldn't open a champagne bottle for it, but maybe a Miller High Life. IT is the Champagne of Beers after all!
I myself have certainly been overly critical of Jason Campbell this year, mostly I attribute that to just being so desperate for a real NFL quarterback that I was unable to believe that we really do have one. We sure do though. Jason Campbell has been huge for us, although I do maintain he needed to run a better final drive in that tough loss to the Jaguars. The loss was by no means his fault, I just wanted a better finish. Something he said today though really makes me believe in him as being more than capable of being a successful QB for us for more than just a season or two. I would still like to see us draft a QB in the upcoming draft because the talent available is really deep, but I wouldn't mind seeing us take the Aaron Rodgers/Phillip Rivers approach and keep that player on the sidelines for a few seasons. The comment that has finally won me over for Jason Campbell is this: "I wish we were in a better position, but to still be in the fight, still be in the hunt, we've grown a long ways," Campbell said. "The loss last week is not going to do any good for us to dwell on it. It's not going to help us this week. What we have to do is control what's in front of us from here out." That is honest, thoughtful, and absolutely right. That is the type of leadership that we have been asking a long time to see. We all wish that we would have been in just a slightly better position than we are in, but lets go out there and take care of what we can. Just Win Baby.
The rushing attack was as good as it had been all year, and that is saying a lot. We got contributions all over the field. Whether is was Mcfadden running for 119, or Michael Bush's 2 TD runs, or Jacoby Ford running 71 yards for a TD on our first drive, or Jason Campbell having 5 runs for 40 yards, it just did not matter. We were able to run efficiently for most of the day. That is Raider smash mouth football, that is what wins games for us. Keep slamming them in their face and that opens up those big plays. When we run like we did today we are very hard to beat. I would still like to see Darren Mcfadden get a few more touches, but this was a very good and much needed victory. I personally think that I would like to see him get at least 30 touches (between both rushing and receiving) a game. He did get 24 touches today, but i want to see them make sure that he gets even a few more than that.
We need quite a bit of help to get in the Playoffs but to be mentioned this late is a great thing for the turn around with our much beloved organization. We need the Chiefs to lose next Sunday to a Titans team that had a pretty impressive victory embarrassing the Houston Texans and possibly bringing an end to Gary Kubiak's tenure with the team. We also need San Diego to lose at least one of the next two weeks, which would be a much bigger upset than the Chiefs losing to the Titans. The Chargers play the Bengals next week and then play the Broncos during the final week of the regular season. Gotta keep our fingers crossed for the Chargers to be the Chokers with that lowly schedule remaining, but hey! This is the NFL and anything could happen. Then again I did say something similar for the 49ers/Chargers game and that was laughable. I was born a natural optimist and that optimism says that the Chargers will lose one of these last two apparently easy games. Keep your heads held high and finish the season strong Raiders. Also, make sure you listen to Jason Campbell because he is our QB. He is our leader and we go where he does. Lets hope we get to open more than just a Miller High Life at the end of this year, but no matter what I will be toasting to our first successful Raider season in the past decade. Happy Holidays Raider Nation, hopefully we will be having a very happy New Year!