After a game like the Oakland Raiders played against the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday it makes you question everything that you thought you knew about this team. The heart and soul of the team was based off of the defense and that same defense just put on a clinic of ineptitude.
It seemed like the Eagles knew exactly what the Raiders were doing throughout the entire game and the defense was unable to do anything to stop them. Not one player on the defense stood out as having a good game, though there were some standouts in bad play like D.J. Hayden. Nobody who watched the game that was just played could have thought that this defense was anything but spectacularly bad.
The brain of this team is the coaching staff and they failed to properly prepare this team for what was ahead of them. They allowed the team to be over confident and they failed to make any halftime adjustments again. They knew they were in for a long day right from the very beginning, it was written all over their faces.
Jason Tarver was unable to match wits with Chip Kelly even though they had faced each other before at the collegiate level. Maybe Jason went into this game expecting Chip's game plan to be closer to what it was like when he was at Oregon and that made for a rude awakening. Maybe the players executed his game plan so bad that it was unrecognizable though.
Dennis Allen looked lost and downright depressed early and often. There was no denying the flow of this game started out bad and only got worse. When they showed the coach on the sideline he did not look fired up and confident about where the game was heading, he looked worried. There was no fire coming from him like we have seen at times this season, it was cold and it was confusion. That happens during a “good old fashioned butt whopping”, but now he will have to learn from what happened and move on quickly.
The legs of this team belong to Terrelle Pryor and he was using them far too often in the wrong direction. Pryor is starting to feel the same way that Carson Palmer felt at times over his year and a half on the Raiders, like he has to do everything himself.
A veteran like Carson couldn't handle that pressure and neither can a rookie like Pryor. He needs to have more confidence in the players around him and that is not possible until the offensive line starts giving him more time to throw. Even if it was just one defender coming in Pryor seemed a little panicked, though he only got sacked 3 times.
As soon as anybody started to come at Pryor he would take off in a big circular move that either worked really well or resulted in a huge loss of yards. The times that it worked out well did not make up for the times that it didn't. Terrelle needs to learn how to make moves in a more compact space to get away from defenders because taking losses of 10+ yards ends drives, and many of the times where he wasn't sacked he had to throw the ball away.
What is really crazy about this game is looking back at the yards total of 560 yards for the Raiders. How on earth did they manage to get so many yards without having the points to go along with it? Thanks to the Eagles absurdly quick strike offense the Raiders dominated time of possession with 37 minutes of time with the ball, there is no excuse for not having been able to score more points.
Sometimes stats are misleading, and this is a perfect example of it. The Raiders had over 200 yards rushing in this game, yet it didn't matter at all. They had 350 yards passing, but we saw the way this game played out. Stats like that just do not matter if they can't get points to go along with it. No matter how many times you punt at midfield, you still punted at midfield.
Now is the time for the team and its fanbase to pick themselves back up and dust themselves off. We all have experienced being embarrassed at some time or another, but eventually the color in our faces return to normal and we move on. The Oakland Raiders will have the red out of their faces and they will learn from this game, even if it is a hard lesson that was taught.
Right now the state of the Raiders is in transition. Look at it as if these Raiders are addicts, this franchise is addicted to losing. Anybody who has been around a recovering addict knows that even when things look like they are going very well that they can relapse. This was a relapse. The game against the Eagles showed who this team used to be, not who they are and who they will be.
Some of the most inspiring and influential people in this world are people who overcame their addictions and that is where we want to see the Raiders get to. They are capable of it with the type of passion and love for the game that these players show every single day. This was a relapse and that happens but the bigger picture moving forward will be what this team can be when they have overcome their addiction to losing.
It will always be hard to see a game like what happened yesterday. There is no way around the disappointment and embarrassment of a game that ends 49-20 and wasn't even really that close. All that can happen now is how the team reacts to it, will they let this loss reignite the fire they were starting to feel or did it extinguish it? Will Oakland use this game as a reminder to move forward from their addiction or will this loss put them on another binge like we saw last season?
The parallels between last season and this season are hard to ignore but they also are the perfect opportunity to prove that this team has advanced from where they were last year. Both seasons saw the Raiders at 3 wins and 4 losses with a chance to get to even at the midway point. Both seasons the Raiders lost that game and dropped to 3 and 5. Now is the point that we desperately hope that the projections of the seasons change and this team separates itself from the 4 win team that they were last year.
In 2012 the Raiders went on to only win one more game in an exceedingly disastrous season. It was hard to watch as a fan of the club. It must have been even harder to be a part of the mess as a player or coach. There is nothing they can do about 2012 but there is something they can do about 2013. They can move on from this game knowing that they are a better team than what they put out there yesterday and they can still put together a successful season. Lets all hope it is a joy to watch the rest of the season and not the horror that was 2012.