Greetings, Raider fans! It is I, Raiderdamus, as always your humble servant. After last week's debacle I cannot use too many superlatives about myself, as both I and the Raiders brought our worst games of the year. Chip Kelly's Eagles team finally played the way a Chip Kelly team ought to play, and the Raiders were NOT prepared whatsoever. If Nick Foles continues his quality play, the rest of the league won't be ready either.
But on to this game! The Raiders get to face yet another underachieving NFC East team, the Giants. Many times in the last ten years or so you could say that Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football or Thursday Night Football was just a fancy name for 'NFC East Game of the Week'. It seemed like the Cowboys or Giants were always on prime-time, clogging up our TV tubes with their nonsense, confirming the East Coast bias of the media. Did you know that if you live west of Brooklyn, you are essentially camping out?
This year the tables have turned. The Cowboys are the best team in the division by default because all the teams suck. If I had to guess I'd say the Eagles eventually win the division if they can figure out how to win a home game. I think Chip Kelly realizes the Philadelphia sports fan is a boor and does not deserve to see his team victorious except on television. He is smartly denying these insipid Santa-booing, battery-throwing miscreants the simple delight of cheering on the Eagles to victory. Good on him!
The Giants, however, can win neither home nor road games. The ONLY advantage they have over Oakland this week is that the game is played in New York, which is on the East Coast, and for the purposes of the Raiders traveling there may as well be on the Moon. To say that Oakland performs poorly on the East Coast is akin to saying Napoleon performed poorly in his attempt to conquer Russia.
The Giants this year are dreadful for reasons which escape anyone who doesn't really pay attention. Eli Manning isn't the sort of quarterback who can win games by himself. He performs best when aided by a strong running game and a ferocious defense. He has had the benefit of both those things in his career until this season, during which the Giants' top two rushers have had major injuries and the defense has been what I would generously call sub-par.
The Giants should get RB Andre Brown back this week, but the Raiders are so good against the rush (isn't that refreshing?) that it won't really matter. Eli Manning will have to win this game with his arm, which I simply don't believe he is capable of doing this season.
On the offensive side, the Raiders have a case of addition by subtraction if Darren McFadden (out with a case of being Darren McFadden) can't go. Rashad Jennings, who in a reasonably small sample size has been vastly superior to McFadden this year, should get the bulk of the carries. This is probably for the best, as Oakland can prepare to move on from Mr. Glass to someone more Unbreakable, like say Ka'Deem Carey or Bishop Sankey.
I have to believe the Raiders will stop sucking it up back East at some point. I thought it would have been at Miami a couple years ago. I think it might be against New York this week.
Raiders win, 26-16.