Greetings, Raider fans! It is I, Raiderdamus, the greenest of the green, the kindest of the kine, the stickiest of the icky. I come to you today relieved, in that Dennis Allen is no longer the coach of the Oakland Raiders, a position it turned out he was never qualified to hold. Allen would be better suited to coach in the Big 12, a place where the fans do not actually expect to see a functional defense.
This week, the Raiders under new coach Tony Sparano will host the hated San Diego Chargers. I asked the Great Beyond, as I do every week, what the future had in store for our beloved team.
"Who disturbs my slumber? Oh, it's you. It was nice to have the week off from telling you all these terrible things, but here we are again. This week it looks like the Raiders play... oof. San Diego. The team that beat the Seahawks a few weeks ago. Well, best of luck with that. The Raiders are free from the clutches of Dennis Allen, a man who strives for the gold standard of Jason Garrett's mediocrity while being less creative than the Vogons from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Allen's game-planning was pure poetry, and by that I mean Vogon poetry.
The Raiders are now under the cruel tutelage of Tony Sparano, a man whose own Wikipedia page warns the reader not to confuse him with Tony Soprano. Clearly, Allen was a wiseguy and needed to be whacked. Sparano has taken over an awful team before, namely the 2008 Miami Dolphins, who went 1-15 and spent the first pick in the draft on LT Jake Long, which was a pretty good idea. Sparano took that crap team and turned it into an 11-5 playoff team. Sparano was later fired after a season which Dennis Allen could only have dreamed of achieving, and then came to Oakland.
What Sparano can do in Oakland with this bunch of talentless clowns remains to be seen. The only way inferior teams can beat superior ones is through discipline and perfect technique, causing the other team to beat themselves. Sparano has to demand that from the Raiders or he may as well put his note in the Suggestion Box as to who the Raiders should take first overall in the next draft. Luckily, quarterback may be the least of Oakland's worries and so "TRADE DOWN" will be the predominant entry in that Suggestion Box.
Did any of you see what San Diego did to the Jets last week? They embarrassed Geno Smith and a woefully unprepared Michael Vick in a 31-0 rout which was never, at any point, in doubt. They made Rex Ryan look like Rich Kotite and Geno Smith look like Tarvaris Jackson with his shoelaces tied together. Every season, the geniuses who put together fantasy football rankings slot Antonio Gates lower and lower on the tight end ranks, citing his advanced age and supposedly diminshing skills. There is not a single tight end who could make the Raiders better if he were one right now than Gates. He will slow down some year, but not this year.
Phyllis Rivers is playing at an MVP level. He has carved up defenses this year with ease and, should the Broncos fail to win the AFC West this year, he will be the reason why. He is still an annoying, slack-jawed ball of annoyance, but he has matriculated into one of the very best quarterbacks in the NFL. San Diego's mostly anonymous running game only boosts his value. Opposing defenses know he is going to pass a lot, and they still are helpless to stop him.
This is going to be a long game. It may appear at times that Tony Sparano has no idea what he is doing. This would be an error in judgment, because he very much does, but the Raiders have had so many injuries it's a shadow of the team Sparano ought to be coaching right now. Sparano's job will be to coach up the young players on the Raiders like Carr, Mack and Jackson to make the team more attractive to a potential big time head coach. This may result in some wins, just not this week.
San Diego wins, 38-16.