Greetings, Raider fans! It is I, the excellence of execution, the best there ever was, is, or will be, Raiderdamus. This week the Raiders head to the east coast (again) to take on the Patriots. It doesn't look good for our boys this year, so I asked the Great Beyond what he thought of this one.
"You again, already? Yeah yeah I know I got last week wrong. The Raider coaching staff's ineptitude has a way of messing up even the finest predictions. Anyway, this is Patriots week, so here goes.
There exists in quantum physics a theory called the multiverse, wherein there are an infinite number of universes representing all possible realities. This means that in at least one of these universes, there exists a reality wherein Bill Belichick interviewed for the Oakland Raiders' head coach position in 1998 and actually took the job, instead of being passed over in favor of Jon Gruden.
In at least one of these universes, Al Davis decides to step aside as de facto GM of the Raiders and hands the keys to the franchise over to Belichick. Belichick goes on to turn the Raiders into a winner and the Raiders never draft Jamarcus Russell, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Rolando McClain, Philip Buchanon, Robert Gallery or Tyler Brayton. The Patriots end up with Pete Carroll as their longtime coach and the USC dynasty of the mid-2000s never happens. Reggie Bush plays at San Diego State, Carson Palmer goes to Cal and Matt Leinart is bagging groceries at an Alpha Beta in Fresno.
In this reality, the Raiders win four Super Bowls and get a brand new stadium in the East Bay. It is so glorious and beautiful that, every Sunday, all crime ceases in the entire Bay Area. The Niners, unable to move to Santa Clara due to territorial rights, relocate to Redding. The Raiders become the reluctant pride of the NFL. John Mara and Art Rooney cry themselves to sleep every night.
Drew Bledsoe remains the QB of the Patriots until he retires. Greg Ellis is never drafted by the Jets and he never knocks Bledsoe out of a game, opening the door for Tom Brady. In fact, Brady is taken by his hometown Lions and is coached into oblivion by Bobby Ross. Brady's presence (and middling success) as a Lion steers the team away from drafting Joey Harrington, who instead is taken by the Jaguars and goes on to have a successful career as the heir to Mark Brunell.
In this reality, this week Belichick spends his days at Raiders HQ planning for the game against New England on Sunday, trying to figure out which of his future Hall of Fame linebackers should be responsible for spying Patriots starting QB Tarvaris Jackson. "Ha ha!" remarks Belichick to his staff, which consists of several men who will go on to become NFL head coaches in their own right. "This should be a fun game." In Oakland, where the sun shines, Belichick has learned how to have fun. Fun, to Belichick, is drinking the delicious tears of Chargers fans and laughing as John Elway looks like a bumbling fool, having signed Donovan McNabb to play quarterback for the Broncos three years ago. No Broncos QB will ever be as good as John Elway.
Sadly, in the reality you find yourself in, Al Davis continued calling the shots long after he should have, and Belichick leveraged his interest from the Raiders into a one-day stint as Jets coach and then a lifetime appointment as head of the Patriots. That day, more so than the Tuck Rule game, was the beginning of the downfall of the Raiders.
There are coaches out there, minds sharp enough to turn a team which hasn't had a genuine first round success story since Nnamdi Asomugha into a winner. Dennis Allen is probably not that guy. The Raiders next coach had better be the right one. We can see what happens when the wrong decisions are made.
Patriots win, 42-16."