To some people this may seem like a stupid question. “Just win, baby,” right? In normal circumstances, that would be a no-brainer. I wouldn’t (and am not) suggesting otherwise. Of course you want to win. But this team isn’t in a normal situation. They are late in a lost season, so the question is a valid one.
Early this season, Jon Gruden seemed a bit too happy with the team’s losses in the first three games. Players like to say ‘there’s no such thing as a moral victory,’ but it sure seemed that way. Even many of the fans were just happy to compete. ‘Hey, they stayed competitive in the first half against a great Rams team.’
If a win is a win, a loss is a loss. Right?
I think we all know not all losses are created equal and shouldn’t be treated as such. It’s the reason why strength of schedule is taken into account when deciding things like draft position.
In the same way as you took positives from the Raiders’ early losses. should we also take negatives from Sunday’s win?
This team is not going anywhere this year. All you can hope for is promise and signs they are putting things together. If everything looks bad, it’s hard to know where to start in your attempts to fix the issues. And for the last few weeks absolutely everything has looked bad.
Sunday, two really bad football teams took the field and the Raiders came out victorious. Not to piss in anyone’s cheerios, but this was a battle of which team shoot themselves in the foot first. I mean, there were 16 punts in this game — 8 by each team. Neither QB threw for over 200 yards and leading receiver Christian Kirk got 59 of his 77 yards on a bubble screen.
Derek Carr was still sacked four times and the Raiders still only managed one sack against a team that had given up 18 sacks the previous four games and had a 7th round rookie left tackle making his first career start.
The Raiders got the ball down 21-20 with five minutes left in the game. And there was four three-and-outs and four changes of possession in just over three minutes. That’s...amazing.
Against the Broncos, the Raiders were up 12-0 at the half, and up 19-7 in the third quarter before losing it 20-19 on a last second field goal. Against the Dolphins they were up 10-7 at the half and extended their lead to 17-7 in the third quarter before eventually losing 28-17. Against the Colts, they scored four touchdowns, taking the lead in the second quarter and matching the Colts score for score until the fourth quarter.
In any of those games, you could say they played better football than they did Sunday only to lose to a good team. And in a season that went downhill as quickly as this one did, that’s all you can really ask for.
The one glaring difference between those losses and the Raiders two wins are in each of those losses, they blew the lead. In each of their wins, they came from behind to do it.
As much as a hard-fought, competitive loss to a good team offers in terms of hope for the future, leaving the field a winner, even in an ugly game against a bad team, is a feeling many of these young players need to have now and then.
On one hand losing means a higher draft pick. On the other hand number one overall pick isn’t a guarantee of success. Plenty of number one overall picks flop while players chosen at say 5 overall (Khalil Mack) or 4 overall (Charles Woodson) become superstars.
So, with both sides of this covered, what do you think?
In a season like the Raiders are having, which would you rather see?
This poll is closed
A promising, hard fought loss to a good team
An ugly win vs a bad team