THE DARK SIDE: " I know what it is you seek.."

7 Hells, I can hardly think of anything positive at the moment to keep me smiling inside my helmet..
Uhm, Basketball is around the corner?
Ok, focus, Darth.. breathe..HEAVY!!
Ok, now just breathe...
Our team now stands at bagels and 3. What is the main problem? From a SITH LORD’s point of view, we are simply not finishing!!!

-Rewind it back Charger game: we fail to block Mack and fumble on a game winning drive.
-Cardinal game: we didn’t step on their necks and couldn’t get our Offensive motor running in the 2nd half. We give ‘em a fumble TO like it was Halloween candy... AZ GW TD.
- Sunday, our Defense played it’s worst all year in the first half. We eventually make it competitive, but don’t cash in 2 pointer to expand the game.

Why can’t we close out games? It seems like we have the needed weapons. We have Tae Adams, Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs and newcomer Mack Hollins who let everyone know why he was chosen as Captain of the team (158 yards, 1 TD). "Mack always works hard," coach Josh McDaniels said. "I think that’s why he was voted as a captain. His effort and the way he performs has been a bright spot."
"The most catches he’s ever had was 16," Adams said. "But this is what I expect out of him after getting to know him as a player. He can do that consistently, and we’re going to need that from him if this is how teams are going to play us (defensively)."

Perhaps, it’s just talking a while to gel together? I don’t think this team is used to playing in a pass happy Offense. They’re also not used to seeing Teams double our main stars (D.Adams) to take away our key contributors.
Plainly, we are just not used to playing with each other in this new kind of system. I think 1 of the main reasons things fell into place in '21 is we finally knew what’s the Hell we were doing with Gruden’s/ Bisaccia’s system after years of learning it. We ran hard, used play action fiercely and played with grit to beat some pretty good teams, including the hated Chargers.

I know it what is you. seek, Nation. W’s will come our way if we play with the right attitude. I mention to someone almost every week we have to run the ball more to win games. Josh Jacobs averages 4.6. a carry!
He is also running hungry to earn a new contract!
We are now averaging SEVENTY percent passing plays after 3 games (2nd in the NFL). I know we are passing more to catch up to teams, but damn…
I need more touches for #28!
When I ponder about the past…we won some pretty close games last year, right?
In ’22, we are simply seeing the other side of the coin.
Losses can make you weaker occasionally, but mostly they make you stronger mentally..
If that’s not the case? We have bigger problems than I think!

These losses can’t continue any further or we’re going to have ANOTHER Coach on the hot seat on just a matter of Weeks.

Maybe his ass is already warming up...

"We have to learn how to start well, play well in the middle and finish well," McDaniels said. "Right now, we’ve not figured that formula out yet."

No shit…Maybe that’s why Mark Davis had a long talk with you after the game..

"We’re gonna have to learn how to play a full 60 minutes and earn the right to win," McDaniels said. "It’s kind of where we’re at right now."

Derek Carr had more insight on why players seemed kind of off throughout the game..

"If you don’t do it right at practice, you can’t expect it to go right in the games," he said.
Uh oh..
"The execution wasn’t at its best on some days" during the practice week. When asked to elaborate, Derek mentioned that not everyone is as focused as they should be.
"The meetings, the practices, the walk-throughs, all matter," Carr said. "If you’re on it on all those things, you usually go out and you’re on your assignments. … When we go to the meetings, take what they’re saying and go do it on the field. Then it’ll start happening more and more in games."


"We have to be better, and if we’re not, we’re gonna have a sucky feeling after every game," Carr said.

Mr. Adams was also feeling like he was stuck in carbonite most of the game. The gloomy look on his face after the game said it all..
"Both frustrated and angry," wide receiver Davante Adams said. "We’re not naive enough to think anyone is going to lie down and give us a victory. I said from the beginning — just because we look good on paper doesn’t mean we’re going to be a great team. Frustration is OK, as long as you do something about it. Stay the course and keep grinding."
Davante had a nice TD in the 2nd Quarter. His hands are still nice when he actually gets a pass thrown his way..
"They doubled me, as they did 95 percent of the game," Adams said. "I had to find a way to get open and split them basically, and Derek (Carr) threw a great ball over the top of his head and I just tried to get up and make a play."
We need more!!!
"I’ve been getting played like this for a while now," he said. "The operation is to figure it out and still be productive at the end of the day."

Somehow they made it work in Green Bay. Can we steal their playbook? We should look into new play callers if the L’s add up...

"Losing gets old fast," McDaniels said. "This league requires a lot of mental toughness, and nobody likes losing. You know what I mean? I know it should hurt when we lose. We all feel (bleep)."
"We want to try to do better and put our best foot forward. But the only way to do that is to come back in and work hard at it and try to put together another good week and try to go out there and earn a victory on Sunday (against Denver). That’s it."
The Defense had little to say about the loss as well. At least they showed up in the 2nd half..

"On the outside, it’s frustrating," defensive end Maxx Crosby said. "I get it. But it’s frustrating in here. Even though it seems like the world is closing in on us, we have positive things to take from. You’re either going to sink or swim. There are no other options."

Swim until we see Victory Island Maxx! I believe in you! ESPECIALLY after racking in 5 tackles, 4 assists, 2 TFLs, multiple pressures and a huge sack!

What can we do, Derek? What is the teams current attitude?

"There is urgency. It’s not like we are in OTAs, and we will get it right eventually, we have got to get it right now. So, whenever Coach (McDaniels) gives us our corrections tomorrow, we will go home and fix them, take it and do better. … It starts with me. It starts with the leaders, and we are going to make sure we jump on that as soon as Coach gives them to us and grind away, because the only thing that pulls you out of it is hard work. We are not going to get lucky at some point. You just keep working hard, and things tend to go your way when you do that."

More Q/A’s from the press:

Q: What about the mistakes in the red zone?

Coach McDaniels: We had some opportunities. We definitely were able to move the ball. But when you get down there, you have to either run it in if they’re going to play coverage or find some single matchups because they were double teaming a couple of our guys at times. Just overall execution. Had a few penalties down there that hurt us, and we’ve got to eliminate those obviously before we’re going to be able to put it in. Situational football … it hurt us in the red zone."

Q: How frustrating was this loss?

WR Davante Adams: "Frustration is OK. It’s not the end of the world to be frustrated. I don’t think anyone in here should be happy and content with losing, especially when you have the type of men we have in this locker room. Like I said from the beginning, just because we’re good on paper doesn’t mean we’re going to be great as a team. We’re still working toward that. It’s still early, but we have to start establishing who we are as a team. Frustration is OK, as long as you do something about it."

Q: Is the team playing with mental toughness enough to win?

Carr: "Not for what it takes to win. With the penalties down in the red zone and the other stuff, we have to get better. If not, we are going to have a sucky feeling after every game. You try your best to do it the right way in practice, and if you don’t do it right in practice, then you can’t expect it to go right in the game."

Q: How do you come back from an 0-3 start?

TE Darren Waller: "Very frustrated, which is felt a lot of times, whether it be in football or life. The results aren’t going our way, but that doesn’t mean we don’t go about the process any differently. We need to find a way to work through it and stack good days and bounce back from adversity. I’m excited to see how we respond."

Q: Your thoughts on receiver Mack Hollins’ career day?

McDaniels: "I thought that was a great play that he made and then being able to re-establish himself quickly to down the punt in there, inside the 5. Had a lot of single coverage and made some plays in the passing game as a receiver, too. Mack always works hard. I think that’s why he was voted as a captain. His effort and the way he performs has been a bright spot."

Q: Our some of the drops found late in the game a cause for concern?

Everybody points to the last play or the 2-point conversion at the end, whatever it is," Raiders coach Josh McDaniel said

"There’s more opportunities in the game in all three phases that could easily have swung the game one way or the other. So we have to look at each opportunity, regardless of when it happens, as an opportunity to gain an advantage in the game and ultimately win. It doesn’t have to come down to the last play or the last drive or the last series."

So we have to learn to play all 4 Quarters?!?!? Tough ask...

"There’s three or four plays in every game that change the outcome," McDaniels said. "And those plays might happen in the second quarter or the third quarter."

I believe every game has a few plays that bring the teams a shift in momentum. Maybe that’s what Coach is talking about..

"Our execution from the beginning to the end, that’s what we need to work on to try to improve and make winning plays all four quarters."

I still hold up my hand w/ four raised fingers in the final Quarter. It’s a reminder to all to save your best for the last few minutes.

"There’s no shortcuts," he said. "There’s no pill we can take to solve that. We have the answers. We are the answers. We just need to go out there and do it with one another and for one another."

Are we making strides, Coach?

"We know we can make better progress here as we go forward and we know we can do it quickly," McDaniels said. "I have no issues with the way we work and compete. That’s clear. You can see that every Sunday. We’re battling right to the very end."

So we’re just a few positive plays away from Victory?

"For that, they need to be commended for their effort and attitude and their competitive spirit. We just need to make a few more plays as we go along through the course of the game so we can start turning in some Ws."

At least the Defense grabbed a pick. Duron Harmon came up big with an INT in the 2nd half. Of course, he was still depressed about the final score...

"It was disappointing we didn’t come out and play the way we needed to from the beginning," Harmon said. "We’ve seen when we do things the right way how hard it is for teams to move the ball on us."

Anything encouraging about how you finished?

"It’s not encouraging at all because we lost," Duron said. "I’m tired of being encouraged. We’ve been encouraged from our effort three weeks in a row with a loss. It’s time to win. It’s a lesson we have to learn, but we better learn fast. We can’t keep learning lessons from losses every week. We need to start learning lessons from wins."

Any reason we shaped up in the final Quarters?

"We just played better together," defensive end Maxx Crosby said. "We took a deep breath and said, ‘Let’s just take it one play at a time.’ That’s what we try to emphasize, not overthinking it or overdoing it, just executing each play. … If they make a good play, it’s not the end of the world. It can’t lead to other big plays."

Any other lessons learned from the O?

"You have to look the ball in," Waller said. "You have to secure the catch, first and foremost. I didn’t do that. I tried to turn up and make a play at the goal line. You can’t do that, especially in key moments of the game. We preach fundamentals all the time, and that was a fundamental error by me. But I don’t hold myself to a standard of perfection. I’m going to mess up sometimes, but I know I’m going to bounce back. I know one day or one play can’t define me."

There were a few plays I wish he had back…but I know Darren will redeem himself in the Weeks to come.

It also appeared we had more substitutions on the O-Line. Alex Bars was called up from the practice squad and started at left guard, the 12th start of his career and first with the Raiders. Rookie Dylan Parham filled in again at center for Andre James, who missed his second consecutive game with a concussion. Right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor shifted to right guard, with rookie Thayer Munford at right tackle. Guards John Simpson and Lester Cotton operated in reserve roles.

"We’re trying to find the right formula, the right five guys that will go out there and play dependable and do it right over and over and over again," he said. "I thought they did a decent job against a good front. All was great until wee had some holding penalties on some key plays. Hopefully, they’ll also grow into a better unit in the days ahead.







"I thought they gave Derek an opportunity to have some time to throw."