Posted on: March 16, 2010 2:25 pm
 

Just Win Baby: The Fall of the Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders are a mess. Just when we won 2 out of three both against winning teams, we get annihilated by a 3-9 Redskins team. And Bruce Gradkowski, who we thought was our QB of the future, goes down with injuries to both knees knocking him out for the season. It was 10-10 when Gradkowski left the game, and JaMarcus Russell came in and we lost 34-13. 

 Numerous draft picks have been on busts, most notably JaMarcus Russell, and Darius Heyward-Bey. Although JaMarcus Russell did have the best college career of all the QB’s in the 2007 draft. Heyward-Bey drafted solely for his blinding speed, has not even caught 10 passes through nearly the entire season despite starting every game. Al Davis has even drafted a kicker in the first round, only the third time in NFL history a kicker was drafted this high, when the Raiders got their reliable kicker Sebastian Janikowski. Al Davis has only drafted two pro bowlers in the last ten years. They are CB Nnamdi Asomugha and P Shane Lechler, who is a perennial pro bowler. Lechler has the best net punt yardage in NFL history and is clearly headed for Canton. Nnamdi Asomugha, widely regarded as the best CB in football, rarely sees a pass thrown his way so he has no stats to show for, but this shows how much respect other team’s QB’s have for him. Both are the highest paid players at their position. Draft picks are not the only thing Al Davis has blundered in. He has had a knack for signing old free agents when the team is clearly in a rebuilding mode. For example Daunte CulpepperRandy MossJavon Walker, and Richard Seymour all players who did absolutely nothing while playing for the Raiders. Except for Randy Moss, of course, who intentionally dropped passes thrown to his because he was disgruntled by the team’s performance. He even sent a letter to the team saying he was disappointed with the Oakland Raiders organization and he wanted out immediately. They went 2-14 that year. The next year Al Davis drafter Russell mostly for his incredible arm strength but he was benched earlier this year for Bruce Gradkowski. While it is true the Raiders have many bright spots, especially on defense. They are lacking capability in key positions especially on offense. In today’s NFL, a team must have productivity from their quarterbacks, and JaMarcus Russell has shown time and time again he is ineffective as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Of course, a quarterback can only be so successful when he has two starting rookie receivers, like the Raiders (Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy). The Raiders leading receiver is their promising young tight end Zach Miller. The Raiders have a potent rushing attack, with three able RB’s, and a strong pass defense led by Nnamdi, but their run defense and passing offense rank 31<sup>st</sup> and 32<sup>nd</sup> respectively in the NFL. Clearly special teams are the Raiders’ forte with Lechler and Janikowski.

We Raiders fans are clearly disgruntled with their Raiders’ performance. In a recent home game against Cincinnati, a rare win, only 34,000 people showed up, the lowest in recent history. They have not sold out a single home game other than the nationally televised opener against San Diego. Just recently on December 1<sup>st</sup>, Raiders fans put up a billboard on I-880 right next to the coliseum asking Al Davis to hire a GM. Fans of other lowly teams like the Cleveland Browns have protested games and have made “We Are Terrible” towels available for purchase. Of course, if Raiders fans tried protesting, it would be a futile effort because Al Davis probably wouldn’t care. If Al Davis is making money, Al Davis is happy, and he is making a lot of money by just being an owner by the NFL’s shared revenue. While there is a significant drop in ticket sales, they are only a small portion of the team’s money. Regardless of whether Al Davis cares or not, I think fans should stop going to games because especially in this economy, why waste money on a bad product? The Oakland Raiders organization is selling a bad product and it is unnecessary to waste money on the Raiders.

So my message to Al is, please hire a GM, so the Raiders can be watchable again. 

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 11, 2010 6:24 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2010 12:50 am
 

Watching All 34 Bowl Games

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 The Bowl Season ended lsat Thursday with a thrilling National Championship Game. I really enjoyed this year's bowl games. I have been sick for a while, and during that time, I was able to watch all 34 bowl games. The college bowl season ended yesterday with the National Championship Game, but in no way was that the best game. Here, I recap the top ten bowl games. 

10. Rose Bowl

Ohio State vs. Oregon

The Big 10 finally got a huge gorilla off their back by winning this game.   

9. Konica Minolta Gator Bowl

West Virginia vs. Florida State

Bobby Bowden capped a great College Football Career with a victory over his former team. Can't get any better than that. Florida State started slow, but picked it up to win one last game for their coach.  

8. Capitol One Bowl

Penn State 19, LSU 17

Any thing Bobby Bowden can do Joe Pa can do better. This game wasn’t particularly interesting to watch but it was close in the end. LSU came back and took the lead, but it was Penn State who had the last laugh.

7. Meineke Car Care Bowl

Pittsburgh 19, North Carolina 17

Like their fellow Pennsylvania counterparts, Pitt also beat their opponent 19-17 and this game saw a great performance from Pitt’s star freshman running back Dion Lewis, who I think will be a heirman finalist next season.  

6. New Mexico Bowl

Fresno State 28, Wyoming 35 (2OT)

My boy Austyn Carta Samuels from Bellarmine College Prep leads the underdog Wyoming to a big win over Fresno State in 2OT

5. Outback Bowl

Northwestern 35, Auburn 38 (OT)

Kafka throws 78 times and breaks a bowl record by throwing for over 500 yards, and Northwestern nearly upsets Auburn.

4. Citi National Championship Game

Texas 21, Alabama 37

The reason this game is ranked this high is because it was the championship game. Garret Gilbert leads his team back within 3

3. Tostito's Fiesta Bowl

Boise State 17, TCU 10

I think it was terrible that these two teams had to face each other, but it was a great game none the less. Hopefully next year, a mid major school finally plays in a championship game.  

2. GMAC Bowl

Central Michigan 44, Troy 41 (OT)

Dan LeFevour ended a great college career with a win over Troy which was just a thriller to watch. CMU came back in the fourth quarter to tie it and then win it in OT.

1. Roady's Humanitarian Bowl

Idaho 43, Bowling Green 42

This game saw 3 lead changes in the final minute and Bowling Green WR Freddie Barnes become the NCAA all time leading receiver. However it was Idaho that won it in the end, by far the most thrilling game in the bowl season. Yes this was two mid majors and it didn't mean anything, but it was just a great game.  

Honorable Mentions:

Sun Bowl Stanford 27, Oklahoma 31

Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl Marshall 31, Ohio 27

Insight Bowl Minnesota 13, Iowa State 14

Alamo Bowl Texas Tech 41, Michigan State 31

AutoZone Liberty Bowl Arkansas 20, East Carolina 17

Worst Bowl Games

Allstate Sugar Bowl Cincinnati 24, Florida 51

International Bowl South Florida 27, NIU 3

Chick Fil A Bowl Va. Tech 37, Tennessee 14

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Houston 20, Air Force 47

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Nebraska 33, Arizona 0

 

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: January 8, 2010 7:42 pm
 

Wild Card Weekend (AFC)

Wild Card Weekend is approaching and we have four games, all of which, were already played earlier this season. Just because the CardinalsBengalsRavens, and Eagles lost earlier this season doesn't mean they will lose this weekend too. Let's Analyze the match ups in the AFC. In case you missed the NFC preview, you can read it here.
Jets @ Bengals
The Jets come into Cincinnati with the #1 defense to counter Cincinnati's well balanced offense. They also have the NFL's top rushing attack with Thomas Jones and Shonn Green. Broadway Rex says his team is the favorites to win the Superbowl. In week's 37-0 drubbing, Carson Palmer was 1/11 0 yds 1 INT. And Chad Ochocinco, who said Darelle Revis couldn't cover him with a paper bag on a Manhattan street corner, had 0 catches.  In order for a victory, Cincinnati must get their offense going and control the line of scrimmage on defense. They can't let the O-Line of the Jets to get a good push. If they can sort of stop the running game, they can make Mark Sanchez throw and he has made a lot of mistakes. 
Outcome: 17-9Even though Cincinnati lost 37-0 last week, they are at home this week, and I don't trust a rookie Quarterback making his first playoff start on the road no matter how good the Jets D is.  Sanchez will make mistakes in this game. 
Ravens @ PatriotsWith Welker out, someone else must step up. This time, either Ben Watson or Randy Moss must play better. Moss has been better as of late, but the loss of Welker is huge. Baltimore must run the ball well with Ray Rice and Willis McGahee and Flacco must make some plays. Derrick Mason and the rest of the receivers must hold on to the ball to help their young QB. The Pats should just let Brady go to work, let him make the plays you need and the Patriots should be fine. 
Outcome: 23-9The Ravens played well earlier this season in New England, but I can't go against Brady and Belichek in the playoffs. That is when they are their best. Remember their earlier Superbowl victories, they weren't exactly the best in the regular season, but they clicked in the playoffs. Expect the same this season and a Brady vs Manning AFC championship game. 
Posted on: January 7, 2010 7:25 pm
 

Wild Card Weekend

Wild Card Weekend is approaching and we have four games, all of which, were already played earlier this season. Just because the Cardinals, Bengals, Ravens, and Eagles lost earlier this season doesn't mean they will lose this weekend too. Let's Analyze the match ups in the NFC
Packers @ CardinalsThe Packers have a very strong offensive attack led by Aaron Rodgers. The Cardinals are short at cornerback with the injury to Dominque Rogers Cromartie and already were the 20th ranked defense in the NFL. The Packers have one of the top defenses and an injured Boldin will help the packers contain Fitzgerald. For the Cardinals to win, they must get pressure on Rodgers. He has taken a lot of sacks. The Cardinals must also protect the football on offense. 
Outcome: GB 27 Ari: 20This matchup seems like a blowout on paper but the Cardinals playoff experience will come in handy. However, the Packers are too good for the Cardinals to beat. They are hot and they are coming off a blowout against these same Cardinals. Even though it was a meaningless game in which the Cardinals did not try, a win is a win and the Packers know they can beat these guys. Look for these guys on February 7th in Miami. 
Eagles @ CowboysSuddenly the one of the NFC's hottest teams (Eagles) seems vulnerable and the team that has had its struggles in December seems unbeatable. Against the Cowboys last week, the Eagles lost 27-0 in a game that the Eagles really wanted. Because of that loss, they fell from the 2nd seed all the way to the 6th seed. The Eagles have a monkey on their back that they need to get rid of. The Eagles must contain Miles Austin in order to win, and if their offense can't get it done, they need to get it done through special teams. Dallas may be playing well right now, but I still don't trust Dallas yet to win in the postseason. 
Outcome: Phi 17 Dal 14I have a feeling this game will come down to special teams and if it does, Philadelphia has a huge advantage. Sean Suisham who also missed a 23 yard field goal against New Orleans, will miss a couple of early field goals which will cost Dallas the football game. 
Tomorrow, I will have the breakdown of the AFC Match ups. 
Posted on: December 14, 2009 5:29 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2009 5:30 pm
 

The Raiders Are a Mess

The Oakland Raiders are a mess. Just when we won 2 out of three both against winning teams, we get annihilated by a 3-9 Redskins team. And Bruce Gradkowski, who we thought was our QB of the future, goes down with injuries to both knees knocking him out for the season. It was 10-10 when Gradkowski left the game, and JaMarcus Russell came in and we lost 34-13. 

 Numerous draft picks have been on busts, most notably JaMarcus Russell, and Darius Heyward-Bey. Although JaMarcus Russell did have the best college career of all the QB’s in the 2007 draft. Heyward-Bey drafted solely for his blinding speed, has not even caught 10 passes through nearly the entire season despite starting every game. Al Davis has even drafted a kicker in the first round, only the third time in NFL history a kicker was drafted this high, when the Raiders got their reliable kicker Sebastian Janikowski. Al Davis has only drafted two pro bowlers in the last ten years. They are CB Nnamdi Asomugha and P Shane Lechler, who is a perennial pro bowler. Lechler has the best net punt yardage in NFL history and is clearly headed for Canton. Nnamdi Asomugha, widely regarded as the best CB in football, rarely sees a pass thrown his way so he has no stats to show for, but this shows how much respect other team’s QB’s have for him. Both are the highest paid players at their position. Draft picks are not the only thing Al Davis has blundered in. He has had a knack for signing old free agents when the team is clearly in a rebuilding mode. For example Daunte Culpepper, Randy Moss, Javon Walker, and Richard Seymour all players who did absolutely nothing while playing for the Raiders. Except for Randy Moss, of course, who intentionally dropped passes thrown to his because he was disgruntled by the team’s performance. He even sent a letter to the team saying he was disappointed with the Oakland Raiders organization and he wanted out immediately. They went 2-14 that year. The next year Al Davis drafter Russell mostly for his incredible arm strength but he was benched earlier this year for Bruce Gradkowski. While it is true the Raiders have many bright spots, especially on defense. They are lacking capability in key positions especially on offense. In today’s NFL, a team must have productivity from their quarterbacks, and JaMarcus Russell has shown time and time again he is ineffective as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Of course, a quarterback can only be so successful when he has two starting rookie receivers, like the Raiders (Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy). The Raiders leading receiver is their promising young tight end Zach Miller. The Raiders have a potent rushing attack, with three able RB’s, and a strong pass defense led by Nnamdi, but their run defense and passing offense rank 31<sup>st</sup> and 32<sup>nd</sup> respectively in the NFL. Clearly special teams are the Raiders’ forte with Lechler and Janikowski.

We Raiders fans are clearly disgruntled with their Raiders’ performance. In a recent home game against Cincinnati, a rare win, only 34,000 people showed up, the lowest in recent history. They have not sold out a single home game other than the nationally televised opener against San Diego. Just recently on December 1<sup>st</sup>, Raiders fans put up a billboard on I-880 right next to the coliseum asking Al Davis to hire a GM. Fans of other lowly teams like the Cleveland Browns have protested games and have made “We Are Terrible” towels available for purchase. Of course, if Raiders fans tried protesting, it would be a futile effort because Al Davis probably wouldn’t care. If Al Davis is making money, Al Davis is happy, and he is making a lot of money by just being an owner by the NFL’s shared revenue. While there is a significant drop in ticket sales, they are only a small portion of the team’s money. Regardless of whether Al Davis cares or not, I think fans should stop going to games because especially in this economy, why waste money on a bad product? The Oakland Raiders organization is selling a bad product and it is unnecessary to waste money on the Raiders.

So my message to Al is, please hire a GM, so the Raiders can be watchable again. 

Category: NFL
Tags: Oakland, Raiders
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com