Charlie Chaplin once said our greatest enemy is time.
As time goes on, more and more of the great people that we’ve come to know and love in our lives are leaving us. The sting of loss hit again yesterday with the passing of an all time great Raider fan, Raider Gloria. She had struggled with an infection with complications from a recent knee surgery. Gloria Malvaez was quite a character that no one will ever forget.
Gloria began dressing up as Raider Gloria in 1987. She became quite well known and was always ready with a quick wit and a willingness to take pictures with anyone who wanted a photo opportunity. She was feisty, but kind and passionate and loved by all.
In 2013 she was asked by ESPN to be a part of their ESPN magazine spread with other iconic fans being featured. Eventually she was told that she was not only going to be in it, she was going to be featured on the cover. Below is her story on ESPN.com. She was also mentioned in People magazine in 2003.
She often told people that it took 2 ½ hours to get ready to become Gloria Raider; but only 90 if she wasn’t drinking. Even though he did not dress up, her beloved husband Gabriel would go to the games to represent his Raiders as a regular fan without ever asking her to tone it down. “He let me be myself”. She dressed up and he didn’t and they were a great pair. She was married to him for 21 years until he passed away in 2010. There were some close to her that said she never really got over the loss. They are now together once again.
Gloria was a character with many funny stories. She often talked about going to the Raider games as a kid before the Oakland Coliseum was built. She talked about her father and godfather being huge fans and they took her to the games. At 14 y/o they would bring pillows for her to sit on and she often would drive home because they would be “blitzed” and couldn’t drive. She would wear a hat and they were never pulled over.
In probably the biggest Raider fan wedding in history, she was a part of the over 1000 people who attended the wedding of Gorilla Rilla. Super fans Marc (Gorilla Rilla) and Marilyn (Jungle Jane) Acasio had a wedding with famous Raider fans in full makeup and Raider dress. Gloria proudly was a part of her friends Marc’s nuptials which even the Raiders themselves covered.
As with many of the “characters” that dress up, they have very warm hearts. Gloria was quick to help others and was an encouraging force in many peoples lives. Here she is below feeding the homeless without much fanfare. A selfless, kind soul who’s actions were often for the benefit of others.
In the last few years that I’ve gotten back into writing it’s been both rewarding and heartbreaking. I’ve written about several amazing people and triumphs but all and all the tragedies are hard to take. One fan said I was their memory. I guess I just don’t like us to forget good people. The losses lately have been great.
Other Raider fans like Social Media Raider Icon Tim Casto was lost in a tragic house fire at 49.
I hope that no one forgets these great people and their love and contributions to so many. The friendships we create through meeting such unique people are more important than any win or record.
So again sadly we have to say goodbye to another amazing person who represented her team so well, but more importantly represented humanity even better. In a country so divided and angry and lost, remember the spirit of people like Gloria. Have fun, enjoy life, help others and don’t take yourself too seriously. Live life with a wink in one eye and a twinkle in the other. And don’t worry Gloria. It’s ok to wear full Raider gear when you get to heaven. God and Gabriel will totally understand.
As I wrote yesterday, hold onto your hats, this NFL draft would be a crazy one. It didn’t disappoint.
With the QB position being at maybe it’s worse position in the modern era, teams were trading up to gamble on prospects that some feel are reaches at best. Let’s face it though. In the modern NFL, if you are tall and can throw far, they will look at you. I think in 10 years you will look back on this draft and ask what some teams were thinking while they made their picks.
The controversy was also seen in Oakland. Raider fans for the most part were divided when Ohio St. CB Gareon Conley was chosen by the Raiders with the 24th pick. With MLB Reuben Foster falling into their laps, the Raiders chose to pass and picked Conley who is being investigated for rape allegations made against him. Let’s answer all your questions about him.
Why Draft Conley When He’s Being Investigated & May Be Guilty:
First off, name the long list of athletes that have done jail time for sexual assault or battery in the last 10 years…………………..
After reading a lot on it, I don’t know if anything happened and neither does the police. I think the case will be dropped and nothing will happen and it will be forgotten. Some fans say, “well he was seen with her so he didn’t do anything”. Ridiculous. The Stanford swimmer that was convicted of rape was also seen with that girl. Just because you are walking around with one another doesn’t mean a rape wasn’t committed.
Fans love their athletes and most will defend them. It’s a little sick but some people are no longer into right and wrong anymore, they are into if that player is a member of the team they like or not. I deal with the facts.
Even when athletes are guilty they usually get off due to good lawyers. And even if they are convicted, jail time rarely if ever happens. Conley should be cleared soon and this will soon be forgotten. Again I’m not saying he’s innocent or guilty, I’m just saying you have to have evidence and it’s not there.
But Jim, I Thought the Raiders Wanted High Character Guys?:
Anyone trust Aldon Smith to house sit while you are on vacation? When you read about all of his felonies and misdemeanors over the years you wonder how the guy is still walking the streets let alone being previously signed by the Raiders. I saw one Facebook post last night saying there was a conspiracy to keep Smith in trouble so the Raiders can’t get him. And people were agreeing with him!! OMG! Stay away from drugs kids.
The Raiders DO want high character guys, but they also want to win. With Carr & Mack being the main leaders and high character guys, you can live with others not being that. Some NFL players are not angels by any means so you take the good with the bad. Conley probably didn’t do anything and overall he’s not been a trouble maker, but the real reason you draft him is because he helps you win. Fan’s shouldn’t be naïve about this stuff anymore.
Don’t Listen to Draft Rumors:
I heard a lot of people saying people are worried about Fosters injury. Let’s look into that. NFL teams and the people that report them over the years have lost a lot of people millions of dollars with school girl rumors. Some turn out to be true, but some don’t.
False rumors swirled that Dan Marino was into drugs and he dropped in the draft like a stone. And remember Aaron Rodgers? He went from being a possible overall #1 pick to waiting 4 hours to be picked. Why? Because 2 draft “gurus” said that he held the ball too high (remember that?) and that he was a system QB under head coach Jeff Tedford. All of a sudden everyone worried about him. Just because of silly rumors. So who was the #1 pick? Alex Smith who was from the biggest system of all, the spread at Utah. Can’t make this stuff up folks.
Ten minutes before the 2015 draft, ESPN was reporting on their radio show that DT Leonard Williams may have a severe shoulder injury that might keep him out for the year. Well, Williams has played 31 of the 32 games so far in his career but the damage was done. Some thought he was a top 3 pick but he dropped to the Jets at 6. Star Lotulelei was an amazing drop when he was drafted. He had a virus that made some of his heart tests abnormal so teams just forgot him. He eventually was proved to be ok. For this year think Reuben Foster and all the drama with his injury, especially when doctors are saying he will be ready in time for the July camps.
Why Conley Was a Good Pick:
Many fans have finally convinced me that many NFL fans aren’t exactly the biggest college football fans. Oh, they will watch the big games or the playoffs but overall it’s not their thing.
For those of us that are addicted to college football, Ohio States defensive backs had a big reputation last year. Other than CB Marshon Lattimore, the Buckeyes DB’s were very one dimensional. The dimension that they all excelled in was that they knew how to cover. Conley is an excellent cover guy with length and speed. He’s not as athletic or talented as Marshon Lattimore, but he’s very good. Ohio St. plays a lot of man to man and he handled it well rarely getting beaten badly. He always seemed to be near or on the ball.
He can cover in the slot, man to man and also in zone press coverage and that type of player is hard to find. I really like his coverage skills and feel he’s a guy that can start in 2 years, if not this year if Amerson and Smith continue to struggle. Some have said move Smith to Safety but I think that is a reach and it remains to be seen if that will happen and if Smith can handle it.
The Raiders are stuck with Sean Smith and David Amerson’s money this year but next year they can be let go without any dead money against the salary cap. Amerson was found out last year; he struggles against the deep ball and Sean Smith was much better when he had the Chiefs pass rush and safeties helping him. Conley will at least be used in nickel and dime packages and as a backup to the starters. His quality cover skills in the slot also help him get on the field. Again, I’m a big fan of Conley’s cover skills.
Why Conley Wasn’t a Good Pick:
There are TONS; and I mean TONS of CB’s and safeties left on the board that are very good. This draft is full of them. There are little to no DT’s and MLB’s left. Reuben Foster fell into the lap of the Raiders. It wasn’t as bad as Star Lotulelei and DJ Hayden but they needed Foster badly. The Raiders defensive front 7 is like a big donut right now. The 49ers gobbled Foster up like a Thanksgiving Turkey pulling off one of the best first rounds in a while.
Some say teams were worried about his rotator cuff surgery. Reports how have him ready before July training camp. In the last 2 years Foster played in every game and almost every practice. His stats are amazing, with most of his big numbers coming against the best teams in the biggest games. Some ill-informed people yesterday were tweeting that he was too injury prone. The facts don’t agree.
The NFL draft isn’t Costco. Just because you want salmon doesn’t mean they are going to have salmon. People say well now draft a DT or MLB. Well who? Foster was a near for sure thing and now you have question marks left. Jihad Ward was a bad pick last year at DT and he was not a big factor even though he started most games and played in all of them. No sacks & no tackles for losses. Their depth chart at DT and MLB doesn’t scare anyone.
As we said before, Ohio St. DB’s were mostly one dimensional. Good, finesse cover guys but not good tacklers who weren’t very physical.
I agreed TOTALLY with Jon Gruden. Ohio St. Safety Malik Hooker was very overrated and as a safety you can’t be that bad against the run. It reminded me a little bit like Michael Huff when he came out. Conley also struggled against the run and he isnt’ very physical.
The Michigan game also showed Conley struggling against the crossing routes and slants of the Michigan WR. He’s not physical with players off the ball at all and seemed to get lost with WR in front of him instead of chasing them down the field.
Clemson fans are still talking about 5’ 9”, 175 lb. WR Ray-Ray McClouds one on one obliteration block on Conley in the Tigers 31-0 playoff win against Ohio St. last year. So again, Conley is a good cover guy, and not a good run stopper with a lack of physicality.
With Washington CB’s Sidney Jones and Kevin King still available along with countless others, picking Conley over Foster hurts my head.
Raiders Day 2: What Will Happen:
Here are some guys that may be picked by the Raiders in their quest to fix the defense.
Chris Wormley, DT/DE Michigan:
This is my next pick if he’s there, which I think he will be. He’s physical, very muscular and can play inside and out. He’s a leader type who the coaches love. He was inconsistent at times so that has to change but let’s face it, every player left is going to have some mark against them.
Malik McDowell, DT/DE Michigan St.
Because there are so few DT’s that can pressure the QB in this draft, the Raiders may take a chance on McDowell.
I don’t think I’ve seen a guys attitude ripped on by more teams than with McDowell. At the pre-draft meetings with teams, he was ripped apart for his bad attitude and abrasiveness. At MSU the Spartans media talked about his bad temper and him seemingly more worried about beating up the player he was against more than playing football. There was also disappointment in his play and effort when Michigan State’s season began to go bad. I don’t think Malik will get many good references. A talented head case is what one media guy called him.
Zach Cunningham, MLB Vanderbilt
Zach has climbed up the draft ladder and though he’s not my favorite pick he would not be bad. He’s smart, a good leader and he’s consistent while making plays. He’s an amazing athlete which the NFL loves but he’s only 230-235 and he’ll need to put on some weight for MLB. He’s also not the most physical guy and MLB’s are usually physical studs. Again, he’s not Foster but he’s not bad.
Cam Robinson, OT Alabama:
If he’s still there I take him. I’m the first to say the Raiders need defense badly, but this is ridiculous. First Allen, then Foster and now Robinson falling? The New York Giants really screwed up by not taking this guy. Alabama players are dropping like stones. This guy has 10 year right tackle written all over him.
Day 2 and 3 are where teams GM’s really make their money. It will be interesting to see what the Raiders do from here on out with limited available talents in positions that they need, especially on defense.
“never, ever, ever give your heart to a professional sports team”
Ann Killian, Bay Area Sportswriter
In a 31-1 vote with only Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross voting no, the NFL approved the vote to have the Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas. The numbers still don’t add up but that doesn’t seem to worry anyone; until now. Even if the Raider’s can’t pay back this loan, the NFL has a hold in sin city, something they always wanted.
The National Media:
What bothered me most about yesterdays and today’s sports reports, is that FINALLY many are now talking about the numbers and questioning whether this is a viable deal. Even KNTV out of Las Vegas did a live report saying it will be interesting to see if this can financially work long term because some of the numbers don’t add up. ESPN also questioned the deal and talked about the extreme greed of the owners and that the message to fans is clear; you mean nothing; revenues mean everything. Are you kidding me? After the fact? Where have you been for the last year media?
People wonder why I quit my writing jobs and went solo. It’s because I don’t want to have to kiss up to the NFL, companies, owners, or players. After Bill Simmons of ESPN was fired for calling Roger Goodell and the NFL liars (which TMZ proved they did lie), you realized the power the NFL had over the sports media. This move to Las Vegas shows it even more. Remember when the NFL wouldn’t let Tony Romo have a fantasy sports conference at a Casino? Yet the NFL, MLB, and the NBA were kissing the hand of daily fantasy betting sites even though the Feds were investigating the sites for being so crooked.
Las Vegas and Nevada is a hot mess. Like I said in my article last week, Nevada is last in the U.S. in education and near last in many other categories. Instead of using a hotel tax to help the people of Las Vegas and Nevada, they use that money to build an NFL stadium which in no way is going to bring the same money in return. Lobbyists at work.
The city of Oakland announced that they still owe $95 million to the Raiders from the insane deal they made back in 1995 to bring them back. The city of St. Louis now says they still owe up to 128 million for the stadium for the Rams who are now playing in Los Angeles. Politicians that use tax dollars to fund stadiums are irresponsible. Good luck Vegas; you’ll need it.
Also add the 900 million dollar Nevada road project that will be needed for the new stadium; state and federal sources will be needed to help foot that bill. They hope that the Raiders will at least pay 400-450 million for this project but the money has not been allocated for that yet and is an extra cost, just like the relocation fee. This stadium is costing way more than 1.9 billion. As I said before, this is a terrible deal for Las Vegas and the state of Nevada and the Raiders. If the Raiders default on the loan the NFL still wins big time and that’s what the owners want.
Mark Davis & him reaching out to an Iconic Raider Fan:
I’ve said it before, Mark doesn’t seem like a bad guy. He is though way out of his league. Instead of reading the room and being gracious after the vote, Mark Davis ripped on local officials in Alameda and Oakland and said he pretty much blew them off after the Carson vote and wanted nothing to do with them. He blamed the increase in rents (even though they were minimal) and the counties saying they’d wait to negotiate until he had no other options as to the reason he no longer wanted Oakland. Some can finally stop acting like Mark Davis did everything to stay in Oakland. Saying you want to stay and trying to leave may fool some but it doesn’t fool me. His reasons are obviously CYA. Actions show a man’s heart, words are the BS to hide those actions. His hurt feelings mattered more.
Mark Davis never wanted to be in Oakland; he wanted the glitz of LA or Las Vegas. He’s like the nerd in school who’s rich dad gave him a big football team and he now wants to hang out with the cool jocks. He never got Carson done. He said Adelson was in the bag until he tried to trick him into agreeing with all his demands. He then said Goldman Sachs was in the bag as an investor and that was news to them. Finally it was obvious this was becoming a joke so arrogant rich big brother Jerry Jones came to the table. As everyone close to the situation has said, Jones secured the Bank of America funding and, he also got the votes to pass this move. Davis again being put on 3rd base thinking he hit a triple.
It’s now no surprise that ESPN (Colin Cowherd; who I’m not a big fan of also said it this morning) and other media outlets have said there are rumors of verbal deals with some of the services at the new Las Vegas stadium being done by Jerry Jones owned companies. What an amazing coincidence.
Mark Davis is already in damage control. He has reached out to a well known Raider fan to start the process of smoothing things over. He’s going to say it’s not his fault. He even said in a press conference after the vote that he wants to bring a Super Bowl to Oakland. Here is Zennie Abraham’s interview with Raider fan Godfather Griz & his interaction with Mark Davis.
Emotions aside, I still haven’t seen ONE financial person say this is a good financial deal for the Raiders and that they are going to make a ton of money. This deal almost reminds me of all the no money down housing loans banks gave out like candy for a while. Be careful what you wish for Mark Davis. You owe a lot of money; I mean a lot. The new black hole is going to be Mark Davis & the Raiders need for money.
John Madden’s omen about NFL Fans:
John Madden said about 5 years ago on his morning radio bit that he does locally that within his kids lifetime NFL fans will be little more than props. He said the most wild ones will be let in nearly free to create an atmosphere, and only the rich will be able to afford games. Most average fans will watch on tv at home where teams make most of the money.
Backlash in Other Communities:
Already the backlash of the ridiculous corporate welfare that Mark Davis is getting is being seen. Two months ago North Carolina law makers called for a tax to help pay for their stadiums upgrades fearing they’d leave. Jacksonville and other areas also are beginning to shake in their boots and talk about tax money. It sets a bad precedent; pay NFL owners money for stadiums like a gold digger trophy wife, or they will straight up leave you, blame you, and break your hearts.
Everyone should do their own thing. For me though Mark Davis and the NFL doesn’t care if I live or die; they just want my money. I’d rather give thousands of dollars to my friends or family, pay bills, or buy people gifts than give it to an NFL team. Where I come from loyalty is a two way street. You have to find your own way.
Oakland Raiders Writers and Bloggers:
There has been a lot of angry backlash against some of the more popular Raider social media voices for some of their predictions. I’m rare in that I can write about things and not be biased. Few can do that anymore.
Raider voices were just so emotionally involved that I think they kind of heard what they wanted to hear. I didn’t have a clue what the vote would be but I just knew on paper this deal stunk & I said it. I argued with some of them. I said all of the rah rah stuff, the rally’s, and the talk of history and loyalty mean ABSOLUTELY nothing to NFL owners and they disagreed. I hate being right in this case. I hope that you give them a break though; this team meant so much to the community & it’s hard to not understand it.
Libby Schaaf & Oakland/Alameda:
I was driving home on election night and a local reporter was walking with Libby to her election victory party. The reporter asked live on camera about keeping the A’s. “The A’s are going nowhere. They are staying in Oakland”. She was then asked about the Raiders. “We are going to do our best to keep the Raiders here”. I think that was always the vibe that worried the NFL and Raider fans. If you were to talk to Oakland people, they’d rather keep the Raiders than the A’s. If you talk to politicians though, the A’s seemed to be untouchable. In a second year of almost 100 losses, the A’s drew a total of about 1.5 million fans in 81 dates. The Raiders drew about 570,000 in their 10 games in 2016. Bauce man and Dr. Death were both right on the A’s.
Libby was right in not using tax money for this stadium, but she was way wrong in the way she went about it. Right or wrong, with the A’s always in the background picture, this just wasn’t going to work for the NFL.
I also think they should have done a PR plan a long time ago, and released the plan then. Doing this at the last second was wrong. Uninformed fans took this as a last second deal thrown together to save the Raiders. It came off as desperate and unorganized. Months before I would have had ALL Oakland and Alameda officials, Fortress, Ronnie Lott, and everyone involved at the table in a press conference with smiles in one hand and Oakland Raider t-shirts in the other saying that everyone was in this together. Doing this the Saturday before the NFL vote was almost ridiculous in my mind. It made people feel good but didn’t do anything for the NFL.
No team in the history of any sport in any country has left their city twice. It’s heartbreaking & eye opening. The very thing that players and people close to the team said when the Raiders went to LA is exactly what’s going to happen in Vegas. Just like when they moved to L.A., I think over time the Raiders are slowly going to go from a gritty, tough, blue collar team with a lot of diversity in the stands, to a glitzy made for tv product. As so many players said in 1987 in the TV interview I showed on Facebook, (I couldn’t load it on this blog)“We changed”. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.
If you are in southern California, Vegas is closer so if you are into going to the games that will be good for you. If you choose not to go, again that is your choice and there is nothing wrong with that. Do what is best for you and don’t let others tell you different. You are not a better or worse fan by doing one or the other.
For fans to tell others how to feel (I hope they don’t teach their kids this) and react to this move is as immature and selfish as it gets. Everyone is different and however you feel is alright with me. If you blow off the Raiders I get it. If you are no longer a fan I get it. If you stay loyal I get it. I used to be a Raider, Warrior & partial A’s season ticket holder up to 10 years ago, but I woke up. The Raiders are not paying my bills or making me soup when I’m sick. I realized a long time ago my loyalty to them was much more than their loyalty to me so I didn’t invest near as much as the past. Again; you have to find your own way.
For Oakland and east bay fans I think it’s time you moved on. A lawsuit isn’t keeping the Raiders here. I’ve heard of some saying this deal may financially fall through in the future and maybe they’ll come back, but I say enough. It’s now an abusive relationship. The Raiders do not care about you or the bay area and once they move you will be nothing more than a distant memory. You are a prop and an ATM. They love your money but they don’t think you are good enough.
What will remain though are the memories and friendships along the way. This includes all of the great players and their families that were a big part of the Oakland community. They worked, partied and enjoyed life with the players and the players felt just as much adoration for the fans. The relationships were deep and passionate. From the 1960’s before some were born to now, I don’t know of a more special bond with a community than the Raiders players had with their fans. Those that didn’t live it will never understand it. The Raiders were much more than a football team. They were family.
Thinking of parents, players, coaches & grandparents that are no longer with us, you realize an era has ended and it will never be the same. Remember though that no amount of arrogant greed can ever take these special memories & feelings away. How innocent were those days; how rich we are to have known them.
Does believing you’re the last sane man on the planet make you crazy? ‘Cause if it does, maybe I am.
Will Smith, IROBOT
The Raiders Las Vegas deal might be the worst and most dysfunctional deal in US sports history. I’ve been telling friends for weeks, I’m shocked this is still on the table.
Last off season the late great Raiders social media icon Tim Casto messaged me. “One of ESPN’s analysts said he spoke to an unnamed insider from the Raider’s and Derek Carr broke his hand!! He’ll be out indefinitely and needs surgery!”. It was front page news on ESPN.com. My message back to the “Captain” was to wait until he gets two reliable sources (imagine that?) before he worries. That evening even Derek Carr was kind of freaked out by the fervor when he was the top trend on Twitter in the bay area. Of course he was fine but it served it’s purpose. ESPN was flooded with readers on it’s website and the next day all was forgotten. Welcome to the manipulating media of the 21st century.
I was doing a few radio station interviews talking about the Raiders, and each host had one last question. Where will the Raiders end up. My answer to all 3 to their amazement was Oakland. “The numbers don’t lie guys. All they are talking about is the cost of the stadium. Now you add the relocation fee as well as possible interest payments and other costs that always come up with this type of deal, and the price for Mark Davis goes up; way up”. While fans are being played like fiddles giving “unnamed sources” comments as facts, let’s deal with reality.
The Mainstream Media With An Epic Fail:
I worked for a fortune 500 company as an administrator at a young age. We were the biggest health organization at the time in the U.S. I’ve done large deals and also have done some for my own small company, so I know about business. I also have asked 3 friends who are big wigs in Silicon Valley and in the medical field financial arena what they thought about this deal. They all said let’s look at the numbers. They all said ugh.
This is where the mainstream media and many of those following this story have failed. DO THE NUMBERS! Instead of being responsible, they leak fake stories or rumors to get a rise out of people and get traffic to their articles and sites. It shocks me that until the last few weeks, few have literally made a spread sheet and looked at the numbers of this deal.
The Numbers Don’t Lie; This Deal Is A Joke:
The people below can do a better job than I, but here is this deal in a nutshell. The stadium will cost 1.9 billion dollars. The Raiders will NOT own it. They also will have to pay 350-500 million dollars in a relocation fee that can be spread out over time. Now thanks to the Department of Transportation’s demands that the Raiders pay for upgrades in highways and roads leading up to the new stadium, there are more added costs. The cost is estimated to be around $900 million. The Raiders will have to pay at least $450 million of that. Oh; and I’m sorry. What about the yearly interest/costs to the loan that the Raiders supposedly have shored up with Bank of America. That’s predicted to be between $40-46 million per year.
I could give you a lot of people, but for now I’ll just give a few that looked at the numbers.
Roger Noll, a Stanford University economics professor has made a few comments on the deal. “The probability that it could happen isn’t zero, but it is pretty close to zero.”
Another great voice is Zennie Abraham. He broke down the numbers in depth. He has spoken with the likes of Raiders owner Mark Davis, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and several of the people that are involved in the Oakland offer and the Las Vegas deal.
Zennie likes to talk (so do I) but I found a readers digest version of him showing the actual numbers of the deal. I disagree with him at times but I like Zennie and I ask that you please check out this video and his other videos on Youtube. Here is a quick video with the in depth numbers of this deal.
Below is Zennie’s comparison of the Las Vegas deal v.s. the Oakland deal.
Lastly here is Clark County Commission chairman Steve Sisolak who is a huge backer of the Las Vegas stadium. He has been very outspoken at the lack of disclosure by the Raiders & the Stadium Board in regards to the deal. Even he is questioning the deal saying the numbers don’t add up. Remember the Raiders saying Adelson’s money was in the bag? Then remember them saying Goldman Sachs was a for sure? Remember the media saying these things were a done deal? Now Davis says Bank of America’s funding is for sure but there is nothing on paper, no lease, and B of A hasn’t confirmed anything. It reminds me of Carson when the media said the vote had been finalized for the Raiders to move. Facebook groups all spoke about it. I said wait; 2 reliable sources. Ooops.
Read the above numbers. Doesn’t Mark have any friends in finance? Can’t anyone tell him that his arrogance and inability to admit a mistake may cost him big time? If he put 10% of the effort into Oakland that he has into Carson, San Antonio & Las Vegas, there would already be a stadium deal done. Is he trying to one up his dad and prove himself? The whole situation is bizarre but he is not loyal to Oakland in any way.
Loser #2; Las Vegas & Nevada:
Nevada is the best at being last. The state is last in education; near last in many health statistics, and near last in many air pollution rankings. I’ve read where they desperately need better public transportation, inner city spending, and funds spent for the infrastructure of the state including Las Vegas.
What does the legislature do? Sheldon Adelson hired 12 lobbyists to bribe; I mean encourage; politicians to vote for the $750 million stadium plan even though Nevada is a hot mess. See why I want to outlaw lobbyists in all forms of government?
After being confronted with his huge donations to the Donald Trump campaign by Forbes magazine, Adelson said, “I don’t believe in the ultra rich using their power to dictate what happens in politics, but until they change the rules, I will”.
The City of Oakland is still paying for the Raiders move back 22 years later. St. Louis says they still owe $100-128 million to pay for the Rams stadium even though the Rams are not in the same time zone. Can you imagine the mess Nevada is going to be in? Study after study shows tax payers paying for stadiums get one thing; screwed.
Loser #3; Raider fans:
The Raiders ticket prices are near the lower third of the league right now even after 2 years of increases. Now add to that the monstrous PSL prices that some are predicting for Las Vegas and the cost could make them the top 5 most expensive in the NFL. Top that with very high ticket prices and parking. Now add airfare which will run let’s say $150 per person. Now add hotel rooms which will cost a good $200 dollars or more per night with many hotels looking to get at least 2 nights out of you, possibly 3. Food and drink during your stay adds up in this pretentious and overpriced land. How about a husband and wife taking the kids? Fat chance. And you thought Disneyland and Harry Potter World were rip-offs (ok they still are).
Oakland Raider fans will especially lose. The move to Los Angeles ruined the Raiders and they’ve never been the same. Even though the Raiders had a nice core of about 30,000 loyal fans, the crowds at times were embarrassingly low with it’s lack of support. It was so bad that when they came back to Oakland, the players made fun of the LA fans. The violence, bad behavior and flakiness were hard for Oakland fans to watch. A once proud tradition ruined.
Even Raider great Tim Brown on 95.7 The Game said LA was a bad place for an NFL team because when teams don’t do well, fans won’t come. Las Vegas will be worse. Just ask the once darling basketball program at UNLV who’s attendance is now at record lows due to some average years. With the Raiders needing 40-46% of the seats being filled by tourist/travelers, that is a pretty scary thing to rely on. Do you think the Raiders are going to be Super Bowl contenders for 30 years or that the economy wont tank? In a loyal place people will still come. Not in Vegas.
(below is a 1995 article describing a Divorce Made in Heaven; the Raiders leaving LA)
Many fans worked, played, and partied with some of these Oakland greats for years. They still talk about the Santa Rosa training camps and now on Facebook you see kids and grand kids of Raider greats happily befriending kids and grand kids of longtime fans. If you say the Raiders can play anywhere and it won’t matter to you then you don’t understand the connection and even though you are a good fan, you don’t have the same investment Oakland does emotionally.
The Raiders may be your team but for Oakland and the east bay, they are family.
What Will Happen At The Vote Next Week:
First off, how can the vote even happen? There is no financing on paper because if there were, there would be a lease agreement. What are they going to vote on? I mean if they do vote yes, now they are giving free reign for the Raiders to do what they want in regards to any crazy deal with his boys from Clark County. And let’s say the Vote is yes; which would be shocking; the deal still isn’t finalized. They still have to get approval from the Stadium board and finalize the financials. I still question if there will be a vote. Look for it to drag on until May during the next one. It would be a miracle if a yes vote was finalized next week. If it is yes, there is something going on behind the scenes that isn’t kosher because this is a bad business deal all the way around.
And Please STOP LISTENING TO MAINSTREAM MEDIA! How many more times do they need to be wrong before people stop quoting them and giving them so much credit. I know there is a lot of bad writing out there on the internet. Everyone thinks they are a writer. There are many that should not be writing at all. In reality though there are some unique bloggers and writers that are getting a lot done for fans. It’s “fools” like Zennie, myself and countless others who love learning and sharing the facts with others. Some work like dogs to give the best information. Why do you think my 3 part series on Ken Stabler went viral? It’s not because I’m some genius. It was because I stayed up for weeks on end sometimes doing all nighters researching and writing because I felt I owed it to Ken & his family along with great college and NFL fans to do something that would inform them and be enjoyable to read. We needed the truth, not insider rumors. Does mainstream media do that anymore? Many don’t. What’s popular isn’t always good, what’s good isn’t always popular.
Conspiracy Theory; The Only Way This Vote is Approved:
Some of you say I’m too much into facts; don’t know why that’s a bad thing; but I’m not a fool and I know conspiracies exist. I get that they can be fun to think about. I think the only way this deal succeeds is if the NFL doesn’t care about the numbers and wants Mark Davis out as owner. Why not let this deal go through and let him crash and burn. The way things are now, there is no way he can pay all this money back. And if he does default on the loans, will the NFL make him sell out to minority owners who have more money, or just sell out all together? You have a stadium and a team that can’t pay it’s bills. Now the NFL has all of the power over him. Crazier things have happened.
We talked about this a couple of weeks ago; what if the stadium vote goes through and Mark does default on the loan within 3-5 years. Will Oakland again be an option? Holy Toledo!
I’m not dumb; the NFL is going to go to Las Vegas eventually. The NFL, MLB, & NBA showed their real feelings about gambling when they sold their souls to daily fantasy sites even though the feds had to step in because the games were so crooked. Take out gambling and fantasy football and NFL ratings plummet. For the Las Vegas deal, it doesn’t matter about the bickering, hurt feelings or emotions. It’s about the money; it’s business. And if you look at the numbers and at history you realize that this may be the worst proposed deal in the history of U.S. sports with so many losers. Let’s hope that the House of Thrills has one more miracle up it’s sleeve to stop the insanity.
From Tennessee to North Carolina; from Los Angeles to Oakland; the heartbreaking news was released that former Tennessee Volunteer All-American and Oakland Raider great Mickey Marvin had passed away today at the age of 61.
Raiders announcement on the passing of Mickey Marvin:
The cause of death has not been released but in 2015 the tragic news had spread that Marvin had been diagnosed with ALS; Lou Gehrig’s disease. The news hit the college & pro football community hard.
Last year the Raiders honored Mickey with a lifetime achievement award through the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation. Even though he could not attend due to health reasons, he received a standing ovation.
Mickey was honored with his own golf tournament. He also was honored in 2016 by western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows when a proclamation in Mickey’s honor was read on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and entered into the Congressional Record.
After a great career at Tennessee, the 6’ 4”, 270 pound Marvin was drafted in the 4th round of the NFL draft by Oakland and he was a mainstay in a long line of great Raider offensive lines. He helped them to 2 Super Bowl wins against Philadelphia and Washington. He played from 1977 to 1987 and in 120 games he started 108 of them. On the field at the guard position, he was physical, consistent and someone that Al Davis loved to have on his team because he knew he could count on him. Davis was so taken in by Mickey, that he told him 5 years into his career that when he could no longer play there would be a job waiting for him. Al Davis cut Mickey Marvin before the 1988 season, and true to his word, 3 weeks later Mickey was now a Scout for the Raiders. A position he held for 29 years.
On the field……..
People forget just how good Mickey was. In the biggest games he played his best. Much was said before Super Bowl XV by the east coast media that the likes of Mickey Marvin, center Dave Dalby and an aging Gene Upshaw would be no match for Eagles nose tackle Charlie Johnson and linebackers Bill Bergey and Frank LeMaster. The Raiders ended up controlling both lines of scrimmage on the way to a 27-10 defeat of Philadelphia. The Raiders gave up only 1 sack the entire game, which ended up to be nose tackle Charlie Johnson’s only tackle. The Raiders chewed up 231 yards rushing against Washington who at that time was thought to be the greatest NFL team of all time leading the way to a 38-9 dominating Super Bowl win. Mickey and Dave Dalby again were the unsung hero’s and in my book, are two of the finest OL that never got their due.
Off the field……..
Mickey helped anyone and everyone spreading a positive and passionate message that made people love him. He received countless requests from organizations asking him to share his passion and faith. Mickey Marvin put many smiles on peoples faces that will never be forgotten. He never turned down a fan’s request and even though he was a huge giant, kids and adults alike loved his positive and humble personality.
Here is a pastor’s wife blogging about meeting Mickey
Mickey was a man of great faith. He was in constant appreciation for what had been given to him, and he loved showing that appreciation through his kind actions and gracious spirit.
“Henderson County has lost a great champion,” WHKP’s Richard Rhodes said. “Mickey Marvin was a friend to all. In a day where most pro athletes aren’t who you want your kids to look up to, Mickey was. He was a true role model and a true friend.”
Henderson County (North Carolina) Manager Steve Wyatt said “People are always talking about the best sports rivalries, like Carolina-Duke basketball. In pro football, it was the Raiders-Chiefs rivalry for years,” Wyatt said. “Me and Mickey talked about that rivalry a lot, and when he talked about it, I was hanging on his every word. His face would light up when he started talking about it. I’ve seen old photos of Mickey in the trenches, covered in mud and with blood on him, and he’s grinning. He was in his element. He was a true warrior.”
“Then you meet him off the field, and he’s the nicest guy you could ever meet. I always thought Mickey was a better man than he was a football player,” Wyatt said.
I really like social media. It allows me to communicate and meet people that I would never have been able to in the past. But what I don’t like about our social media culture is how quickly we forget the past, and how clueless so many are to it. Some parents don’t instill the importance of those that came before us or the respect that we need to have for them.
That’s why I couldn’t go without saying a little something about another unsung hero that needs to be remembered. I know many football families will appreciate and respect this good man.
Mickey Marvin’s legacy will be seen in the memories on the field, and the inspiration and smile’s that he created through the friendships of so many people off of it. He was a loyal family man with over 3 decades of marriage, and the love of his family was always in his heart. He now become’s another sweet spirit in the lore of Raider football and I’m sure I speak for Raider & Vol Fan’s from all over in saying thank you. The NFL and the world need more Mickey Marvin’s.
It was a fun season for Oakland Raider fans but now the off season lull begins. I am extremely optimistic about the Raiders next season but there is work to do. Let’s see if we can’t fill that void with early off season talk.
First off, if you are new to my writing my regulars would tell you I only write one way; honestly. I’m not a homer and I don’t say what people want to hear. I’m also not a hater. I have the following I do because I respect the game and the readers. I want to inform readers of all levels; whether you are new to the game and the Raiders or whether you know about schemes and techniques. This is supposed to be fun and informative.
The salary cap was created by the NFL to create parity. The NFL felt that if they leveled the playing field and prevented dynasty’s, there would be more fan interest because different teams would be in the playoffs. Both Super Bowl teams from last year didn’t even make the playoffs this year.
Remember when Seattle won the Super Bowl? QB Russell Wilson was making under 1 million. His average annual salary is now 21.9 million. With that salary cap hit, they are struggling with their OL & depth at many positions. Well the Raiders are now in that same boat.
Last month the Raiders and Derek Carr both said that they wanted to finalize a deal in the off season. Carr is set to make 1.7 million in 2017. They were looking at a 4-5 year deal for 20 million a year. If the Raiders wait another year, they may get into a bidding war with teams and most feel the price would go up to 23-25 million per year. Resigning players in their contract year is the smart thing to do.
In 2018 they now have to resign Kahlil Mack. He also is going to get a huge raise from his 4.6 million dollar average. The good thing is they can franchise him so they won’t lose him. Those are huge chunks taken out of the salary cap. Most that are looking ahead also think it’s near impossible for the Raiders to keep OL Gabe Jackson when his contract is up. He’s going to get a big raise from his 4 year average salary of 770k. Some think he’ll get around 7-8 million/year.
Derek Carr’s contract will dictate what the Raiders do in the off season. The days of having a ton of money under the salary cap are gone. Seattle has done it right by emphasizing good drafts and player development through good coaching. Raiders need to do the same.
The Raiders have to limit their busts. The Nate Allen’s and Sean Smith’s of the world can’t happen anymore. The Jihad Ward and DJ Hayden draft picks can’t happen anymore (both picks that I took heat for from fans for hating them). If your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd round draft choices aren’t starting within 2 years and at least playing fairly well, then they were not good picks. Before the salary cap you could bench picks and let them learn over time. Those days are gone. The standards need to be high if you want to keep winning. Let’s now look at each position.
Derek Carr will be back and healthy after healing up from his injury. Matt McGloin’s meltdown in Denver pretty much sealed his fate. He’s an unrestricted free agent (UFA) and he said he’d like a chance to start somewhere. Look for McGloin to sign elsewhere and Cook to be the backup. I said it at the draft last year, I think Cook is a back up at best in the NFL and I’m not a huge fan of his but he’s ok.
DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard at times really stole the show. Both are explosive and can catch the ball. I don’t think either is a franchise back but they are very valuable in a RB by committee way which has been the trend in the NFL.
Latavius Murray is a nice back but he doesn’t thrill me at all. Some have said he’ll ask for 6-7 million a year. If he wants a lot of money I let him go and pick up a free agent or a later round rookie power back. There are some steals that can be had in later rounds. I still like Jamize Olawale and I wish he’d get more carries. The Stanford RB “Christian McCaffrey to Oakland” in the second round rumors have already begun.
The Raiders are set with Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. They both dropped a lot of balls this season though, including one each in the playoff game so hopefully that improves. I said it last year; Seth Roberts is not a good #3 and he also had the dropsies. The Raiders have the rights to Roberts but you wonder if they move on. Lower down the Raider needs list, adding a good #3 WR would be a plus. Andre Holmes has his moments and is solid at #4, but where he shines is special teams where he has become a big contributor. He’s an UFA but I think he’ll come back.
The engine of the Raiders.
I still remember Donald Penn being raked over the coals on social media by many Raider fans when he asked for a lot of money in his last contract. Well he is worth it. He had his best year and didn’t allow a sack until Carr was hurt late in the season; and on that play he slipped.
The OL will stay intact but there will be some changes. Menelik Watson is an UFA and may not be resigned. He is hurt a lot and his play is sporatic. Mike Tice loved Jon Feliciano; I didn’t. I still didn’t get drafting him and he hasn’t been great either. Look for some new faces backing up the starters next year.
It’s hard to evaluate the TE’s because the Raiders throw so little to them (Part of the reason I didn’t like Bill Musgrave’s offense). During the year they were always top 8 in catches v.s. targets. When they were thrown too they usually caught the ball.
Clive Walford is a good blocker and pass catcher. Mychal Rivera is a good pass catcher but can’t block and may not be resigned. Lee Smith; a loss that no one brings up that was a big one; will be back after breaking his ankle in week 4. He is the best run blocking tight end in the NFL and can catch a ball or two when needed.
The great Woody Hayes once said when asked about the potential of his freshman QB Rod Gerald, “Potential? Potential means you ain’t no damn good yet!”. The Raiders can’t be enamored with potential anymore. They need results.
The Raiders were LAST; DEAD LAST in sacks. They also were last in yards per play (6.1). I said it last year and I’m saying it this year; clean house in the DL. Stacy McGee and Denico Autry have shown glimpses of good play, but injuries and inconsistencies have limited their success. McGee is UFA and Autry is restricted. Raiders need to move on unless the price is right.
I ripped on the Jihad Ward draft pick and still don’t get it. He started 13 games this year and played in all 16; did anyone notice? They drafted him too high but I would not have drafted him at all. You can’t miss on early picks in the salary cap era.
Dan Williams and Justin Ellis were bad this year and their days are numbered.
The best way to help your DB’s is to have a great pass rush. The Raiders have to sign or draft a DT that can put pressure on the QB. Mario Edwards so far isn’t the answer either. He’s hurt too much and has had some good play but it’s still not a given he’ll be good. Aldon Smith? In my personal life I avoid high maintenance people or drama so this whole thing gives me a headache.
The Raiders LB’s this year at times were awful. They could not cover tight ends and they struggled in the running game. Malcolm Smith gets lots of tackles but many are much more downfield than they would like. He usually is good in coverage but he struggled at times there too. He’s never been great against the run; that’s why in Seattle he was not a 3 down LB; and he’s not now to be honest. Do you resign him for big money? No. Lesser money? OK. He along with Perry Riley Jr. are UFA. Riley Jr. played great when he was first picked up but his play tapered off the longer he was on the field. He’s an ok player but as a starter, he may not be the answer.
The Raiders need to sign a physical LB that can shore up the position and they still haven’t found that.
Clean House. For years the Raiders have wasted a ton of money, draft picks and signings on DB’s to fix their defense and it hasn’t worked. I’d rather spend less money on them and more money on the DL. The Matt McGloin fan club has almost been as annoying as the DJ Hayden fan club. No he’s not a shut down corner. No he’s not a great slot cover guy. Let him go. It didn’t work and I said it when he was drafted; it was a bad pick and it’s time to move on.
When Raider fans last year had David Amerson as the king of the world while holding up Pro Football Focus stats, I said hold your horses and give it time. I was right. Amerson is good on outs and short to mid range passes but he struggles a lot against the long ball. He was burned often this year with the deep ball and it’s the reason he struggled at Washington. The poor play of the safeties didn’t help him either.
Nate Allen has been a bust. He and Reggie Nelson take so many bad angles it’s hard to watch. Allen is an UFA and I let him go. Bad signing. TJ Carrie is more of a backup and Keith McGill was very bad at times and his days may be numbered.
Karl Joseph struggled in pass coverage but did well against the run for the most part. Hopefully a healthy year and experience will fix that but the Raiders are hoping he’s not injury prone.
Sean Smith was a huge bust. Many of the people ripping on Smith now were applauding his signing back then (see, being a GM isn’t so easy). Smith is tentative and I’ve never seen a guy give so much cushion near the end zone. A couple of writers said he needs better technique; huh? So he’s great for 3 years but he forgot everything the next? Come on. The truth is Smith played on a team known for their pass rush and great safety play at Kansas City. He seems to need it and he gets neither in Oakland. The Raiders are stuck with him for one more year at least; possibly two.
Jack Del Rio has done a good job but these dumb penalties still need to be fixed. Also, the Raiders lifeless performance against Denver can’t happen. Even if you lose your QB you still die hard. Del Rio has said the standards need to be higher now and that’s a good sign.
I don’t know what else Ken Norton Jr. was supposed to do. He did a great job at Seattle but Seattle had players. The Raiders LB’s are not good and their DB’s are worse. Then add the poor DT play. Their Safeties and LB’s flat out can’t guard TE’s. They have the worst pass rush in the NFL. Love to see what genius can make that work. The Raiders agree with me and are bringing back Ken Norton Jr. for 2017.
Some Raider fans are clamoring for Wade Phillips to take over as DC. Only thing is, Denver was 28th in the NFL against the run this year and it was one of the main reasons they struggled. What was different? Stud run stopper Malik Jackson signed with Jacksonville and LB Danny Trevathan signed with Chicago. The year before? Denver was #3 in the NFL against the run. Did Phillips forget how to stop the run? No. He didn’t have the same players. Coaches help but some fans need to stop giving all the credit to the players when they win and then blame the coaches when their favorites don’t play well.
I wrote this article below when Bill Musgrave was signed and I flat out didn’t get it. The Raiders letting him go is a good thing. (Conservative; poor adjustments in game). The Raiders have the 2nd best OL in the NFL and great talent on offense. They were #6 in the NFL in offense because of their great talent; not because of Bill Musgrave.
The only thing is they sure like to hire their friends. Todd Downing goes from QB coach to OC. Downing is a good friend of Mike Tice who hired Downing in the early 2000’s when he was coaching the Vikings. He has very limited success up until now. Time will tell. Rookie OC’s don’t tear up the NFL either for the most part.
With Mack and Carr making so little money compared to others, the Raiders have had it easy. Now the hard work comes in. The Raiders can still keep their success but they have to stop taking reaches on some draft choices and their signings have to be right on. They also can’t keep dead wood around if they aren’t getting the job done or staying healthy.
Like everyone else, the Raiders have holes to fill; mainly on defense. For me, DT, LB and DB should be addressed in that order. Personally, the Allen’s, Murray’s and Malcolm Smith’s of the Raider world may have to go. Even if they are doing a fairly good to good job, it’s all about the salary cap and staying under it. Look for the chips to fall after they sign Derek Carr. This will be the most important off season for the Raiders in 15 years, and one of the most interesting. It will be stressful but exciting to see what they do.
Final Oakland Raider Grades @ San Diego Chargers; Week 15:
San Diego Chargers 16 (5-9)
Oakland Raiders 19 (11-3)
A black hole in San Diego? For one Sunday, yes there was.
For the first time in social media history, people could post that the Oakland Raiders were in the playoffs and be right. In what some in the San Diego media called, “The darkest hour in Chargers football history”, Oakland fans took over Qualcomm Stadium pretty much sealing the fate of the Chargers future playing in San Diego. Even with a handful of delusional young Charger fans; and a even a few young Raider fans who just like to argue; trying to convince me there wasn’t that many Raiders fans in attendance, it was obvious this was a black out. It is now impossible to think San Diego will have a football team in the near future which is sad unto itself. I think with all of the politics, losing and moving talk, San Diego is done with the Chargers. Below is a video that shows how the Raider turnout demoralized the Charger players and even the media!
Philip Rivers and the Chargers have had a history of 4th quarter and second half fails and this was another one. Rivers is a good quarterback but when they say he’s great I shake my head. No he is not great.
Rivers also was disgusted and discouraged after the game. “This was like a road game. We had to use a silent count”. The Chargers went 21 minutes to end the game without scoring.
Carr came alive in the 2nd half again with 2 great throws zipping them across the field in tight coverage. He also had a nice pass to Crabtree for his only TD. Carr struggled at times though with the occasional pass rush again. He never really seemed to feel comfortable all game. He stared down his receiver in a terrible red zone interception and again had an off day.
Carr should have an easier time of it next week with a weak Colts defense, but to be honest the Chargers DB’s aren’t that good either. Carr was 19 for 30 for 213 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception. The Chargers sacked him twice and did a fairly good job at making him uncomfortable in the pocket. Saying that I think Derek will come back strong against the Colts.
The Raiders OL dominated at times and the run game was churning again. Murray, Richard and Washington combined for 145 yards on the ground with Murray leading the way with 81 yards. For the second straight week though, the RB’s were not a big part of the passing game. Murray’s fumble deep in Chargers territory can’t happen. Part of the lack of pass production was picking up blitzes from the Chargers but some wasn’t.
Another solid game from this unit. I would like to see them more in the passing game though.
The Raiders did well in the run game and did good in the passing game. The Chargers did get 2 sacks though and even though they didn’t get to Carr often, they made him feel somewhat uncomfortable at times.
A solid game from these guys but not the dominating performance in pass protection that has been the trademark of the Raiders OL. Carr goes as well as these guys go so their level of play needs to get better next week. They have spoiled Carr and Raider fans and have had a great year. Look for a good game against Indy.
The WR’s had a quiet day with only Michael Crabtree standing out. He made an amazing catch to keep his feet in bounds for a touchdown and was solid most of the day. Not much from anyone else though. Amari Cooper caught one electrifying long pass and run but that was it.
Carr was struggling but it was still a disappointing day against a bad and beat up defensive backfield.
Overall a good game. The Raiders struggled a little early with San Diego using a quicker passing game, but in the 4th when the Chargers seemed to abandon it, the Raiders put good pressure on Rivers and stopped the run. The final drive with Rivers looking deep downfield, the Raiders pass rush gobbled him up.
A solid game from this unit. Denico Autry had a sack and 2 tackles for loss and had an overall good game. Mack was quiet until the last quarter and Bruce Irvin had one of his better games as a Raiders.
What has been a weakness for the Raiders all year, the LB’s came out and played well against the Chargers. Perry Riley Jr. had a key strip late and caused a fumble and they were fairly good in coverage.
One of this unit’s better games.
Sean Smith was beaten by 5 yards deep for the long touchdown to Travis Benjamin. He also played too deep at the goal line allowing another TD on a slant to Hunter Henry. Dontrelle Inman also caught 5 passes for 68 yards. The Raiders DB’s have struggled against the long ball all year. Fast WR that can go long have been their weakness. Overall they did not play a bad game, especially in the second half. David Amerson had two jarring tackles on crossing patterns.
Another long pass for a touchdown but overall not a bad game from this unit; not a great one either.
First the Chargers. I think head coach Mike McCoy must think they get 6 time outs a half; he uses them up like candy. Also he abandoned the quick passing game and they fell into the hands of the Raiders pass rush, especially on the last drive. Just not getting what is going on in San Diego with their play calling especially in the 2nd half of games.
The Raiders I felt should have run the ball a lot more. The Chargers could not stop the run and their soft DB’s literally seemed to be avoiding blocks in the first half. Del Rio won a challenge on a spot play which helped get a first down.
Give the Chargers credit; they did have a nice goal line stand and stopped Murray on a 3rd and short but the Raiders got 145 yards on the ground and should have run more.
Janikowski was perfect and King was ok, struggling at times to punt inside the 20. The coverage team was good and the return game didn’t do much.
A solid day from this unit.
Raiders should celebrate for a day and then get back to work which I think they will. This defense doesn’t scare anyone though and still rank 27th in passing, 29th in yards per catch, 27th in sacks, and 25th in run defense. And they aren’t playing offenses like Pittsburgh, New England and Dallas. Still lots of work to do. A good gutsy win in front of a lot of Raider fans was a site to behold.
Next Week the Indianapolis Colts:
With the Patriots final 2 games being against the Jets and a Dolphins team that will probably be without their starting QB, they look to be the first seed team in the AFC. If that happens it’s important for the Raiders to keep winning and that won’t be easy.
Next week the Raiders host the Colts. Andrew Luck has been on fire and they’ve actually begun protecting him some. Their OL has struggled all year at times being a sieve, and their defense has struggled more.
Indy’s defense has been bad. They are 28th against the pass and 21st against the run. They have an average pass rush (17th in the league).
On offense their OL is ranked 29th in sacks and Andrew Luck has been running for his life most of the year. Look for Mack and Irvin to have a big day. Indy does a lot of 5 and 7 step drop passes and that should give the Raiders enough time to get to Luck. Luck is a gun slinger and will take chances so 1-2 picks is my best bet. Don’t underestimate him though. Even with a bad offensive line he can carve up any defense in the NFL. The Colts on paper don’t look to be a great team but they are dangerous and are still in the playoff hunt in a fairly weak division.
The Raiders match up well against Indy and I see a high scoring affair with Indy not being able to stop the Raiders and the Raiders occasionally shutting down Indy’s offense. It should be a good day for Oakland in the friendly confines of the Coliseum. Raiders are in for a dog fight and can’t take anyone lightly. Then on to the cold in Denver.
The Raiders ended a drought that was the worst stretch of win/loss football in the history of the NFL. Those that stood by the Oakland Raiders deserve to savor this. The lows were very, very low. The terrible drafts that some fans tried to defend; the crazy coaching hires that some fans said would bring them back; and the bad free agent signings are all a thing of the past. Those that have endured the pain for years can finally smile. Those that used to pretend, can now be real and look at the truth again. Oakland is in the playoffs.
It’s imperative that the Raiders win out the rest of the way. Winning on the road twice in the playoffs in possible cold weather would be quite a chore.
And the Raider luck or magic; depending on what you believe; continued in 6F weather in Kansas City. In a game that the Chiefs seemed to be looking ahead to Denver, they were stunned by the Tennessee Titans. Alex Smith disappeared in the second half just like in the Raiders game, and this helped Tennessee get back into it.
Titans kicker Ryan Succup; a former Chief; missed a last second 53 yard kick so the Chiefs win, right? Wrong; Head Coach Andy Reid called a time out right before the kick allowing Succup to readjust and kick the winning field goal as time ran out. A 53 yarder in 6F weather. Wow! This allows the Raiders to have first place in the AFC West all to themselves.
Some fans always complain about front running fans when a team starts winning and yes, people come out of the woodwork to get on the band wagon; especially younger fans. Just look at the Warriors. So bandwagon fans if you jump on board make sure to get drinks and food for the regulars first. It’s about seniority.
It was a nice come from behind win in San Diego that shores up a spot in the post season. Raider fans invaded a stadium like no other fan base I’ve ever seen. And for the first time in social media history, Oakland fans aren’t being laughed at for crazy predictions or hope of the post season. They don’t have to talk of the past; it’s the present.
You may see some Raider fans pinching themselves today, but don’t judge them. They just wan’t to make sure it’s not a dream. They’ve been through a lot to get here.