Let this be a lesson to all aspiring QBs- want to get some grass roots-level traction with a team's long-suffering fans? Go at least half the length of the field for a TD the first time you touch the ball to lead an upset of two rivals in consecutive home games.
Credit the coaching staff for this one too. The Raiders tendency had been to hand the ball off to McFadden out of the formation they were lined up in on the opening play. Pittsburgh was aware of this. And apparently, Greg Olson was aware that they were aware. UH OH!
Ultimately losing to the Chiefs two weeks ago did nothing to dissuade what I saw in the first half of that game- the Raiders are back. This past Sunday's game was the next step in that progression; for the first time since 2011, I would have been really fucking pissed if we lost this game. Even after the Flynn/Washington Football Team debacle a month ago, we able to joke about "winning" the potential draft tie-breaker with Washington. This was the first game since the rebuilding process began where all the draft-jockeying went completely out the window. As soon as we got up on them 21-3, there would be no such thing as another "good loss." No, we are actually a real, if somewhat undermanned, NFL football team again. And when you're a real football team, giving away an 18 point lead to a mediocre team at home is just a straight choke.
Once again the Raiders offense stalled out in the second half. It's still all on the offensive line to me. The early big plays we're getting make it easy to forget how precious every point is. I would have thought we would look more comfortable playing with a lead, but we just don't have the talent on offense to withstand and beat constant pressure once teams turn it on when they get behind. Brice Butler and Jacoby Ford were kind enough to remind us that we're not much better at the skill positions than we are on the line.
Our resident genius, 39 year old defensive coordinator Jason "Baby Gruden" Tarver also made news Sunday for profanely airing out the officials. Word is he was actually snitched on to the league by Mike Pereira, who is a sad excuse for a human being. Mike was an NFL side judge for two whole seasons before becoming a big shot in the league office. He now works for Fox, analyzing officiating (coincidentally, he also happens to be a regular guest on The Gary Radnich Show on KNBR in SF, an unabashed haven of Raider hate). What is the only thing more pathetic than a douchebag NFL ref? A douchebag who makes a habit of exaggerating his credentials as an NFL ref. Mike Pereira really fucking sucks. So it's pretty cool that Baby Gruden was able to drag his punk ass into the mud. Oh, and the penalty that got Tarver so fired up? It really was such a terrible call that they actually picked up the flag.
So... the Raiders are 3-4. A terrible Philadelphia squad is on tap this weekend, with Nick "I Royally Fucked Taint Nuttin In Fantasy Football Two Weeks Ago" Foles expected to start at QB. In fact the immediate upcoming schedule is fairly accommodating. I don't want to get ahead of ourselves here, but hmmmm. Seriously... HMMMM.