Keep the Faith Silver and Black

Brandon BaytopsContributor IJanuary 24, 2009

As we watch playoff games come and go, and prepare to watch another Super Bowl we just have to be patient.  A Pittsburgh team that seems to be put together as good as you can a team year in and year out, and wow, the Cards?  It brings me to this about our own fortunes Raidernation.  Keep the faith.

The last time we ended a season with a big time win (Jano's kick in KC a few years ago), the momentum carried us into the next year.  And it's with that in mind that we should stay strong.  We defeated a Houston team that fought valiantly to a respectable record this season.  Next we followed up and tough guy's victory over Tampa Bay, ending their playoff dreams.

We as Raider faithful never feel far from the mountain top.  That attitude comes from our leader Mr. Al Davis.  I know during this long period of losing many people who like our colors have dropped off the bandwagon.  But I also know that the Raidernation is as strong as ever.  Because Al has still put together a fairly talented team through the draft mostly. 

The great thing is that we are young.  We all knew that Timmy B, Rich Gannon teams were going need help getting going after they left.  Those teams were very, very old.  So we had to go back to the drawing board after a series of free agent moves didn't work out, all but Derrick Burgess drew blanks. 

I believe with this season ending the way it did, our guys see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I believe that Al sees the pieces that need to be filled in and the ones that deserve to another chance.  He's always had an eye for talent, sometimes it just doesn't fit, like Iverson in Detroit

We have Howard and Morrison who are very good linebackers, not great, but solid.  Burgess when healthy is one of the league's best at rushing the passer.  Nnamdi and Lechler will be back, Al loves his DB's and Lechler has been one of the best weapons we've had for a long time now. 

Wilson did a solid job at safety this year, just needs a better roamer and play maker next to him.  Johnson was the perfect fit this year beside Nnamdi when he came in there after D. Hall proved not to be the man to man type.  If we can improve against the run a little more we can get going. 

Offensively our young leader has found a favorite target which is tight end Zach Miller.  And despite horrible output by our receivers this year, we don't have Russell getting his eyes focused on any one target because none of them have proved to be a solid number one yet.  Johnnie Lee Higgins is getting more comfortable and confident in his abilities and I believe we have yet to see the best from him.

Our backfield though crowded, is the most talented position on our team.  Bush still could be one of the best draft picks Al has ever made by getting him so late after he suffered a devastating leg injury his senior year at Louisville that hurt his draft stock.  McFadden is still a work in progress after a up and down rookie year.  But he did show flashes when he would line up at WR coming out of the backfield and creating match up problems for defenses. 

We are coming together.  I saw a team this season that didn't understand how to win and finish early in the year, which lead to some heart breaking losses early in the year.  But somehow, as it happens in life or sports, the bulb went off.  We got ourselves together and rebounded to finish strong with the same weak team that the press has loved to hate for so many years now.  

So keep the faith Nation.  We are almost home and will rise again.