The Oakland Raiders dropped to 3-10 on Thursday night, and it wasn’t pretty. The once-great franchise has been reduced to a uniform and a history book. This team is nothing like the teams of the past, and these players are nothing like the players of the past. Those teams won, and those players are in the Hall of Fame—or at least in the conversation.
The once-great Raiders have lost their way, according to Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle, and no can be sure the new regime is the right one to turn things around.
General manager Reggie McKenzie had a nice resume and Dennis Allen was a young, rising star, but that’s not enough in NFL. A lot of time has passed since the Raiders were a winning franchise, and it could take a lot of time to restore those winning ways.
The front office, the coaches and the players all have to be on the same page. Some might call it chemistry, but it’s really just a culture that doesn’t accept failure. It’s an entire building that doesn’t accept repeating the same mistakes. Penalties and mental errors should be so rare that the head coach rarely has to crack the whip.
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The Raiders showed few signs of progress in Thursday’s loss, according to Mark Purdy of the Contra Costa Times.
Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times says the Raiders and Broncos are headed in opposite directions.
The Broncos made a commitment to the running game on Thursday night, writes Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post.
Jay Paris of U-T San Diego says A.J. Smith’s strange approach will not be missed.
The end of the A.J. Smith era is brighter than the beginning, according to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego.
Joe Thomas ripped former teammate Peyton Hillis on Thursday for putting himself above the team in Cleveland, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).
Hillis responded by comparing Thomas to a crazy ex-girlfriend (via Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star).
This is probably nothing more than bulletin-board material for two franchises that are looking for motivation over the final four games of the season.