***SPOILER: RAIDERS GO 16-0.***
I'm bored, you are bored. So grab a soda or beer or lemonade. THIS IS ALL FOR FUN but for some reason I Want To Believe as Fox Mulder used to say. See Russell handing off to Fargas in the pic? Yeah, that's how it's going to go down!
Preseason: Who cares?
9/14 vs. SD - Statement game.
Marshall's boys don't quite gel on pass rush. Rivers throws for 333 yards and loses. Sproles limited to 23 yards as KR and RB. LT touches ball 9 times for 58 yards as Norv puts his faith in passing. JLH: 100 yards, 1 TD. Fargas leads rushers with 97 yards and a TD. Raiders 14-13. Russell 12-21, 200 yards: the Raider Nation weeps in joy, reloads.
9/20-at KC. 37-14, Raiders
Cassell cannot stay protected as KC offensive line feels their way thru. Cassell throws to Bowe 9 times for 100 yards, no TDs. Oakland defense forces two turnovers, one taken back for a touchdown by Chris Johnson. Bush gains 121 yards and Fargas 68 as Cable finds the ground attack effective. McFadden has 45 receiving yards. Russell throws for 15 of 25 for 190. JLH 2 tds.
9/27-vs. Denver. 17-16, Raiders
Denver's D rises above their offensive train wreck limiting Oak's running to 140 cumulative and aggravating Russell into a 10/19 day for 125. JLH takes one in on special teams and Chris Johnson runs in an errant Orton pass for two weeks in a row for a score.
Seabass kicked one @45 yds. Eddie Royal takes it down our throats on a swing pass for a 45 yard gain an a TD in the first quarter. Marshall adjusts.
10/4 at Texans
No reason Texans should have lost. Schaub was a rare 23/31 with two Andre touchdowns in the first half. Mario Wiliiams makes Khalif Barnes his playtoy with two sacks of Russell. Despite absence of momentum, JR gets throws for 21 points in the second half. No rushing touchdowns. Raiders 21-14.
10/11 at Giants
Eli has time to throw all game. No penetration. Good news is he can't complete. Marshall is handling the Giant's OL man-to-man with limited success. But the backfield is kicking. Aso and Chris Johnson break up 1 and 2 passes respectively, no picks.
McFadden sneaks in the end zone twice on two reverses. Justin Miller hauls one back to to the Giants 13 where Russell gets it over with on a pass to Miller. Giants and Raiders running games unstable. Raiders 21-17.
10/18 vs. Eagles
McNabb to Westbrook for a combined passing/handoffs of 193 yards. They are both smoking. Hank Baskett takes one in, too. McNabb to Kevin Curtis on a 50 yard strike makes it 28-3 at the half. But after the half, the stadium is no longer quiet. Something happens.
Russell leads three consecutive drives spanning two quarters like a dink and dunk Gannon to pull it to 28-21. Cable is conservative and it pays off. Marshall's defense gives it right back to Johnson's defense with blitz after blitz.
In the fourth quarter Ellis forces a McNabb fumble and Ricky Brown drops on it at the Eagles 31. Three plays later, Russell to Miller for the tie. Seabass nails a 47 yarder for a Raiders win 31-28 in overtime.
10/25 vs. Jets
Sanchez is mediocre with constant harrassment. Ryan's team gives us a game, 14-14, til the half. Then Cable orders the afterburners. The first game where Russell has two quarters of clock management: 5 of 5 completions for 100 yards.
Cable calls consecutive running plays like a man possessed. Lorenzo Neal and Justin Fargas each score with 58 and 68 yards respectively, beating by surprise the domination of Bush by the Jets D. McFadden sits on the bench the second half, smiling. Raiders 28-21.
11/1 at SD
Sproles fills in for an injured LT but our D smothers him for 90 yards on 13 carries. Rivers hits Gates and Chambers for a TD each. Russell hits Miller and Schillens on monster bombs for TD's in a span of five minutes in the 2nd half. JLH runs one in. DHB, who is having a tough season, is limited to 40 hard yards on 7 throws. Our defense plays hard enough to win this one, 21-14.
11/15 vs. KC
Cassell and Bowe are finally clicking and Bowe torches Aso for 3 catches resulting in a TD. Larry Johnson runs 120 yards on our D, giddy and tired from the bye week. Russell misses sure touchdowns twice in the end zone: to Miller (overthrown) and Javon Walker (underthrown).
But Schillens leads us all with 78 yards. At the half it is 23-14 Chiefs. Cable/Marshall call on the run. Fargas owns the 3rd quarter with 12 touches for 84 yards and a score. McFadden carries over into the 4th on a hot streak: 7 touches, 58 yards, one score. Bush strangely rotates in for Neal as blocking FB and gets 2 crucial downs. Raiders, 28-26.
11/22 vs. Bengals
Carson Palmer in over his head. Despite leading all AFC quarterbacks in passing and touchdowns, the Raiders limit him to 115 yards, and Chad Johnson to 58 yards. Their ground game nets 46 and a TD, as well as a special teams runback TD.
Romeo Crennel is fired mid-season the next day. Jamarcus completes 17/28 for 228 and 2 TD's. Fargas and Bush combine for 171 on the ground and 2 tds. McFadden and Schillens get thrown to for a td each. Raiders 42-17.
11/26 at Cowgirls
Tony Romo is the NFC passing leader at this point, but far from the TD leader, which is Donovan McNabb. He has thrown to Witten an amazing 250 times for two touchdowns and 498 yards. On Thanksgiving the Raiders get on the field with Al Davis' likeliness stitched on to their socks.
Greg Ellis hits Romo twice, causing him to bleed and cry and Jason Garett the offensive coordinator suit up to try to win. Russell leaves this all to McFadden and Fargas, leaving Bush to move piles and sub for Neal.
This results in an astounding 5 touchdowns. Russell is 13/20 for 150 yards, and efficient. A confident Raiders win 45-31.
12/6 at Steelers
This is a filthy game on a typically-rain-and-frost-wrecked Heinz field. By the half Jeff Reed and Seabass have both missed two and scored two. 6-6. Ward has gotten open for 45 when he catches.
The Raiders D is not hurting Big Ben; Big Ben is having one of his rare but not uncommon "off games." Russell is an amazing 22/29, no TD's, but his recievers are being shut down at the catch. McFadden and Bush are ineffective as is Fast Willie Parker. Truly an agonizing game. 9-9 in the 3rd, and Marshall's Defense is more than motivated.
Three minutes before regulation, JLH is tackled running for field postion and laterals to Justin Miller who rumbles to the Pittsburgh 3. Cable calls for his first QB draw of the season and Carlisle and Barnes muscle him in.
Raiders, 15-9. Russell went in with one second left and the point after crew could not assemble in time after the whistle in a truly bizzare finish.
12/13 vs. Redskins
With Jason Campbell, Santana Moss, and Portis FINALLY clicking, the Redskins have won 9 games. But a roster of Redskin FA's can't do it in the Black Hole. Raiders, 31-24.
12/20 at Broncos
Because of Raiders injuries Orton has a career game of 19/29 for 274 yards and 2 TDs. Eddie Royal is a Raider target and a non-factor. Russell completes 14/21 for 221 yards. Schillens, Bush, and McFadden score one each.
DHB scores his first touchdown. Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall are active in the first half, shut down in the second. Raiders sweep the Broncos, 31-21. Bowlen composes a reconsideration letter to job-hunting Shanahan.
12/27 at Browns
Derek Anderson struggles this year, so Brady Quinn has started the last 4 games. Aso picks Quinn and runs in the TD to start the game.
With the Raiders winning 14 games in a row, it is hard for them to keep interest. Seabass is the lone scorer as we hold the Browns to 9 points to our 12.
1/3 vs. Ravens
Flacco and Lewis run the O and the D like last year with the same results. They are 10-5 in a tough division and this game determines their playoff status since the Titans clinched with 11 wins. Flacco is built for 13/26...it's normal for the Ravens. He scores two td's to Heap while the defense contains the others.
At 14-0 Ravens in the fourth quarter, Ray Lewis & Co. have brought their A-game to the Raiders. With 5:46 left in the fourth Jamarcus (13/18, 99 yards) heaves a 55-yarder to Heyward-Bey on blown coverage who runs it in to cut it 14-7 with the Black Hole on fire.
Seabass is waived off the field for the PA as Cable goes for the 2 point conversion, With the Ravens sticking to our open recievers, JR shoves it at Fargas who runs up the middle for the score.
In highlights Cable says Miller was intended but Russell says the handoff was his last option since coverage on Schillens and Bey had thinned the route. Raiders 16-14 over Baltimore when Flacco throws a pick to Chris Johnson on their last drive with 1:15 to go.
Say what you will...I expect this every year.