10) In every terrible loss there is the initial rush of "Oh No," when it becomes apparent that life is not going to go well. Today, of course, it was the monstrous touchdown to Zach Miller, but the fact is that the Raiders were winning the battles on the line all along, and when you add in dumb penalties, over a half dozen dropped passes, injuries to insanely important line players (Jason Peters, Broderick Bunkley, Victor Abimiri), and a general lack of focus—timeouts when you don't have any, terrible missed tackles on move-free players like Miller and Gary Russell, going 2-for-16 on third down...
Well, my laundry wouldn't have beaten a good college team today. This game could have been eight quarters long, and they wouldn't have scored a touchdown. They deserved to lose, and they did. And yet, the Raiders are so bad that if the Eagles had simply hit all of their not very long field goal attempts, they would have been ahead in the fourth. Just unreal.
9) Close readers of this blog remember the mocking of Jeremiah Trotter for his comeback. Today, against a team with a tight end and a QB that doesn't throw to anyone but the tight end, you saw why. If you don't have a star TE and need points, just pick up whoever is playing the Eagles. And on the game-ending 3rd and 10, he couldn't catch up to Russell on a screen pass. Just numbing.
8) I'm all for being against cancer, but if there's a worse color scheme than Silver, Black and Pink, I haven't seen it. On the other hand, it works well with the Raiders' general Leathers and Feathers vibe.
7) I'd really like to see David Akers overcome a bad snap and hold. Just once, really. Or not miss multiple field goals in close games. That'd also be nice. Oh, and it would also be nice that when your kicker gets killed after a field goal, it's called as roughing the kicker, since that is, you know, WHAT THE FREAKING PENALTY IS.
6) When JaMarcus Russell spins and it works, you know that it's going to be a long day for the defense. And when he completes passes while going down, you know you're watching something that has never happened before. (Unfortunately, JaRuss then threw a bad touch pick to end the drive, and convinced me that this wasn't all a bad dream.)
5) Hey, we found something that the Raiders WRs can do, or at least, something that Louis Murphy can do—act to draw penalties. Nice to see he has some definable NFL skill. Oh, and note that the Raiders won a game today, and threw for 224 yards, without a yard of it going to a wideout. Hard to do, really.
4) I've never seen a team ice the kicker on a 29-yard attempt in the second quarter, but that's the miracle of your team playing a sloppy game against a crappy opponent. It didn't work.
3) Honestly, you'd think...hope...PRAY that your coach would learn from his crushing mistakes. When Winston Justice came in as a rookie against the Giants and prevented the team from having a chance to win from letting Usi Umenyiora run wild, the coaching staff was rightly chastised for not giving him any help. Today, after Peters went down, the Birds decided that King Dunlop should take Richard Seymour solo. Yeah, it didn't work.
2) How you know your team is playing like crap: Calling timeouts you don't have, to get in personnel (Michael Vick) that don't need to be in, then not blocking the guy (Seymour) that's killing you, to prevent any chance of a tying touchdown. I'm amazed that Akers hit the field goal to end the whole ugly mess.
1) Under the file of Every Game Has to Have Something to Encourage You...Brian Westbrook looked like himself again today, after a week of weak sauce against the Bucs last Sunday. He also passed Steve van Buren on the all-time team rushing list today, who was, shockingly, before my time. Congrats, Dub.
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