Oakland Raiders vs. Jekyll and Hyde

Bret ArmstrongAnalyst IOctober 28, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 25: Fans of the Oakland Raiders look on against the New York Jets during an NFL game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 25, 2009 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Shift of Focus: Jets out, San Diego in.

It is time to re-circle the wagons, re-evaluate previous efforts, and re-establish demeanor.

What say you, naysayers, will it be another shut-out, or will Oakland bounce back and finally break the streak of losses to the Chargers at 12?

Oakland thinks it can bounce back, yet again. They say they had a good week of practice last week, but it did not translate to the game.

The question then becomes, can they keep up the tempo from the Philadelphia win in Week Six, or do they have a week of mourning from the Jets loss in Week Seven?

Richard Seymour thinks perhaps that full contact practices are in order, so the defense can work on their tackling. Tom Cable said the defense missed 15 tackles in the 316 rushing yard effort by the New York Jets.

What does Cable think of full contact practices? “If it gets to that point, absolutely,” Cable said when asked about live-tackling.

Cable, however, thinks the problem lies in what the players are doing outside of practices, like staying out too late, or having a bad diet. “Eating, sleeping right, and taking care of our bodies, doing all those things,” Cable said.

Coach Cable thinks doing those things will help his team maintain their energy on Sundays. He thinks there is a case of schizophrenia in Oakland. One team is a team who plays hard, hits hard, and is enthusiastic, and then their “Jekyll” team; one who is sloppy, fundamentally weak, and lacks the focus necessary to compete in today’s NFL.

Yes, this week Cable is playing the role of a shrink, one who is in need of some “electricity.”

Chargers coach Norv Turner knows what the Oakland “Hyde” team is capable of, “I watched the Philadelphia game very closely in all three phases. The Raiders in that game were as physical a football game as you’re going to play in this league.”

It really doesn’t matter what the Raiders did in Week Six, because this is Week Eight; that was two weeks ago. This week’s focus should be on the Chargers, a team they had in the bag in Week One, when they ended up giving up two late touchdown drives to lose by four points.

Aside from the Eagles game, it has been all uphill from that first San Diego game. Even during the win in Kansas City, Raider Nation was sweating bullets until the end when Oakland delivered a great touchdown drive, and a big four-play stop on defense.

Now, Oakland has to put up or shut-up—their quarterback is on the hot seat after being benched, their defense is leaky in the run game, and their coach’s play calling has come under heavy scrutiny.

Their wide receivers are dropping passes, they have key players injured, and their owner is about to turn to dust.

They have five losses on the year, just three more and they can forget about winning the AFC West this year. Five more losses, and they will accomplish the unthinkable, seven straight 10-loss seasons.

Last year, Oakland set an NFL record with six consecutive 10-loss seasons. This year, they have an opportunity to solidify their mark, and make sure it stands forever in the annals of NFL history.  

Oakland appears to have the talent to pull this season out of the toilet, but they must find a remedy for their syndrome. It starts now, with the opportunity to avenge a game that they probably should have won by most people’s accounts.

All offseason, Raider Nation spoke of how this team would come out swinging, and about how they would command respect. On Monday Night Football, in front of their last sell-out crowd in Oakland, the team made their fans proud in a losing effort.

This week the scene is different, the teams are injury ridden and their coaches are both searching for answers to right their ships.

If Oakland plays “Hyde” ball, then they will have a great shot to right 12 straight wrongs.

Cue Shawn Diebold: “PREPARE FOR WAR!”

What's right in Oaktown, U.S.A.?: