Oakland Raiders vs St Louis Rams: Why This Is a Must Win Game For Oakland

Carl CockerhamSenior Analyst ISeptember 17, 2010

Oakland Raiders vs St Louis Rams: Why This Is a Must Win Game For Oakland

0 of 10

    OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 24:  Running back Brian Leonard #23 of the St. Louis Rams fights for yards as defensive back Michael Huff #24 of the Oakland Raiders tackles him during a preseason game on August 24, 2007 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (P
    Greg Trott/Getty Images

    The St. Louis Rams had the worst record in the league last year and got the first pick in the draft. The Oakland Raiders have the worst record in the league over the last seven years.

    The season is less than two weeks old and both teams are looking for their first win of the season. The Rams lost a close game to the post Kurt Warner Arizona Cardinals.

    The Raiders were blown out by an up and coming Tennessee Titan team.

    Is this an early season toilet bowl?

    It may very well depend on who wins.

    The Rams are clearly in rebuild mode with a rookie quarterback among other things. The Raiders have had a great off-season and this was supposed to be the year that the spell is broken.

    No one is killing the Raiders yet because their loss was the opener and the Titans were supposed to win at home. (But not that bad) That will change quickly if the Raiders lose at home Sunday to the Rams.

    This is a must win game for the Raiders!

    Turn the page to see why.

To Keep Their Fans

1 of 10

    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 27: Fans of the Oakland Raiders look on against the Denver Broncos on September 27, 2009 during an NFL game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    There was a buzz all off-season and Raider fans were as excited as they been in years. The Raiders then went out and got blown out by the Titans.

    That hurt!

    The last I heard, the game was going to be blacked out in local areas. If the Raiders want to bring fans out to the stadium again, they must put a good show on because  Raider fans have had it.

    Times are tough these days so people in the Bay Area will not spend their last on a loser.


2 of 10

    This Raider team is very young.

    It's too late to win the first game but the youngsters can lose interest if they start 0-5. This is a game that the Raiders can win and it's impossible to start 0-5 if they win the second one.

    Winning this one could give them enough confidence to win another three in a row. Young teams have a tendency to play above their heads when they have something to feed off of.

    The Raiders will at least know they aren't the worst team in the league.


3 of 10

    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 3:  Nnamdi Asomugha #21 of the Oakland Raiders sits on the bench against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Perception is reality so if the Raiders lose this game, they will be called a horrible team again. There is no such thing as having a bad game against the team that just had the first pick.

    That pick is a rookie quarterback starting in his first year at that!

    All the hope of this offseason will be lost!

    The young draft picks and free agents will wonder what they've gotten into. The great players the Raiders do have like Nnamdi Asomugha and Richard Seymour will want to leave.

    Free agents will avoid Raider Nation like the bubonic plague hit it at season's end.

    That's important because the Raiders don't have a first round draft pick in 2011.

The Standings

4 of 10

    The Chiefs just beat the Chargers so that proves the division is wide open. The Raiders need to stay close early so the pressure is on the division rivals when they play them.

    Games like this one cannot be lost because every game counts. It's also the kind of game that send your team into a tailspin if you lose.

    It will keep the Raiders within at least a game of the division leader if they win. It's early but the early wins put you in the hunt late in the season.

    Being down by six games by mid-season is no good.

Represent The AFC West

5 of 10

    The AFC west was one traditionally  one of the strongest divisions in football before the turn of the century. The mighty have fallen since and the AFC West plays against the NFC West this year.

    Both divisions are among the weakest so the winner of this series won't be the weakest division in the NFL. Therefore the Raiders must at least beat the weakest team in the NFC West.

    No AFC West team should lose to the Rams!

Tom Cable's Job

6 of 10

    ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 12: Tom Cable, head coach of the Oakland Raiders, walks off the field after his team beat the Dallas Cowboys 17-9 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium on August 12, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    I know you don't think Cable will be retained as the Head Coach if the Raiders lose to some fleas like that! He would have to come back and win the Super Bowl after a loss like that.

    In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Cable fired immediately.

    I don't think Cable works in Raider Nation anymore if the Raiders don't get off of the flea list this year.

    Losing to the Rams will keep them on it.

Jason Campbell's Psyche

7 of 10

    ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 12:  Jason Campbell #18 looks to pass in the preseason game againsts the Dallas Cowboys at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on August 12, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Jason Campbell has been through enough.

    He was under-appreciated in Washington and made the scape goat. Then he comes to Raider Nation and they want to call him the next Jim Plunkett before he plays a game in Raider Nation.

    A loss to the Rams will kick him down lower than he ever was in Washington. I can hear the Raider Nation screaming, "Jamarcus Russell could beat this team!"

    The Raiders don't need that.

For Al Davis

8 of 10

    ALAMEDA, CA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis speaks during a press conference to announce the firing of head coach Lane Kiffin of the Oakland Raiders at thier training facility on Septemer 30, 2008 in Alameda, California.  (Photo by Jed Jac
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Al Davis is old and frail these days.

    How much time do you think he has left?

    All he wants is to see his team win one before check-out time.

    I don't know if Davis can take a loss to a team like the Rams right now.

    How can they not want to win this game and other games for him. If you think about it, a lot of these guys wouldn't be in the NFL at all if Davis didn't see something he wanted in them.

    There aren't a whole lot of consensus picks on the team.

Conclusion 1

9 of 10

    This is what the Raider's stands could look like if they win.

    They'll probably win more and there will be hope in Raider Nation!

Conclusion 2

10 of 10

    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 02:  Two fans watch the Seattle Seahawks and the Oakland Raiders NFL preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 2, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    This is what the Raider's stands will look like if they lose.

    I can't see them winning a lot of game this year if they lose this one.

    It will be another season of black-outs.

    Another lost season.

    That is why this is a must win game!