What a difference a bad tackling effort from Mike Mitchell, 3 missed field goals, and a delay of game from the goal line can make.
If any one of those gaffes had not happened, the Bay Area would be buzzing about "Bruce Almighty" and the Raiders offense achieving roughly 400 yards for the second consecutive week.
Instead, Tom Cable is on the "hotter" seat, Sebastian Janikowski is public enemy number one and, even worse, Bruce Gradkowski has to hold off more quarterback controversy.
The truth is, while Gradkowski made a huge mistake at the goal line and threw some balls into heavy coverage, he made the Raiders offense relevant for the second consecutive week.
The team is tied for the league lead in trips to the opponents red zone. The vertical attack is arguably better than it's been since the team won the Super Bowl. Remember, Rich Gannon threw underneath 90 percent of the time and only on occasion did his teams go downfield to Jerry Porter.
If Bruce Gradkowski falls out of favor with Al Davis and somehow loses his job to Campbell the team will be making a terrible mistake.
The problem is that losing to Houston at home this weekend could cause "Impatient Al" to take action. If it means Tom Cable loses his job, at least Hue Jackson doesn’t appear to be in Jason Campbell's corner.
The next Jason Campbell start in Oakland will be lucky to sell 10,000 seats. Raiders Nation is tired of watching an incompetent offense. Campbell is either too unfamiliar with the offense or incapable of leading the team. 2010 is not the year to find out which one it is.
If the team goes 4-12 this season it has to happen with Gradkowski. At least the team will be scratching and clawing to the end.
Fans will watch that.
The Houston game is so much more than a chance to be 2-2 or avoid falling to 1-3. It’s a chance for Oakland to prove to its fans and its critics (even in the organization) that with Bruce at the wheel, the team can compete with anyone.
Thanks for reading,