What an end to a decent year for the Oakland Raiders. Defeating the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday (31-10) gave the Raiders yet another stat for their book: They became the first team ever to sweep their division, go 6-0 in the AFC West and not make the playoffs.
The Raiders handed the Chiefs their final loss of the regular season. Easily. The Raiders defense completely owned the Chiefs offensive line, who gave up seven sacks on Cassel alone.
But enough of the Chiefs. What do the Raiders need to do for the next season?
Upgrade the O-Line
One thing is for sure, the Raiders need to beef up their offensive line. It doesn't really matter who we have as quarterback if the offensive line continues to bleed defenders. Some offseason pickups or draft picks could help us out here.
Stop the penalties
You can't expect to be a playoff caliber team if every other play is a false start. Again, this is an offensive line issue.
This needs to be addressed. It was a good move to pick up Campbell, or anybody for that matter, in the offseason. Gradkowski has the heart and the team behind him, but he gets hurt too often to be somebody for us to rely on.
Campbell isn't much better. A lot of people jumped on the "Campbell bandwagon" when he had a couple good games. And by "good games," I mean he didn't completely fail all over the place. That and Darren McFadden had some of his best games ever during those games. This is the same guy who got a passer rating of 10.7 against the 49ers. Even Jamarcus Russel never got a passer rating that low.
He holds the ball way too long. While the Raiders' offensive line is porous, he still should get the ball away faster. He seems scared in the pocket at times and gets rid of the ball to the nearest receiver. This has been his MO all season. Check down after check down after check down. We should seriously be looking at a better quarterback situation for the future, because as it stands, we do not currently have anybody that resembles an elite quarterback.
Keep the coaches coaching
There are already rumors of Al Davis not being really happy with Tom Cable. Of course, these are just rumors. Par for the course with Al Davis and his wacky antics. The players seem to really like Cable and seem to work well with him. We can't be switching out coaches every season. It's not healthy to the club. Cable got it done this season and should return next year. Coaching was not the reason the Raiders missed the playoffs this year.
We would be in the playoffs this year had we not lost to poor teams such as the 49ers or the Cardinals. This is a new year, and although our first game of this season isn't until September, our first game of 2011 shows you what the Raiders can do this year. Until then, go Raiders!