Oakland-Buffalo: Raider Nation in Trouble

Todd MorseAnalyst ISeptember 18, 2008

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but there is some turmoil brewing in Oakland. Apparently, they have an owner, Al Davis, who is old and crazy. He spent a ton of money in the off season on a bunch of players nobody liked. Players like Javon Walker, who after getting his huge contract, subsequently went to Las Vegas, was found unconscious on a street off the strip, robbed of his personal belongings,

Tommy Kelly, who just this week was arrested for DUI, and DeAngelo Hall, who infamously carried a poster of former teammate Michael Vick onto the field with him the day of Vick’s sentencing, are all wonderfully entrenched in the Raiders stable. There is also a standoff going on between, Davis, and his head coach Lane Kiffin.
He is ready to replace Kiffin, a good coach, with Jim Fassel, a bad coach, but wants Kiffin to quit so he doesn’t have to pay him anymore. Somehow this all makes sense in Raiderland. Helping Davis’ reasoning is a spat between Kiffin and well-respected defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, as well as Kiffin publicly saying whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

Furthering Davis’ “Make Kiffin Quit” campaign, are injuries to every good player the Raiders have. Walker, running backs Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden, and starting left tackle Kwame Harris are all questionable, and I’m sure there are a few others who are afraid of telling Kiffin because they are afraid he is carrying cyanide pills with him.

Despite all the mumbo jumbo going on, the Raiders overcame and beat the Chiefs last week 23-8. How could this possibly happen? Two quick and dirty answers. Herman Edwards is a terrible coach and Tyler Thigpen was the Chiefs quarterback. As Charles Barkley would say, Kansas City is terrible, just terrible.  

Its week three and they’re playing for the number one pick next season. I love that the Bills are playing the AFC and NFC West divisions this season. So how do the Bills, coming off beating two really good teams fairly nicely, beat the injury riddled Raiders? Simple, prove that Dennis Green is right and that "they are who we think they are!” Or better yet, can be.
Show that they are truly a team who plays to the identity of their coaches, and that they aren’t setup for let downs, like past Bills teams. Run the ball. In fact, pound the ball. Play efficient, Trent Edwardsian/Turk Schonert offense, but be willing to open it up. Learn from what the Broncos did to the Raiders in week one when they annihilated the Raiders.
Show them that in Buffalo, the Bills won’t be beat, especially by a team going through so much turmoil, with a bad quarterback and a bunch of injuries. Show them that a Marcus Stroud front seven will not give up 300 yards rushing like Kansas City did, that Russell will have to beat you, and that your defensive backs, while not as well known as theirs, are as good as theirs.  

Simply put, control the clock, beat them up, get turnovers, score touchdowns, and send them home with Jim Fassel as their new coach and Lane Kiffin headed to replace Greg Robinson at Syracuse. How do the Raiders win? Lane Kiffin has to give a Knute Rockne-like speech before the game.  

Think, us against the world, and include Al Davis in that world. Fight against the fans, your owner, the NFL, and everyone who doesn’t believe in you, because the Bills think they have it all figure out. Punch them in the mouth and show them they don’t know everything. The Bills are young.  

You talked up their players, especially Trent Edwards, now confuse the heck out of him with a great scheme, get an early interception and shake his confidence. Make the Bills prove they can run on you. Prove Michael Huff was the better selection over Donte Whitner, control the clock and be physical on offense.

Play for your coach’s job like it matters. Sorry Raiders fan, it’s not going to happen, Bills momentum continues, 38-14.