This Is Only a Test (Oakland Raiders passed the test on Aug 21, defeated the Bears)
Now is the time for another test of the new defensive and offensive lines of the Oakland Raiders.
Using a model to see if there can be a measure of "stamina" of teams is a challenge. Looking also at comparisons to simply describe what is and to conjecture what can be is another short-term goal.
On Aug. 21, the Oakland Raiders will play the Chicago Bears. Here is data for the past five years, focusing on the last four games of the regular season.
2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
0 5 0 5 0
0 5 0 5 5
5 5 5 5 5
5 0 5 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0
0 5 0 0 0
0 5 0 0 0
Although the matrix or array of numbers for the Chicago Bears has more nonzero entries, notice that there is a little oscillation in the pattern of the entries.
For example, in 2005 there were only two wins during the last four games.
During 2006, the Bears had three wins out of the four that are focused on in this study.
Again, in 2007, during the last four games, the Bears had only two wins, but in 2008 the wins increased to three.
But the oscillation is present because in 2009, there are only two wins.
So the pattern for wins has a sequence from 2005 to 2009: 2, 3, 2, 3, 2.
In most studies in areas other than sports, the pattern of oscillation is a pattern indicating vibration (or instability) which is caused by perturbation or error. It suggests inconsistencies.
This model points out the presence of inconsistencies in the Chicago Bears. As far as this writer is concerned, this points to vulnerabilities.
So, the Raiders can and will find those weak spots and will deal with them.
Now, when you look at the pattern for the Oakland Raiders, you definitely see improvement in the pattern. In 2007, for example, the Raiders had no wins during the last four games of the season. Then in 2008, a little spunk showed up and the Raiders had two wins during the last four games of the 2008 season.
In 2009, the Raiders had one win out of the last four games of the season. Coupled with the data from 2005 to 2007, the performance during the last four games of 2008 and 2009 certainly was an improvement over 2005 to 2007.
Now that the defensive line has been strengthened and the quarterback corps has multiple personalities to utilize in case of injury or other factors, there is a good chance there will be a surprise performance by the Oakland Raiders.
When you weigh in the stamina demonstrated in the first preseason game, you know that anything is possible on Aug. 21.
Competitions like the one expected on Aug 21 are the kind that draw on intelligence, intensity, stamina, and good coaching. Tom Cable, Hue Jackson, and others must stay on top of the situations that will arise that day.
A Spirit of Determination
Sometimes, the performance of a player or a team is more like the example which I read in another B/R article. It means that some people believe that the spirit of a team can transcend the mere numbers that attempt to measure performance.
Let's just say that if the coaches have stirred up a spirit of determination and of victory during the final moments of a game, then anything is possible.
The Oakland Raiders have been like a "David" during the history of the franchise. The Raiders have been delivered out of the paw of "the lion," and it is possible to be delivered out of the paw of the Chicago Bears.
It can be done. So do it! Just win, baby!