Do You Want To Know How Easy It Is To Look Bad ? Then Look No Further Than The Oakland Raiders ………..

Far be it for me to say but  I think  that we  can all agree that  the  Oakland Raiders  have  had  a mediocre season thus far.  And  last night’s horrendous loss to  the San Diego Chargers  34-7 certainly gives credence  as to  how far the  team has fallen.   With the upheaval that has taken place  within the franchise again with them having to fire another coach  in  Laine Kiffin. Only  to replace him with  Tom Cable  tells you  all you need to  know  what has been  going on  and will continue  to go  on within  the franchise.  And  until own principal  owner Al Davis relinquishes the  reins to someone  with  more media savvy  and player personnel knowledge when  it  comes  to the  franchise.  Then the  fans of the Raiders as well  as the  rest  of the NFL will have  to  put up with a great  deal of diatribe on and  off the  field for the  foreseeable future.




Raiders’ running back Darren McFadden evades the attempted tackle of the Chargers’  Stephen Cooper in the fourth quarter of the  game played last night. The  Chargers would go on to defeat  the  Raiders convincingly 34-7. picture appears courtesy of ap/Lenny Ignelzi ………….



For the league and in particular  the AFC West where  it can be best  described as a  shifting  magma of  ineptitude. So pitiful  has been the  division that the only  thing that  staves off criticism of  the entrants therein. Is that the teams in  the NFC West other than the  Arizona Cardinals are playing a  whole  lot worse.




Riaders’ quarterback  JeMarcus Russell(2)  tries  to get off a pass  as he’s being pressured by the Chargers’ Shaun Phillips (95) in a game played between  the two teams  in San Diego, California. picture appears courtesy of ap/Denis Poroy ………………..



As to the fortunes of the  Raiders'(3-10) opponents  last  night. The San Diego Chargers(5-8) they’re faring only  slightly  better than their divisional counterparts. And  to  say  that they  might  be the most disappointing  team in the NFL this season would be an  immense understatement. They were believed to be  a playoff contender  and  most likely  the  AFC representative  in the Superbowl. But with the loss of  Shawn Merriman to injury.  And the fact  that Pro Bowl running back LaDanian Tomlinson has had an indifferent season as well as lingering  injuries and quite  possibly some self  doubt.  It hasn’t  gone well  for coach  Norv Turner’s  team despite the ladership  on the field of  quarterback Phillip Rivers.  There’ll have to be divine intervention  if the Chargers are  to make the  playoffs. And at this juncture  that is unlikely to  happen at all.




Dareen Sproles of the San Diego Chargers flips  the  ball  having  scored a  touchdown  on  an 18 yd reception tossed  by quarterback  Phillip Rivers. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Lenny Ignelzi …………..




Last night’s game  however  gives  the Chargers something  to look  forward to if  they’re able  feed off this victory.  With a playoff spot seemingly  oput of  the  reckoning , all they’re now playing for pride and slef respect. They ran roughshod over the  Raiders’ defense and  manhandled  their offense  with  such meticulous  efficiency.  That it reminded  everyone as to how  good  this  team can  be , albeit  that they were playing against  Oakland.  Who more  often than  not nowadays mounts  a challenge  to an  NFL  team  as about  as frequently as Halley’s Comet  makes  an  appearance.




Vincent Jackson of  the  Chargers  catches a 59 reception for a touchdown as fans  react  to the score. picture appears courtesy of ap/Denis Poroy …………………..



The NFL world has prognosed and  diagnosed the  woes  of the  Raiders. And we  all know  what ails the team. It has been  their  inability to play with  any  semblance  of  consistency and the added fact that  despite the  alleged talents of  quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Of whom  it can be  said he’s still  quite a ways  away from  being the finished  product that’s desired  in an NFL quarterback. He’s meant  to be  the  face of the franchise along with running back Darren McFadden.  But  it  appears that it’s McFadden who’ll have to be the workhorse  as well  as  the  on the field leader of  the  franchise.  For if  nothing else Russell’s  attributes as a player  and leader  are coming  into question. A lot  has been  placed upon  his  large frame  and  thus  far he’s been  unable to  meet and  live up  to those expectations.  And unfortunately  when his  backup  Andrew Walter is unable to fare any  better.  It shows  us all  how dire the  situation  is  for this team  offensively.




Andrew Walter of  the  Raiders is about to be tackled by the Chargers’ Shaun Phillips  for  loss of  yardage in the  game played  against their  divisional rivals. picture appears courtesy of ap/ Lenny Ignlezi  …………



But it’s also on  the other side of the ball where  the  team has  also  been  woefully  inept. And opponents  of the Raiders have been  able to feast  upon  a defense  that’s as  porous as  a wet sponge.  Not only  are they  susceptible  to giving  up large chucks of yardage  in  the passing  game  but  defensively when it comes to  stopping   the  run they’re as equally adept at making their opponents  look  like world  beaters. As can be borne out  by  the  team’s  statistics.  




Linebacker Derrick Burgess (56) cernter stands on the sidelines  along  with teammates William Joseph(96) and Gerard Warren(61) as  the  clock winds down during  the game. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Harry How  ………………..



And if the Raiders’ record of 3-10 isn’t reflective  of them  being a bad  team. Then even their most loyal and  devoted  fans  who  keep on returning  each year  in the silver and  black  have got to be disappointed with the frequency with which they’re  able  to maintain  this unsurpassed  legacy of  mediocrity for the franchise. There  was a time  when  watching  and  supporting  the  Oakland  Raiders was meant to be fun.  And  no  doubt  for many  of their most trusting  and loyal  fans  it probably  still is.  But  one now can’t help but wonder  if quite possibly  a number of  them  are  now becoming  neurotic  and  psychotic  by  what  is  being  displayed by a team  that they’d  come to love. As  voiciferous as they  are  there’ve got be times  where a vast  number  of  them  have  got to question whether  or  not  it’s still viable  to continue  supporting the  the team. Consider this  they’ve not posted a winning regular season record in five years and are  about  to embark  on another  this  year,  making it a sixth consecutive  season of double digit losses.   That if nothing  else  tells  how  far this  team  has fallen  from grace since their last Superbowl appearance in 2003 which  ended in a lopsided 48-21  loss  to  the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.





Raiders’ quarterback JeMarcus Russell is  taken  from the  field on  a motorized cart having suffered an injury during the  game played  against  the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Ca,. picture appears courtesy of  getty images/ Harry How ……………………



Though I’m not shuddering to  think that  the  Raiders will continue  with this sheer ineptitude as to  play and their  off  the  field  predicament. It doesn’t  augur  well for  the fans of  the  game let  alone  the  franchise.  By yesterday’s evidence alone  in the humiliating  loss  to the San Diego the  road less traveled  by  the Raiders  has  been one  filled with  potholes  and  various  other  obstacles  some  of  their  own  making  and others which  aren’t.  But  it  doesn’t  get away  from the  fact  that  when  they  look  bad it continues  to tarnish  the legacy of  a once  proud  franchise.  And  that’s something  that  they’re now having to learn to live with.




tophatal …………………………

Al Davis, Football, Laine Kiffin, NFL, Oakland Raiders

Laine Kiffin Takes One From The Team ………

Well    the  Oakland  Raiders’  hierarchy   have  seen   fit  to  make   the  obvious    paramount  by  announcing  the  firing  of  incumbent     coach    Laine  Kiffin   today.    Bearly     two  years    in  Kiffin  has   underperformed as a  coach.   Seemingly   thrown   into  a    shark’s   tank   from the  outset.  It’s   hard to   see    how  anyone  could’ve  survived    in  that   atmosphere and     environment  of  complete   ineptitude.        And   with   the   undying  patience   of the  fans    it  was  only  a  matter   of  time    before   they   too     would   have  to   become  completely  disenchanted with   the   franchise.

Raiders  coach  Laine  Kiffin    seen  here   during   a  press  conference   in  Alameida  ,   California  at the   Raiders’   headquarters.  picture  appears   courtesy of   ap/photo/ Tom   Stanton …….


From  all  tiers   within   the  franchise    this   has  been   exceedingly    bad   organization.   It   is  being     badly   ran   and    in    Al   Davis    the  owner   you   had   someone   for   whom   the years   have  passed    him   by.   And  whose  only  interest  might’ve  been   his  own  self   preservation  and   importance ,   albeit  at  the   expense  and   ridicule   that   he’d    undergone   over  the   last   decade.   With   the  AFC  West    as  a   division   the   team   is  clearly  seen  as   a  bottom   feeder    of  the division   if   not   the    whole   conference.   Though  it can   be  said  that   the   woefully   inept    Kansas  City  Chiefs    could    give  the   Raiders a  run  for  their  money at  present.  

Kiffin   looks  down   during   the   fourth   quarter  of   his   team’s game  against   the  San  Diego  Chargers     where  they    went  on  to   lose  the  game  28-18   to  their   divisional   foes  on   Sunday  in  Oakland  California.     picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/Tom  McClendon ……..


With  a   5-15   record   to   his   credit    and   very    little    overall    coaching   experience   it’s   hard to see   where   Kiffin    himself   can   go   from  here.      The     quagmire   that   is  the   Raiders   if  anything   most   certainly    must  be  a  better  place    to  be  away  from   than   being  within  its  openly  hostile  and   somewhat  frenetic   environment.   There   was   very   little  leadership   any  within   the franchise   coming  from   the  coaching   staff    let   alone   from   on  the   field.      And   in    players    such   Jamarcus   Russell   ,   Darren   McFadden   and  Michael   Bush   you   had  players   who   are  still   learning  the  environment   and   rigors   of  the NFL    game. 


Chargers’   tight  end   Antonio   Gates makes a   play  after a   catch     against  the  Oakland Raiders’ Kalimba  Edwards    in   an  AFC  West    divisional   game   played  last  Sunday  in  Oakland.    picture appears   courtesy   of  getty   images/ Jed  Jacobsohn  …………….


And with  the  season   now  a   quarter  of the  way    through   its    haul    and   the  Raiders  sitting  at 1-3    within  the  division   with   only   the   Kansas  City   Chiefs   looking   up  at them  .  It’s    hard to   see  how  this   team  with    any   certainty   can   extricate  itself    from   the  problems    that    it  created    from   the   beginning.   In  hiring    a   young   and    inexperienced   coach   like    Kiffin    it  was  thought   that  they   might   be  able  to   catch   lightning  in    a   bottle .  As  they’d    done    with    one  of Kiffin’s   predecessors    in    the  guise  of  Jon  Gruden.    But alas   that  wasn’t   to  be   as   they’ve   slipped    steadily     down   into   the depths  and  the    bowels  of    mediocrity.  

Raiders’  running    back   Darren   McFadden   looks   up   at the  crowd from the  sidelines  during  the  team’s    game  against  the  San  Diego  Chargers    this  last  Sunday.  picture  appears courtesy  of   getty  images/ Jed Jacobsohn  …………………. 

With  a  bye   week   now  in   hand    the  Oakland  Raiders’  next    game  will   be  against  an   invigorated  and   highly  talented  New Orleans  Saints   team  that’ll   be   after   blood.    And   for   Oakland  (1-3)  they can   ill  afford  to  lose  this game   and   then  watch   the  season    elusively   get  away  from  them.    Albeit    that    in  many     people’s    eyes    it  can   be  said  that   this   has  already  happened.   They’ve   rarely  if  anything    showed any  real   signs   of   life  and   their   lone  win    thus   far  this  season   came   at the  hands    of  the  lowly   Kansas  City  Chiefs.  A  team   for which   it can  be said    shows   about as   much    competitive   appetite    for the  game  of   football  a   bulemic     model    would   for   a  plate   of    food.  


Clinton  Hart   of  the  Chargers   breaks   up  a  pass  to    Johnnie Lee  Higgins   of the  Oakland Raiders   in  McAfee  Coliseum   in  Oakland  California.   The  San Diego   Chargers (2-2) would  go  on  to  win  the   game    28-18  and  now  sit  second   in  the   division   behind  the  Denver  Broncos(3-1).    picture appears  courtesy  of   getty  images/ Jed Jacobsohn   …………….


Much    can   be   made  from   the  fact   that  the  relationship    between  the  former  coach    and   owner   was  described  as frosty   at  best.    And    rarely   can  it  be   said  that   they   saw   eye  to  eye  on  a   number   of   topics  from   the  team    roster  as  to     coaching    nuances   of Kiffin  himself.    Much   of  that   may  well  have   been  predicated     on    the  overall lack   of  creativity     shown   on  both   sides   of   the   ball.   The   offense   had    begun   to   show  signs  of  life   but  rarely  was   it  ever     truly   consistent   in  its     potency.   The   same   could  be   said    for  the  defense   and   all   of  its    travails.   Nowhere was    this   more  self   evidenced  than  the  display   given   by  the   team  last  Sunday  against  the  San Diego   Chargers.     At   one   point    during   the   third   quarter     Kiffin   had   his    kicker    Sebastian    Janikowski   attempt  a   73  yard  field   goal  attempt.    Inexplicably  at the  time     there  was  enough   time    for  the   team   to  move    the  ball  further  upfield.   But   yet   Kiffin  saw   fit   to   take   this     course  of  action. Needless  to say     Janikowski   failed   in   his   attempt.    


Chargers’   running   back    Darren  Sproles   runs   in  for the  2pt conversion  against   the   Raiders  whilst  defensively  linebacker  Ricky  Brown (57)    and a  seated  Tyvon   Branch of  the  Raiders   look on.  picture  appears courtesy  of  getty  images/ Jed Jacobsohn  ……..


This   may   well   have  been   what  drew  the   ire   of    Al  Davis    and    was  quite   well   the  straw   that    broke    the   camel’s    back ,    that  led  to  the  decision   to fire    Laine Kiffin.   If  nothing    else  it    either   had  to   happen   now  at  sometime    in  the  immediate  future.  What   was clearly    becoming   apparent    was  that   neither   the  team  ,   the  coach   or  the  owner  was   happy   with   the  situation   as  it   stood.     And as   we   all   know   you  can’t   fire    the   entire   team  ,   so   it’s     either    down  to  the  owner  and  GM . In    this  case  Al  Davis  to   do   what’s  necessary   to   make things    right.    Kiffin   had  to  be    the    one    to   go .    But   in  reality    some  might    feel that  the  franchise   would  be    better   off   if   Davis  also   followed   him   out   the   door.   Leaving  the   day to  day   operation  of  the  franchise  in   the   hands   of  someone   better   suited  to   run  the   team.     Davis   has   had   his   day    in  the  sun   that   is  now   setting   and  it’s   now  time   for   somone   more   adroit   to    take   over  the  running  of  the  franchise  at this  juncture.   If  nothing  else  this   has  got   to  be  done    for  the   morale  of the      team  and   its   well  being   before    things  become    even   more  malignant   within   the  organization. 



tophatal ………………..