The Raiders rolled back the clock on Sunday. It was Retro-Raider day at the far-from-sold out Oakland Coliseum as the rival Denver Broncos blew into the Black Hole.
Denver left with a 23-3 victory, a perfect 3-0 record to start the season and first place all to themselves in the AFC West.
Raider Nation left having watched their team give an effort only Art Shell could admire.
The game had everything you’d expect from the ’06 version of the Silver and Black. JaMarcus Russell continues to find ways of making Aaron Brooks look like a franchise quarterback. Darren McFadden fumbles at the most inopportune moments as if his name was LaMont Jordan. The defense made no adjustments and was continuously beat by the same running and passing plays. Richard Seymour even checked in with his first personal foul as a Raider.
Al Davis must have been proud.
Tom Cable is executing Al’s plan to perfection. No thought is ever given to benching Russell no matter how loud the “boos” get. No change in defensive philosophy is made even if Kirk Morrison is getting burned by Brandon Marshall like a Southern California brushfire. No need to give your young quarterback veteran wide receivers if he can’t hit the target to begin with.
This is what Raider football has become. It is a stubborn belief in a losing system as opposed to a winning game plan based on talent.
JaMarcus Russell could develop into a franchise quarterback, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon. In fact, it looks like he’ll be seeing a new playbook and a new set of coaches come 2010.
The Denver Broncos didn’t have to do much to win on Sunday. So long as they showed up, there was a good chance the Raiders and their stubborn game plan would be enough to gift victory.
Sure enough, the Raiders did their all to give Denver an easy win.
Penalties, poor decisions, bad coaching, horrendous execution, missed tackles, blown assignments, fumbles, interceptions, missed opportunities and that was just the first half.
The Raiders posted 137 yards of total offense on Sunday, a meaty average of 2.9 yards-per-play.
Ah, yes! A vintage ’06!
The defense gave up 217 yards on the ground to Denver at a clip of 4.8 yards-per-carry.
That stubborn formula did produce some good though. Staying true to form, Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Johnson shutdown everything on the corners, Shane Lechler boomed four punts to the tune of 47.5 yards per-punt and Sebastin Janikowski nailed a 48-yard field goal with stunning power and accuracy.
About the only thing missing from this one was Mike Shanahan flipping Al Davis the bird once the clock hit 0:00 in the fourth quarter.
Where does Tom Cable go from here? How can he top this great homage to the 2006 Raiders?
One way of ensuring this continued and aimless approach to building a champion might be to do the exact same things again. That seems to be the best way of keeping Russell’s completion percentage just slightly above his quarterback rating. Not making any adjustments assures McFadden will have more trouble keeping his hands on the ball than Al Davis will have keeping his off the defense. Not changing a thing assures the ’09 Raiders a chance at matching the ’06 win total of 2 for the entire season.
Ah, yes! I can taste that ’06 now! It tastes like another miserable year of football topped with an off-season spent debating who should be taken with the number one overall pick.
Cheers to Art Shell! This one was for you!
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Topics: Aaron Brooks, Al Davis, Art Shell, Brandon Marshall, Chris Johnson, Darren McFadden, JaMarcus Russell, Kirk Morrison, Lamont Jordan, Mike Shanahan, Nnamdi Asomugha, Richard Seymour, Sebastian Janikowski, Shane Lechler, Tom Cable