The likelihood of the Oakland Raiders beating the New York Giants this Sunday seems about as plausible as Norv Turner winning coach of the year.
There is really no reason to think the Raiders have any chance against the Giants with or out without Eli Manning.
The O-line is turning into a MASH unit being held together by bubble wrap. The running game couldn’t even reach the half century mark in yardage against the NFL’s worst run defense. JaMarcus Russell’s completion percentage is only flattering when compared to three-point percentages in the NBA. Oh and Tom Cable could be either arrested, suspend or fired at any moment.
With injuries mounting, concerns rising and hopes fading, the Raiders are in prime position to sucker punch the Giants.
There are so few moments in the NFL season that provide for jaw dropping results. Last year, it was the Dolphins rolling into Foxboro and giving the Hoddie a lesson in humility. That win helped propel the Phins to an amazing 11-5 season, completely reversing the 1-15 debacle of the previous year.
While it’s not in Tom Coughlin’s nature to overlook an opponent, you’d better believe that there is a lot of confidence in the East Rutherford locker room this week. In fact, Giant receiver Steve Smith has gone as far as to call out Nnamdi Asomugha.
While it would be inspirational for the Silver and Black to dig deep and do their part to beat the 16-point spread odds makers are predicting, it would do little to help quell anxiety. A loss to the Giants would drop the Raiders to 1-4 with the Eagles, Jets and Chargers next in line to officially end this season at the midpoint.
Anything short of a victory is a failure. This is the NFL, a results driven business where moral victories only happen on the practice field.
After blowing a late lead against the Chargers on opening night, the Raiders have slept walked through their last three games including snoozing for three and a half quarters in Kansas City during their only win of the season thus far.
Cable could be on his last legs as his regime has gone a Raider-esque 5-11 including his 4-8 record as interim coach last year. Cable’s offense has produced less than 15-points per game and his positive outlook is surely beginning to dim given all the turmoil.
For Oakland, it is now or never. A loss drops the Raiders firmly to the bottom of the AFC West with only the Cheifs to break their fall. Any hopes of salvaging this season are out the door with another uninspired effort this weekend.
When Cable was introduced as the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders, he proclaimed that “the Raiders are back”. Right now, his back is to the wall and about the only thing he’s brought back is the Raider way of the last six years.
If Cable is serious about keeping his word then only one result will do.
Just win baby!
Anything short of that could be another invite for Al Davis to turn the keys over to Paul Hackett who will surely drive this season head-first into the NFL basement.
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