Yes, what we saw on Sunday in Nashville could be called downright sickening. The offensive line was horrid, the defense was mediocre, and the entire team looked out of sync more than anything. This wasn’t the team that we heard rave reviews about in the preseason, and not the team that we expected to hit the field for the start of the 2010 season. As scary as it may have been to watch, Raider fans should hold off from worrying too much yet. Why? Well…
It may be a cliché by now, but the idea that “it’s only one game”, cannot be over looked here. This is not to say that the Silver and Black are Super Bowl bound, but the 2007 New York Giants started their 2007 Championship season 0-2. This included a loss to the Dallas Cowboys on the road and a blowout loss to the Packers at home, 35-13. Giants fans everywhere were surely panicking, foreseeing a season already down the drain. Come February, they were pleasantly surprised to say the least, upsetting the undefeated Patriots on the world’s biggest stage. Can the Raiders turn it around after an ugly first week? Time will tell.
Some things to consider after Week 1…
The Tennessee team that dished out the beat down Sunday is no slouch. Couple an always solid defence, particularly against the run, with the most dominant running back in the NFL as of late, and a revitalized and growing leader in Vince Young, you’ve got yourself quite a formidable squad. Playing on the road against such a team is never an easy task. Admittedly, it shouldn’t be taken as one either. That may have been mistake one.
A post-game look at the box score would have Chris Johnson fantasy owners beaming, and the NFL world thinking it’s the same old run defense out in Oakland. Less we forget, on a completely revamped front seven that will need time to gel, there will be minor kinks to be worked out. It may have looked bad defensively on paper, but maybe not in reality. As much as the one big run cannot be taken back, on the 26 other carries Johnson had, he averaged a measly 2.5 yards. That is extremely impressive against one of the best offensive lines and running backs in the NFL. Look for the run defense to continue to improve over the course of the season.
One positive that we saw against the Titans was the play of RB Darren McFadden. Two injury filled seasons that made big numbers hard to come by, had the bust-labels being thrown around. Should McFadden continue with games like this, being anywhere near the 5.3 yards per carry that he posted, he will show exactly why he was taken fourth overall back in 2007.
The pass protection on offence needs to be fixed. That’s a given. But, who says it can’t happen?
Overall, yes Raiders fans, Sunday was extremely disappointing, and was the opposite of what the Nation wanted to see happen. However, the Raiders should treat this as a call, and have the veteran leaders take control. A win next week would have the team at 1-1, replenishing optimism and momentum, much like we saw and heard of in the preseason. Any given Sunday, it can all turn around for a team. Here’s hoping it’s Sunday at the Coliseum when the Raiders host the St. Louis Rams. Keep the faith Raider Nation. All is not lost.