Move over New England. Clear a path Pittsburgh. Dallas…eeehhh…just stay down. The national sports media has a new found fascination with the Oakland Raiders.
For the last seven years the Raiders have been the punch line to any joke that didn’t involve the Detroit Lions. Now, even Raider haters like ESPN analyst Tom Jackson are singing their praises. Of course TJ didn’t have much of a choice after Tom Cable knocked sandals off Josh McDaniels with the 59-14 destruction of Denver.
Where praise goes awards will follow.
Yesterday, Jacoby Ford was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his record setting Sunday. Ford makes it three weeks running that a Raider has been singled out for his commitment to excellence. Two weeks ago it was Darren McFadden’s 4 TD trouncing of the Donkeys that garnered him the FedEx Ground Player of the Week honors. Then just one week later Jason Campbell’s 300-yard onslaught of Seattle earned him the FedEx Air performance of the week award.
Toss in Michael Huff being honored as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week thanks to his efforts against San Diego and you’ve got yourself a long list of Raiders with rewards for their performances.
Check the standings and you’ll see the Raiders’ five wins are good enough to be within a game and a half of the best record in the league. Imagine what would be if Sebastian Janikowski had hit it true against Arizona…
At any rate, all these awards and praise are nice but don’t guarantee anything. This team needs to get into the playoffs to fully validate all the hype. If a playoff berth occurs then you can bet that Tom Cable will be the next in line to be singled for his team’s accomplishments. As it stands right now, Cable has got to be the top candidate for coach of the year.