No Darren McFadden. No Worries.
The Raiders have been there and done that.
Last season Oakland ended a hideous losing streak to the San Diego Chargers and did so without Run DMC. The difference then was that Jason Campbell took over as the starter and the game took place in Oakland.
On Thursday night the circumstances are slightly different.
Carson Palmer makes his second start for the Silver and Black having taken over for Campbell. This time around the game will be played in San Diego.
However Oakland will once again go into battle without McFadden.
Now the Raiders don’t really need to remember last season in order to feel comfortable playing without McFadden. Let’s be honest. This is a recurring theme that has been ongoing since McFadden entered the NFL.
Leaning on Michael Bush was a big factor in snapping the Charger dominance last year. It will once again be important for Oakland to get Bush rolling. Of course that dramatic win last season took more than a dominant ground game.
As you’ll recall the Raiders had a few big plays on special teams and one fumble recovery for a score that sealed the deal late. While it is far fetched to expect similar occurrences tonight it goes without saying that somebody is going to have to step up and make plays.
You’ll also recall Philip Rivers shredding the Oakland secondary during that McFadden-less contest. Mind you this was a Nnamdi Asomugha led unit. Tonight we’re going to be treated to the recently re-signed Lito Sheppard starting opposite Stanford Routt. Rivers has been slumping this season but there’s nothing like a wounded defensive corps to awaken a Pro Bowl caliber talent.
No matter the injuries the Raiders must push through. With or without McFadden the mission remains the same. The outcome is no more guaranteed with a healthy #20 than it is without him. The time has come for the Raiders to make a statement. San Diego isn’t at full strength either. Therefore this matchup is even on every term from the matching records to the current struggles of both teams.
Even though it is reassuring to know the Raiders have a recent history of beating the Bolts without Run DMC they would be better served to forget the past. Currently this team is in a single elimination tournament. At least that is how they need to be treating every game.
No matter the situation, the goal for every Oakland Raiders squad remains the same.
Just win, baby!