Well…if you wanted a measuring stick to determine where the Oakland Raiders stand in the NFL hierarchy then today should have told you all you need to know.
We didn’t need Carson Palmer tossing picks juxtaposed against Aaron Rodgers throwing TD darts to know who is the better QB. Just as we didn’t need the Packers putting this one away with one running play to know who was the better team. Don’t fool yourself. Ryan Grant put this game to bed with a first quarter, first official play from scrimmage 47-yard house call that set the tone for an ugly 46-16 loss.
Make whatever excuse you want, Raider Nation.
Sure, Oakland was again short handed.
Ok…the Packers were gifted a few questionable calls.
None of that had anything to do with Hue Jackson’s men posting another effort only the Indianapolis Colts would envy. In fact, I’ve seen more heart from those winless Colts than I have the silver in black the last two weeks.
That sound you hear are the hopes of Oakland playing in the post-season slipping into the depths of the East Bay.
For now let’s forget about the playoffs. Instead let us focus on all the reasons why the Raiders aren’t a playoff contender any longer.
To begin with they continue to be their own worst enemies. All those pre-snap penalties are again the sign of an unfocused team. For Oakland’s defense to continually jump offside against Rodgers shows how insecure they were today. It proved that Chuck Bresnahan’s defense knew they didn’t have a chance. It also shows how much further this team has to go before being considered among the NFL elite.
As for the offense…well…let’s just say that Kyle Boller could have started and the result of today’s game might not have been any different. Palmer is a straight up turnover machine. He’s making JaMarcus Russell looks responsible. Chalk it up to whatever you want. Carson is killing the Oakland offense no matter how many injuries pile up amongst the playmakers. To be sure guys like Darrius Heyward-Bey can’t drop passes that hit them in the hands. But Palmer can’t panic and make poor throws either.
No matter the circumstances the Raiders are now a full game out of first place as the Denver Tebows continue to do what they do best.
Oakland has fully relinquished control of the AFC West and is no longer in control of its own fate.
Again, make whatever excuse you want. The ugly truth is this team is not playing with any passion or urgency. On Green Bay’s first official play from scrimmage you saw all you needed to know. Grant gave the Packers their first rush of more than 20 yards in over two years. Oakland has given their fans the worst tease since Philadelphia welcomed Nnamdi Asomugha as the defensive savior.
To be sure the season is not yet over. However if this type of effort persists then Coach Jackson and his staff might as well start planning for the draft now. Oh…that’s right…the Raiders have no draft picks to speak of. In that case, maybe it is up to us, the fans, to just make our peace now with what this team is: A .500 ball club. That is what the Raiders were under Tom Cable and that is what they’re looking like under Jackson. There is still a good chance to finish above .500 but that is a sure bet when compared to Oakland’s current playoff chances.
Next week, against a Detroit Lions team in the same boat, we’ll see what this squad is truly made of. Let’s hope we don’t see anything like the hideous effort put forth today.