If football games only lasted 30 minutes then the Oakland Raiders would be sitting atop the AFC West and Greg Knapp wouldn’t be getting nearly as much hate mail. Unfortunately it takes 60 minutes of ball to complete and NFL contest and the 2012 Raiders seem to have forgotten that.
In Oakland’s last two losses the second half has been a horror show.
Between the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos the Raiders have been outscored 55-3 in the second halves of both games. Let that sink in for a second. That would mean the Raiders have been outscored 55-3 in one game of ball if you combine the two halves for one full contest.
To put that in a different perspective it would be like watching the Raiders lose 55-3 or like seeing Oakland lose by the final score of 55-3!
You get the idea.
That is pathetic by any standards and there is no excuse for an NFL team to be that flat coming out of the locker room. Let’s not forget how many veterans there are on Oakland’s roster.
Where are the pride, dedication and focus?
This team might not have Super Bowl aspirations but is it too much to ask for a full day’s work on a Sunday?
Dennis Allen knows the Raiders second half struggles on the road are one of the bigger hurdles to over come in Atlanta. Giving the Falcons any momentum after halftime is a recipe for absolute disaster. If the Dolphins and Broncos did damage then what will the how powered Atlanta attack unleash?
When a team is consistently flat out of the locker room on the road it is a reflection on the team’s leaders and coaches. There is no one setting the tone, holding the troops accountable and getting the squad fired up for the final push. Anybody can get hyped during the pregame. All it takes is a love of the game, the sight of thousands of fans and the anticipation of hitting someone.
But coming out after halftime requires an inspired message from the coaches and a proper example set by the team’s vets. So far the Raiders are failing on both fronts. Someone has to get a fire lit. Relying on the coaching staff to get the flames flickering is one thing but this really falls on the players for not showing any sense of urgency.
If the same thing happens again Sunday then we’ll know the locker room is officially lost. Losing is tolerable. Quitting is unforgiveable.