Normally I’d be calling out for the Oakland Raiders to just win, baby. Hello! That’s why they play they game.
Instead all I’m hoping to see today is a game that isn’t over before the National Anthem is sung.
These last few weeks have been filled with some of the most brutal football we’ve ever suffered through as devout followers of the Silver and Black. If the odds makers are correct then this Sunday’s clash in Cincinnati won’t be any different. The Bengals are giving 7.5 to the Raiders which means an ATS win (my apologies if you don’t speak degenerate gambler) would require a Cincy victory by at least 8. That half point looms large.
Sadly an 8-point defeat would be an improvement for Oakland. But in the end it’s not the final score that matters…not when the season was effectively over once Doug Martin ran all over Oakland. Nope, instead it’s the way the Raiders play that will ultimately display where this team truly stands.
Has Dennis Allen lost the locker room? Has Reggie McKenzie’s non-rebuild rebuilding effort sent the wrong message to the men on his roster? Is Mark Davis just as impatient as his father?
All of these questions are legitimate after Davis’ rant to the media following last week’s woeful performance against the Saints.
For Raider Nation we just want a reason to believe in our team. Nobody is expecting playoffs anymore. That ship sank in the Bay weeks ago.
What we’re looking for is the dogged determination expected of every man in Silver and Black. Struggle builds character and if McKenzie’s regime is looking to gain any traction going forward then his coaches had better get an A+ effort today out of the players. Anything less will surely cause another week of unwanted commotion.
Losing we can tolerate if there’s at least a worthy effort put forth. A respectable showing in Cincinnati won’t matter in the standings. This is the NFL where moral victories are not allowed. But this is also a business and if Davis wants to keep filling the stands then his team had better show something on the field worth paying for.