Bill Simmons is the most popular sports media personality in the United States. I admittedly am a personal fan of “The Sports Guy” being a teenager during his rise to sports columnist dominance over at ESPN so on Monday I clicked over to Grantland to see what Simmons had to say about the Raiders this year.
I thought that Simmons, who is an avid gambler, would have something nice to say about Oakland due to Terrelle Pryor’s mobile attributes and an exodus of bad character players from the Silver and Black.
I was wrong.
In the NFL Power Rankings column which came out on Thursday/Friday of last week to be fair. Simmons ripped the always rippable Oakland Raiders fairly for their drafting mistakes of the past, but he took it one step further. Predicting that the Oakland Raiders might go 0-16 in 2013.
Yup 0-16. Goose egg. Detroit Lions.
This seems to be a prediction that many analysts will soon regret based on Week One, but there weren’t many writers who pinned the “0-16″ tab on the Raiders during the preseason. Things could change, but the Raiders managed to push a likely playoff team to the brink in the fourth quarter and looked far from the worst team in the NFL. I don’t expect them to be anywhere near the 32 spot when the season closes.
Here is the full Simmons excerpt.
32. Oakland Raiders
Their first-round picks since 2004: Robert Gallery (second overall), Fabian Washington (23rd), Michael Huff (seventh), JaMarcus Russell (first), Darren McFadden (fourth), Darrius Heyward-Bey (seventh), Rolando McClain (eighth), The Pick Traded For Richard Seymour (17th), The Pick Traded For Carson Palmer (17th), D.J. Hayden (12th). Five of them are out of football. Only McFadden and Hayden (a rookie) still play for the Raiders, and by default, McFadden has to be considered Oakland’s best first-round pick even though he’s rushed for more than 707 yards only once (and admitted publicly this summer that he’s “tired” of football).
It’s bad enough to blow a few high picks — it’s another thing to throw away your first round for an entire decade. That’s the no. 1 reason why the Raiders are your runaway favorites for Drowney for Clowney. Other reasons include the Terrelle Pryor era, the Matt Flynn error, a 2013 payroll made up of 38 percent “dead money,” an almost unprecedented lack of blue-chip talent, bad mojo from their expiring stadium lease, and the faint possibility that Zombie Al Davis is still running everything. Don’t sleep on the 2013 Raiders putting up an oh-fer.
Bill, I will bet you a job at Grantland that the Raiders won’t finish 0-16. In fact that number will be impossible on Sunday when the Raiders play Jacksonville at the O.co. I hear they are getting -6, I think they will cover.