Dec 7, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Denver Nuggets forward JJ Hickson (7) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Nuggets defeated the Sixers 103-92. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Oakland Raiders: A lost season

Dec 22, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson (24) reacts after a penalty call during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Well Raiders fans, that’s it. The final game of the 2013 season is officially in the books, and while most fans would like to forget about this “lost season”, it was a part of the deconstruction and rebuilding the team needed to undergo. Remember that before the season started, Oakland wasn’t even slated to win a game this year with the dearth of talent this team has on its current roster.

If you remember correctly, many critics expected this team to win anywhere between zero and two wins this season, so when they started out the gate running, at least from how they were “supposed” to start out, many people including myself rushed into thinking that this team could actually make some noise around the league with Terrelle Pryor at center even with all the injuries we were battling.

Oh how we were wrong, as the injury bug caught up to us and revealed our not so shocking complete lack of depth at basically every position. The end result after a great start? Losing eight of the last nine while starting the fourth string QB going into camp.

Now that isn’t to say that this season was a complete disaster though, because it showed many signs for the future. The fact this team competed and had opportunities to win almost every week shows that there is some talent on this roster and that the coaching staff allowed the players to massively exceed expectations the first half the season.

Dec 22, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski (11) attempts a field goal against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After all heading into week 9, the team was 3-4 with Sebastian Janikowski missing fields goals left and right, including one in the season opener against Indy, where if he made it we were in a perfect position to win on the last drive. The loss in Washington was chalked up by fans to Matt Flynn, who was released after that. The other two losses were against the two best teams in the league, but the Kansas City game was close for the first three quarters.

That starts spurred all kinds of optimism in Raider Nation heading into a streak of 6 games against teams that were in slumps.

But all slumps end eventually, call it bad timing for the Raiders to play them as they ended their slumps, are call it a team this is constantly having to play their starters the entire game without rest just to stay competitive because of the lack of depth.

The injury bug did help the team though, as crazy as that sounds. Look no further than Rashad Jennings, the much needed quality backup to McFadden. He broke out when the unexpected happened and McFadden injured himself again somehow and provided a jack of all trades to the offense in dire need of play makers.

Speaking of players stepping up in the offense, the emergence of receivers Rod Streater and Andre Holmes were a bright spot on the team and showed Raider Nation that they have the potential to be great receivers in this league with the right quarterback play. Even 6th round pick Mychal Rivera stepped up the plate later in the season as a nice little surprise gathering 4 touchdowns in the process.

For the hate that Reggie and Allen have gotten this year about their draft, being called terrible, a failure, and other words that I don’t think I can repeat on this site, their picks have actually panned out quite well this year.

October 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback DJ Hayden (25) intercepts the ball against San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) during the fourth quarter at Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

DJ Hayden is a rookie, all readers need to understand that, and most great corners have had sub par rookie seasons, the facts are that with Hayden the Raiders averaged 21 PPG allowed, save that outlier against the Eagles when the entire secondary seemingly collapsed somehow. Without him the Raiders never held an opponent to under 21 points and averaged 32 PPG allowed.

Also, Hayden was responsible for covering the opposing teams number one receiver most of the time. Even though his numbers aren’t eye popping, keep in mind when it comes to DBs the corner that had a quiet game, most likely had a good game, calling Nndami . Also after six games, he was the only rookie to force two turnovers.

Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Sio Moore (55) on the sidelines during the game against the Dallas Cowboys during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at AT

Sio Moore self proclaimed himself the best linebacker in this draft, and while Kiko Alonso on the Buffalo Bills will probably take this title, Sio Moore definitely put himself in a position to be the best outside linebacker in the class. His numbers won’t make you say wow, but when he is on the field and healthy, he shows explosiveness and a motor that allows him to have incredible potential going forward.

So yes, you could look at all the negative things that the organization has blundered on this year, namely QBs Tyler Wilson and Matt Flynn, but if you take a step back and really evaluate all the things that have happened this year, then you should see that this season, while on the surface may seem like one to forget, was instrumental to the future of this team and should be viewed at as a success and progress.

It was a season filled have plenty of drama, play that exceeded expectations and tough losses, but in the end this is truly a lost season because of all the positives that seemed to have been lost in the sea of disappointment at the final record.

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  • Silvia Arredondo

    I agree!

  • PJ

    It really is to bad. It is pretty ironic that exactly the same time MM came in is when all hope slowly, game by game, loss after loss our 6th seed playoff hopes slipped into oblivion. We were on a roll until MM happened and DA rode that short yellow bus from week to week into the ground. Then turns around and says the QB aint in the house! Shame on MD and RM for keeping this clown on the books. Players are not stupid enough to speak out against their HC. They need their jobs too. Im ashamed to call myself a fan after 35 years of loyalty. I will just put my head down quietly.

  • Raider Grant

    Sorry, there was nothing positive about draft or this season. Yes we played better than dead last, but far from anything too be proud about! Best thing about this season is it is over & next year Reggie McKenzie has nothing to cry about! Dennis Allen should be fired as he is no head coach ! 4-12 eagles picked up a REAL HEAD COACH & in one off season are going to the playoffs! The eagles didn’t have to wait 10 yrs, listen to countless excuses, they didn’t sell the farm to acquire an elite team, or star QB. They hired a head coach with a game plan , a man who knows how to be head coach & a leader of men. So those people who say just be patient, get real. I’m die hard Raider Nation, but if eagles can do it in one off season so can any team, even our Raiders! Rookie owner, rookie GM, with Rookie head coach, and we’re suppose to do what??? At the end of the day, at the end of another sad season we still suck & only can do what we do every year……look forward to optimistic hopes of next year! Raider Nation for Life

  • Vivar Junior

    Love my Raiders. Win or lose. True loyalty is standing tall with your team no matter the cost. Only then you see who the true Raider fans are. The ones who never turn their back or trash their own. Who needs the bag on the head guy or the boo hooers. We are Raiders. Not the Whiners. I stay committed to my Raiders.

  • slerma87

    Die hard raider fan yet you know nothing of the team. Aside from injuries we got 4 starters out of the draft. Most teams can’t say that. The reason the eagles can turn it around in one off season is because they have plenty of talent on the roster. Raiders have no superstars currently. They have no real playmakers on either side. Eagles have the leading rusher in McCoy, big play threat with Jackson and they got a qb that doesnt turn the ball over and is their qb of the future. With no qb, no #1 receiver, no depth on defense, Allen had no chance. Everyone knew this season would be nothing, we just got teased with an overachieving team early. With a ton of cap space and all of our draft picks there can really be talk of next year. Allen was given a turd and told to polish it. Now the team can finally be built. No overpaid veterans and bad draft picks. The days ahead are looking bright.

  • Raider Grant

    I’m sorry you feel I know nothing about my beloved Raiders. But you know nothing about the game of FOOTBALL! How good was d.jack & mccoy prior to the hiring of a great coach ? How good is foles truly with out the hiring of a great coach & an a great coaches game plan? Foles wasn’t so good in college an is an average QB on any other team! Add a leader of men & you have a competitive team. Did you know Chip Kelly wanted to immediately acquire TP to start & run his hired powered offense? A great coach (chip Kelly) would make TP look like cam newton & better, just look how good he made foles & vick look this year! I know nothing about my team. Sit back study football & keep acting like you know something! Raider 4 Life

  • slerma87

    They were probowlers! Did you just start watching football this year? The eagles won the worst division in the league. Chip Kelley’s offense failed and he had to switch to nick foles style of play. You sound more like an eagle fan to me. Tp will never be anything like newton. There’s a reason he was taken in the 3rd round of the supplemental draft and didn’t start a game until two years in. Continue to bash “your” team. You just make yourself look stupid. Allen and McKenzie deserved to be judged from now on. Dont blame them for the past regimes mistakes they inherited.

  • Raider Grant

    They were both injury prone from being over used & had Dennis Allen coached that team they would of still ended up 4-12 again. Kelly rookie year coaching at any level in NFL & he has his team in playoffs from 4-12 previous season. Not an eagle son, just pointing out the obvious while trying to inform people it could happen with sound minded decisions being made. If you watch football you would know eagle have been running kelly’s offense all season. Vick going down made Kelly improvise, as thats what good coaches do, bring the best out of their personnel. Your one of those fans who accepts the hard times & accepts being a loser. Well I’m NOT! Raider pride didn’t start cause we suck for decades buddy! Raider pride started out of the love of being winners & even when we weren’t we had the pride to still let other teams know they played the mighty Raiders ! So many newer fans just accept failure as it had become too common place for Raider Nation. Never accept failure no matter what you do, and there are better things on the way! Sorry you accept things & the bs excuses that come along with failure. Marcel Receese recently dodge a question in regards to Dennis Allen’s future on 95.7 The Game. They should of asked him if Kelly was hired as head coach of Raider what would you think the outcome would of been? Answer…better then anything DA could ever accomplish as a head coach. Did you just starting being a Raider fan? I don’t bash MY team jerk, I speak the truth. If DA somehow manages not to get fired & results are the same next season, McKenzie has another sub par draft & results are same, what then ??? You gonna say we need new coach & gm, or give them more time to get better at our expense? I could eventually be a winner to if alotted enough losing seasons to gain experience to win! Raiders 4 Life

  • Sebastian Cosentino

    I don’t disagree that Kelly is a good coach, he is, but you have to understand that he inherited a team that was built and called “the dream team”, they are loaded with talent. Oakland has little talent, that is the problem.

  • Ricky Bobby

    I recall DA believing last yrs team could win. He took Hue’s avg team and made it pathetic. Then he got his draft picks & FA’s & finished 4-12, losing 8 of 9 AGAIN. I call that CONSISTENCY#FIRED

  • TribalX

    Love my Raiders too…but Dennis Allen will never be able to compete with Andy Reid or John Fox. That’s just a bare-assed fact.

  • PJ

    You realy believe that TP is nothing like Cam? TP is the most complete player in franchise history. He has everything. Speed, size, strength, and pure athleticism. Yes, even a huge ceiling where he needs to improve and he could if given the chance and weapons. I believe TP, Streater and Homes are a hell of a tandem. Big, fast and strong all 3 of them. That is a sure foundation to build around. You know who else was trying to get TP in the draft from AD? Tomlin! He loves TP and would be first in line to get him. Al refused to give him up for future pics. This kid needs to start, wim lose or draw and develop into one if the best. DA is to stupid to see it. Just like Reece another talent being wasted. I mentioned Wisenhunt weeks ago. That would be a smart move to make, period. He knows how to win,lead men and use talent to get to the big show. Im praying MD has an ace up his sleeve!

  • slerma87

    Pryor is a great athlete but not a qb. You guys talk about coaches and quick turnarounds then what about pryor? Luck, newton, Dalton, rg3, tannehill, and even geno smith have hit the ground running. Just watch the Denver game over again and you’ll see all the problems with pryor. Can’t read a def, holds onto the ball too long, overthrows, under throws, doesnt throw it away and takes a sack. Our qb of the future is not on the roster

  • Phil Mokate

    You really are serious! Slerma87 Is right. You know nothing about football or the Raiders franchise and History or talent. You obviously have never played the game either except with your Madden NFL. Just another recliner and paddle HC that is 0-0. I should not even have wasted my time on this reply it is so insulting to football intelligence. I’m out!