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Friday, November 17, 2017

Re-Committing to Excellence

Credit: Oakland Raiders
Raiders celebrate Marcel Reece's 30-yard touchdown reception in their 33-3 win over Seattle.

The Oakland Raiders 33-3 win over Seattle on Sunday puts the Silver and Black at 4-4 after eight games for the first time since 2002. Is this the sign of a much-needed turnaround?

"Unfortunately, sometimes a negative becomes a positive."

92 points in the last two games after an embarrassing nine point effort in San Francisco in week six is the "negative [becoming] the positive."

The Raiders have outscored both Denver and Seattle a combined 92-17 during the recent two game win streak and the scoring momentum does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. Last season, it took Oakland eight weeks into the season to total over 90 points. That's including a 38-0 shutout loss to the New York Jets in week seven. (For those who forgot, that's the Sanchez-hot dog game)

However, just saying they "won" two straight may be an understatement.

The key 33-3 win over the Seahawks yesteday put the Raiders a game behind the AFC West leading Kansas City Chiefs with the Raiders hosting the Chiefs on Sunday for a shot at a piece of the division lead.

So what makes this year's Silver and Black different from the previous seven since Oakland's Super Bowl disaster against Tampa Bay?

For starters, the Raiders bring back head coach Tom Cable for his third season, giving the Raiders the much-needed coaching stability that they've been without since Al Davis fired Bill Callahan after the 2003 season. Then there was Norv Turner in 2004 and 2005, Art Shell took over in 2006, Lane Kiffin in 2007 and about a quarter of the way in 2008, and then came Cable. Cable is the first head coach to return for his "third" season since the Raiders had Jon Gruden lead them from 1998-2001.

Then there's the "stability" at quarterback.

Since Rich Gannon's career just about ended after the 2004 season, Oakland has started 11 different quarterbacks in the past six seasons.

However, with Bruce Gradkowski showing signs of promise late in the 2009 season and early on this year prior to his shoulder injury, Oakland's draft-day trade for Washington's Jason Campbell seems to have panned out. At least, thus far.

Campbell, the sixth year signal caller from Auburn has thrown for 1,023 yards with six touchdowns and four interception in his first six games in the Silver and Black, five or which he started. But it's the last two games that show signs that this was the right trade. (Then again, how else can you go wrong from JaMarcus Russell?)

Campbell has thrown for 514 yards with four touchdowns with no interceptions in the Raiders last two wins, leading a Raiders team that has racked a combined total of 1053 net yards in the last two games, and a Raiders offense that is ranked eighth in the NFL.

And then there's the defense.

For the first time in years, the Raiders drafted, well... smart.

Top-draft pick Rolando McClain has already recorded 40 tackles, 25 solo and looks to be a force in the Raiders front seven in the years to come. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha went from potential draft bust to All-Pro and is now one of the more feared corners in the league. Both lead a defense that has allowed an average of 310 yards per game, placing them ninth in the league.

At 4-4 the Raiders have a chance to do something they haven't done in years. Have a winning record going into their bye-week. With the right pieces in place, Oakland may just in fact shock the world. Or, at least climb back to the spot where they once were.

Still a half of the season to go. Only time will tell if the recent Raider success is hype, or if it may be something more.



About the Writer

Jeff Weisinger is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Re-Committing to Excellence

Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By Deborah Horton on November 02, 2010 at 03:40 pm

Clearly the best game of this upcoming weekend - Raiders vs Chiefs - a real smash mouth game with players who go all out - bring it! Great read :)

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