Monday, December 6, 2010

"You are what your record says you are."
-Bill Parcells

(photo by Denis Poroy, Associated Press)

A few weeks back, the Oakland Raiders were 5-4 and I wrote to say they didn't suck. They then proceeded to lose big to the very tough Pittsburgh Steelers and get whipped on by the not so tough Miami Dolphins. But yesterday, the Raiders did what they have done best this year, beat up a team in their division. At the end of the first half in San Diego yesterday, the Raiders were ahead 21-3, and it wasn't really as close as that. They were not only putting points on the board, they were putting the Chargers on their asses. There was some controversy about the hit in the picture above when Rolando McClain hit Darren Sproles helmet to helmet and knocked the running back out of the game. Watching on TV, it looked like McClain actually lead with his shoulder and when a guy is as small as Sproles (5'6"), it hard not to hit him high.

So now the Raiders are 6-6 with four games left. Their record says they are about average in the league, but that's an improvement over recent years. They have lost some games they should have won, but they have beaten the teams in their division, which is important as a tiebreaker, should it come to that. They swept the Chargers, considered the pre-season favorites in the division, they crushed the Broncos in Denver and beat the Chiefs at home. They still have a game each against Denver and Kansas City, and if the Raiders have any shot at the playoffs, those are must-win games where I would expect them to be favored. Still, they have to win at least three games out of the next four to have a real shot, because Kansas City has a two game lead in the division now.

It is a long shot, but you are what your record says you are. In the past few years, the Raiders' record said they were dead by Thanksgiving. At least the fans have some hope in December, a feeling that hasn't happened for a long time.

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Final fantasy football update for the Mutant Mercenaries: This year I sucked. The only good news is that my brother and my nephew are both making it to the playoffs, and my brother's record says he's got the best team in our league. Best wishes to both over the next three weeks.




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