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Raiders- Broncos Recap

November 24, 2008



My sense of timing has been off lately and that can be evidenced by a post I did in week 1. In my preview of the Raiders opening game against the Broncos, I listed 5 reasons why the Raiders would win. They were demolished in that game, but the Raiders rebounded by returning the favor in a 31-10 slaughtering of their hated rival. Which happened to help keep their chances at a .500 record alive, even if only for a week or two.

With out a doubt the Raiders played there best all-around game of the season. I believe it gave Raider Nation a glimpse of what the team could be capable of, if just a a few things were different. I.E,.the offensive line protects the QB on the regular, the running backs are healthy on a weekly basis, and Jamarcus plays with confidence and consistency (10-11 for 151 yards and a touchdown).

The Raiders are just 3-8, a dismal record by anyones standards. Although the season has been a rough one to watch, some good does come with the win. 1) It makes the season seem a little better than it has. 2) It will hopefully boost moral on the team. 3) It puts the organization a step or two away from the number one pick, therefore lowering the risk of a iffy or overpriced pick. 4) It finally gives us fans a reason to smile when thinking of the Raiders, at least for a week. Its always a good day when the Raiders win, but can we learn anything from a November win that means almost nothing aside from the joy we get from Denvers misery and the already stated reasons? I think we can, because it proved a couple things for the Raiders organization and team as a whole.

First of all, every facet of Al Davis' strategy factored into the win over the Donkeys yesterday. Proving that his wheeling and dealing (even if the returns have diminished greatly over the years), do in fact still work. Johnny Lee Higgins returned a punt for 89 yard touchdown, making it his second time in two weeks that he took one to the house. Proving that drafting really really fast guys can work out in your favor. Darren McFadden and his two touchdowns, showed the promise and talent he has to become a scoring machine. Proving that ignoring your needs in the draft and picking a cant-miss talent sometimes works out in your favor.

Justin Fargas ran for 107 yards on 24 carries, making him the first Raider back to break the 100 yard mark since the week two win over Kansas City. Proving that by drafting Run DMC, it wasn't the beginning of the end for Fargas' reign over the Oakland backfield but maybe the start of a fantastic running-back combo in Oakland. Cornerback Chris Johnson played great as a replacement for the recently jettisoned DeAngelo Hall, providing two pass deflections and great coverage throughout the game. Proving that the DeAngelo release could end in big dividends for the Nation apart from monetary gains. Lastly, Ashley Lelie was the biggest stud of the game nabbing four balls for 92 yards and a touchdown. Proving that even the most disenchanted player can make big contributions, it also doesn't hurt when playing the team that discarded said player.

In summation, the Raiders really shouldn't be a 3-8 team. They have the talent and ability to regain there form as one of the best teams in the AFC and the NFL. For that to happen, the organization needs to bring the players consistency, strong leadership, and a new GM. With the probability of those things actually happening in the foreseeable future being quite bleak, the Raider Nation must enjoy the wins when they do occur. Sure the losses make us wonder where that commitment to excellence has gone, but remember its games like this that made us Raider fans in the first place.

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