Thanks to the wonderful new service provided by NFL Gamepass and their ongoing Sunday night server problems, I had to watch the RAIDERS vs Chiefs game on Monday.
By the way NFL, you need to do something about the company whose service is so far not a service, who have now ruined two consecutive weekends for people who are investing hard earned money into your product, rather than watching un-authorised streams.The European fan base for your sport is particularly loyal and have been shabbily treated.
Anyway back to the game.
First up, the RAIDERS are 1 - 1, and I am pretty happy about that fact and will take it thanks very much.The main emotion I had after the game was one of relief.Lady luck seemed to be in our favour for a change, in a big way.There were so many moments that could have gone against us, but didn't.I am thinking about the the ball stripped from Michael Bush that dropped right back to him, the three of four times that JaMarcus Russell threw the ball straight to a defender who should have taken it back the other way for six points, the roughing the passer call late in the game which seemed marginal, but maybe that makes us even for the Louis Murphy TD that never was last week.
Add to all that the fact that the Chiefs were guilty of continually shooting themselves in the foot with dare I say it, RAIDER-esque penalties at critical times.K C had the better of us moving the ball, the offensive stats don't lie, but a combination of those badly timed penalties with brilliantly timed defensive plays ( take a bow Mr Huff and Mr Ellis ), meant that the superiority in yardage did not turn into points on the scoreboard.
Even after a positive outcome, the most glass half full amongst the RAIDER NATION know that we were just horrible on offense for the whole game, well up until the final three minutes or so.The sheer number of three and outs that the team is producing at the moment, apart from the obvious lack of points, means that a defense which is playing tough is also in danger of being exhausted in the fourth quarter of games when it could cost us dear.On Sunday Nnamdi Asomugah had to leave the field due to dehydration, Chris Johnson seemed to be cramping up and Mike Huff at the end of the game looked shattered.God bless them they kept it going and closed it out, but can they be expected to have to do that for the rest of the year?
On offense we were simply poor.JaMarcus Russell was probably more erratic than week one, and I don't want to continually get on the guys back ( couldn't reach anyway ), but lets not duck the issue, he has looked very very bad in both games so far.It didn't help that we seemed to go away from the run putting more pressure on Russell, it felt as though either Tom Cable tried to be too clever with the Chiefs and surprise them with a pass happy offense, or the Chiefs could key on the run due to our inability to complete passes consistently.
Of course, then to confound everyone with defeat seemingly upon us again, the guy who couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo suddenly starts to make good throws down the field, more than once in the same drive, and for a few seconds when he lets a pass go like they did, you get a glimpse of the potential that people saw when he entered the draft.Unfortunately those passes have been few and far between.People looking on the bright side will say he got it done when he needed to, and he did, all credit to him for that, but 19 of 54 over two games with a completion rate around 35% is woeful, and we may have been looking at a very different outcome on Sunday had the opponent been better than the Chiefs.
My props go out to this week to that whole defensive unit.Arrowhead is never easy to go to, and they bent but never broke, restricted Todd Haley's new offense and new QB to ten points in their own stadium, while being on the field for long periods.
[On a side note as Haley's name comes up.It was nice of him to reveal his hatred of the RAIDERS in the week before the game, due to his Steelers connections.Cheers Todd, it's all the sweeter to see you at 0 - 2, it must have hurt, a loss in your home opener to the old enemy, team meetings in KC will be a pleasant environment this week .]
Seymour and Ellis are a threat for any opposing QB, and the secondary combination of Asomugah, Huff, Johnson, Branch, Eugene, and Mitchell look confident and hungry.Thankfully the prevent didn't rear it's ugly head this week, and long may it continue.
As I said last week, I think with a serviceable QB the RAIDERS defense will give us a chance to be competitive and win games.Russell needs to become that and fast, Denver will offer more than the Chiefs this week, the injury to Robert Gallery is not helpful to Russell either, but a combination of Satele and Morris may be able to do a job in the short term.
And speaking of the coming week its Donkey week, hurrah.And what would Donkey week be without the obligatory picture of a knackered old ass................................................................
............................................................ and a list of things I don't like about the Donkey's :
Mike Shanahan and that wonky eye, John Elway, Shannon Sharpe and his planet sized face, Steve Atwater, Terrell Davis, Mike Shanahan again, Champ ( no longer the best shut down corner in the league ) Bailey, Jay Cutler and his fat head, John Lynch, Ricky Nattiel, Knowshon Moreno and his made up name, Oh and Mike Shanahan............................
and some Donkey facts, education is power..................................
1. The Donkey or Ass, Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family, and an odd toed ungulate.
2. Donkeys vary considerably in size, depending on breed and management.
3. Until recent times, the synonym, ass, was was commonly used to refer to Equus asinus
( e.g. as in jackass, meaning "male donkey".
The term "donkey" in British English is used in horse racing to refer to unsuccessful horses.
5. To refer to someone as a jackass in modern slang provides a connotation of being obnoxious, rude, and thoughtless, with or without the added connotation of stupidity.This usage is also considered vulgar.A less vulgar substitute is donkey itself.
6. The donkey has long been a symbol of ignorance.
7. Donkey's have teeth that continually erupt or grow from the gum line, in fact they erupt at about 2mm per year, see below.......................................
......................................... Got to Love Donkey Week.