Back at the beginning of the season, I wrote an article about the Oakland Raiders and whether or not head coach Jon Gruden could handle all the big personalities he had put on the team.
Fast forward to week 15, the drama that surrounded the Raiders wasn’t just about the players they have, the players they’ve lost, and the coach, but now we get to add the fans to the mix. 2019 has been a rollercoaster for Oakland and their fans, and the tension boiled over on Sunday.
This was not what the Raiders had in mind for their final season in Oakland. In the offseason, they amassed talent and depth in order to give the fans and franchise a top-notch, competitive season. As we all know too well, those plans started to crumble before the season even got started, but even until a few weeks ago there was still a chance to make the best of it.
I’m not sure how it happened, but it has. We have reached the midpoint of the 2019 NFL season. The year is flying by so let’s take a few minutes to check in on the AFC West and their quarterbacks.
It has been a rollercoaster in the West, to say the least. For some teams, early season promise has turned into concern. For others, they never even got out of the gate. The media likes to put wins and losses on the shoulders of two people- the coach, and the QB. While in reality, that isn’t always where the fault lies, the quarterbacks of the AFC West are taking the punch.
The Los Angeles Chargers (3-5) are obviously not where they want to be. Many of us, and yes I’m including myself in this, thought it would be the Chargers who would battle the Kansas City Chiefs for the division. While they squeaked out a win against the Chicago Bears yesterday, not many feel the Chargers are a threat.
Before the season began, everyone and I mean everyone, had the Kansas City Chiefs running away with the AFC West, and possibly the Super Bowl. Six games in, things have changed and the door to the top spot in the division seems to have opened.
Injuries happen, and there is no question that the Chiefs are suffering from them. Superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes injured his ankle early in the season and has reaggravated it, in some way, in almost every game since.
There has been a noticable difference in his play, mostly in his ability to leave the pocket to escape pressure brought by the defense. His signature move, those long, beautiful passes, has also been more difficult to complete since he can’t always plant his foot. What this equals to is the once unstoppable offense has become, well…easier to stop.
It was an up and down day for the AFC West. All four teams had very tough opponents, a lot on the line, and it showed in the games.
The Kansas City Chiefs were the only undefeated team in the AFC West, the Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders had split the first two games, and the Denver Broncos were still looking for their first win of the 2019 season.
What would week 3 bring for the AFC West? Well, it was a rollercoaster for sure. One with expected losses, expected wins, and two games that were fantastic down to the last minute!
With the Oakland Raiders on HBO’s Hard Knocks this season, any and everything associated with the team and its players generates buzz amongst sports media. The mishaps reported between episode 1 and 2 have Raiders Fans excited for more.
This season Hard Knocks is the perfect hype leading up to the season opener on Monday, Sept. 9th against the Denver Broncos at the Black Hole in Oakland.
This week’s episode began with a team meeting, in which head coach Jon Gruden immediately captured the attention of his players (and the audience) by dropping a couple of F-bombs. He also exclaimed that he wants ‘better execution and etiquette in practice’. He then hypes up the players by telling them to “Pick it up!” and stick their foot up somebodies [expletive].
As a Raiders fan for over 25 years, the pirate theme is one that resonates with all of us. Much like pirates, Raiders fans have often attempted to justify a horrible ending season with a curse of some kind, or misfortune.
From quarterback curses to tuck-rules, you can imagine my reaction when I learned The Oakland Raiders were chosen to be featured on season 14 of Hard Knocks.
After watching the Chiefs and Redskins duel, I decided against what I wanted to write because we’re in a bye now and some changes are needed. Needed quickly. The above match-up felt like what we should’ve seen in Denver. Two bitter rivals ripping each other to shreds, with the quarterbacks leading the charge.
Instead, we saw a lackluster game that was barren of heat or passion. No fights. Only a couple really hard hits (one by safety Jamal Carter). Knock on wood, but our total injuries were a couple sprains. No broken noses, bloody jerseys or pants. This was no WWE Smack Down or Cage Match. It mostly felt like a pillow fight.
I take that back. The Broncos did break quarterback Derek Carr. He joins a growing list of top QBs we have sidelined. Some have yet to completely bounce back. That intensity needs to hit every position group. Not to knock players out, but to be as focused as Von Miller and Derek Wolfe–heat seeking QB misslies.
Believe it or not, I’m super nice to most people and try to do the right thing, which is why I’m glad the Raiders are kind of good again. They let me release my inner she-devil. It’s like The Purge, only twice a year. So what are you hoping happens to Oakland? I’m hoping cornerback Aqib Talib completely neutralizes wide receiver Michael Crabtree so he doesn’t get a single carry.
This is an AFC West division game between two long-time rivals, and both teams are 2-1 with losses last week against teams many thought they should have beaten. This game could have serious implications on any playoff run either franchise hopes to see. I expect it to be nasty and dirty, and reffing could be a factor.