TOO MUCH BYE BLUES FOR MORE BAD NEWS

This is not the badass Raiders your Dad and Grandpa watched. You can’t as easily sneak out of a motel after curfew for a few extra broads and brewskis before a big game. Police don’t just escort people home after drinking and driving anymore.

The Henry Ruggs tragedy is a reminder that times are different. Forty times won’t keep you in Silver and Black.

Drinking and driving kills. It only takes one time.

There’s no doubt it is 100 percent preventable, especially when you’re a professional athlete. You add all the other details and you wonder how can Ruggs not serve time? You’ve read about the high speeds, gun and BAC. You’ve seen those videos.

It’s still crushing to watch a 22-year-old fuck up his life. Ruggs went from playing the best football of his life to looking like he may never play again. Plus, all the guilt he feels from taking a life and letting down people relying on him. This is probably the craziest situation I’ve seen in terms of a professional athlete.

I don’t blame Derek Carr, Rich Bisaccia or Mark Davis for saying they love the person and stand by him. I can’t blame them for releasing Ruggs. Same goes for fans who want to see him punished and those who feel for him. It’s a rough situation but I life was lost from a preventable accident that happens far too often. Whatever happened in that car doesn’t change the fact that Ruggs is ultimately responsible.

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More Rain

The bye week got worse when news dropped that Damon Arnette was facing a lawsuit for a hit and run acr accident en route to a meeting last year. News broke about separate incidents with a valet and instagram live. People must be held accountable. You can’t play with guns like the ’70s anymore.

This is a lot for a fanbase that just accepted a move. You add that to the Raiders track record of losing. Don’t forget we just got embarrassed by Gruden’s dated and misogynistic locker room talk. One email can mess up your entire wikipedia. A mediocre second tenure didnt help.

Football is changing. You can’t do whatever you want anymore. You can’t say whatever. It’s a new time and the Raiders are in a new state.

AND the Raiders are not winning. It’s been almost twenty years since we won a playoff game. Being a renegade is only fun when you win.

The quest for a new home and stadium finally ended. Now, it deserves a playoff squad. There is also an addition playoff team and regular-season game this year.

Moving Past the Past

We saw the Raiders collapse in the second half of the season under Gruden. They started good but flamed out at the end. They missed the playoffs narrowly. Their struggles after the bye week are well documented under Gruden. We’ve also been bad traveling east for a minute.

That said, I feel great about Bisaccia. The team went into the bye week looking good. They got some rest. Then all these distractions happened.

We went from talking about the extra element Ruggs gave the offense to discussing Desean Jackson or Odell Becham Jr. Vegas zoomed with Jackson but they aren’t expected to add receiver this week.

Still, Bisaccia steady the ship. He was empathetic, commanding and honest with the media. It seems like the team is rallying around him and a more established Derek Carr.

This Carr isn’t the same 2016 MVP candidate. This Carr has to play like he is battling for his job. This Carr has been through two mediocre seasons. He lost his head coach and best receiver. Carr and Bisaccia give the team a fighting chance through adversity.

Receiving Options

Otherwise, Las Vegas promoted receivers Dillon Stoner and Marcell Ateman. Zay Jones is the veteran who really needs to step up into a starter role. Jones holds great chemistry with Carr as they always practice together in the offseason. More pressure falls on Bryan Edwards and Hunter Renfrow without Ruggs’ speed stretching the field every single play.

If OBJ is free, you sign him based on his age and upside. The shoulder injuries worry me but his lower body seems recovered from previous injuries. However, I’ve always wanted to see Jackson as a Raider. He is healthy and still brings speed. Jackson doesn’t have the same ability as Odell but he would fill Ruggs’ shoes better.

The Raiders could honestly use both if they’re serious about boosting the offense for a playoff push. They need Jackson at least. I’m also curious why they didn’t bring back John Brown since they also signed him for his speed.

We can’t forget the team stayed quiet at the deadline. I can’t blame them given everything with the team. They also believe in Zay Jones and their practice squad guys. Let’s see if they can get better in free agency or internally. They have done both this season already.

New York, New York

The Giants aren’t a great team but they do get teams to play down to their level. New York is 2-6 but they lost three games by one score or less. Saquon Barkley is ruled out but the Raiders know Davontae Booker can pop off. Receiver Kenny Galloday is questionable which means the Raiders secondary should dominate. Nate Hobbs and Casey Hayward are among the best rated at their positions.

Few teams need receivers like the Giants. Look at their injury report. However, the Raiders are still bad at covering tight ends. New Yorks’s Evan Engram is athletic and could torch the Raiders under the right circumstances. Engram was on the trade block too.

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I wouldn’t go as far to call it a trap game but the Giants do have enough to beat the Raiders. Leonard Williams and Dexter Jackson could give the Raiders run game some trouble. They can also be effective against the pass with James Bradburry and Adoree Jackson as a balanced corner duo. Our o-line looked improved a few weeks ago but they must maintain that growth on the road after a week off. The receivers must also step up without Ruggs taking the top off the defense.

Either way, the Raiders have a chance as long as their defensive line pressures Daniel Jones. The Raiders’ defensive line depth is their greatest asset. They face a Giants line with three players in the bottom ten at their position, per PFF. Everybody is healthy and rested again this week. The Raiders should have a full rotation.

Carr has to keep playing efficient football. The challenge will be finding ways to make big plays and strikes without Ruggs. Carr is going to need someone else to step up as his ex-factor. Look for more Foster Moreau, Kenyan Drake and Alec Ingold. Carr should spread the ball around a lot this game. He must rely on finding mismatches more without Ruggs beating his defender every play.

TMC

The point is, the Raiders know what they need to do. They must build their identity around their defensive line. Their secondary must continue making plays. Don’t screw up by giving up big chunks on penalties or blown assignments.

The offense must continue running through Carr and a strong run game. Vegas has a cast of characters who can help Carr drive the ball downfield. He can’t press too much. Lean on Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller. Find Hunter Renfrow on third down. Carr must develop trust with new players since Ruggs is gone.

Bisaccia should continue leading with poise and confidence. He should keep relying on his coaches as well as letting his players play.

Vegas plays the Chiefs in a game that will have meaning in a heated AFC West race. You can’t overlook the Giants but you want to be healthy and rolling into that game confident. Once again, let’ put a win between us and all this off-field mess.

RIP Tina Tintor and her puppers Max

Are the Raiders the Worst in the NFL? Battle of the Bay, no trades before Halloween and more

I can’t believe I’m happy to say that we competed versus the Indianapolis Colts last week. It’s truth though. Last Sunday was the first week I enjoyed watching the 2018 Raiders.

Their adjustments and talent weren’t great, sure, but I finally saw young players like Gareon Conley and Karl Joseph playing. Were they great? No, but you want to see young talent playing from a rebuilding team.

More importantly, Derek Carr played hard. He didn’t let all the distractions effect him. He looked like he was finally having fun again. That’s a long way from the dude who was ‘crying’ only a few weeks ago.

It was honestly the first time I felt like Gruden’s plan was in the process. I felt the buy-in from the squad even if it didn’t result in a win.

Are the Raiders the worst team in the NFL?

Only two seasons ago we were talking about them being the best and now we’re talking about them being the worst. SMFH.

Either way, the Raiders are among the worst teams in the standings. They look like by-far the worst team in the AFC West. Moreover, they aren’t really set at any position. They’re filled with wholes at the key positions including RB, QB, OL, DL, CB, LB and damn near every position. QB is the only position you could say the Raiders have set but even that depends on how he plays and meshes with his coach moving forward this season. Oh yeah, there is LT too with Kolton Miller and some of the OL depending what happens after this year.

Outside of that, they barely beat the Browns who fired the coach this week. Cleveland has 1.5 wins more than Oakland. They also have already found key players on the d-line, in the backfield, at receiver and in the secondary.

Further, comparisons to sorry teams don’t fall in the Raiders favor either. Buffalo has one more win for Pete’s sake. The Colts also beat us even if they looked like trash in the process.

In the NFC, there’s the Cardinals. Sure, they only have one more win but they have a QB, RB and possibly a WR to build around. There defense was also great not too long ago and still has a lot of players with name recognition.

Even the Giants, who have the same record as the Raiders, appear better. New York at least has a franchise savior at RB and WR. Their defense is grossly overpaid and overhyped but still has more talent than Oakland.

Then you have the 49ers…. Even they have a QB sort of. Jimmy G has a limited sample size of success but don’t tell that to 9ers Stans. They also have key young players throughout the defense that give them a nice nucleus for the future. They’ve also been in the lottery a lot more than some of the other sorry teams this season mentioned earlier.

Battle of the Bay

Well, we will certainly find out this week, tonight, versus the 49ers. Oakland has another toilet bowl on their schedule as both teams enter the game with only one win.

Sure, it’s the battle of the bay and supposed to be a rivalry game but does anyone actually care outside of the bay? Again, who knows.

I’d expect a physical game even if it isn’t a good game. The Raiders should win consider the 49ers are depleted by injury and starting a third string QB whose name I can’t even recall.

On the other hand, a loss here would be horrible for the Raiders. If you win one game this season it better be versus the 49ers. Moreover, we all know who wins the fight after and the drinking battle before, #RaiderNation.

No trades at the deadline

Apparently, the Raiders biggest trades already happened. We all know the squad already moved franchise cornerstones Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack but they were expected to keep making trades anyways. Derek Carr, Karl Joseph, Gareon Conley and others were rumored to get moved. It made sense if the Raiders were going all-in for tanking. Besides, one team’s trash is another persons treasure.

However, nothing happened and it is okay. I don’t know if I could have stomached another trade. It is a little disappointing that guys like Rodney Hudson, Bruce Irvin and Kelechi Osemele are stuck playing for a sorry team this late into their career. However, they’re all compensated well and professionals. It will be interesting to see how they and other veterans factor into the Raiders plans after this season.

Nonetheless, I’m sure Oakland tried to move those players. They just couldn’t find good value and figured they’d be better off saving those chips and letting them play out. Who knows, maybe young guys Karl Joseph and Gareon Conley can turn their careers around and get Gruden to believe in them.

Ultimately, a team can only take so much change. The Raiders couldn’t afford to make another deal just for the sake of it. Their team is another roster move away from being the laughing stock of the league so keeping their talent should’ve always been a priority.

Tuck and Woodley’s meaning for Raiders

Woodley signs with Raiders via Raiders.com

Just around twelve hours ago, Raidernation was ready to jump ship when the Rodger Saffold deal was botched. Apparently, depending on whose side you believe, Saffold had a previous shoulder injury that caused him to fail the Raiders physical and voiding the contract.

Fast Forward a few hours, and Raider Fans were excited to hear the team signing Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley to two year contracts. Sure Woodley and Tuck are not the marquee players they once were a few seasons ago, but the signings are still significant boosts for the squad.

Veteran Leadership

Tuck and Woodley both come from two other storied franchises in the Steelers and Giants. Both hoisted the Lombardi trophy in their tenure with their former teams. Championship pedigrees are not cheap in this league and a team that has done a lot of losing needs to learn how to win, and these guys know how. As Fans we seen the Impact Woodson made when he came in purely from a leadership perspective, and these guys can do the same

Pass Rush
Between the two of these guys, The Raiders added over 100 career sacks to a struggling front four.Woodley
is a versatile rusher capable of standing up or putting his hand in the ground. Tuck is capable of rushing from the end or 3 technique. That versatility should be utilized by the Raiders. D-Coordinator Tarver should be stoked to have two new toys.

Affordability
Raiders got Tuck and Woodley for what it would have cost to franchise Lamarr Houston. Not to mention, the two year deals do not hurt the team in the long run. Around a 6 million dollar salary for these guys is a good deal considering they have more sacks then Houston.

Recruitement
These Two guys are about as respectable as you can be in the league. If they can buy into Reggie’s plan then I am sure they can get other Veteran Defensive Players to buy into what the Raiders are selling. So far free agency has proven Raiders are going to have to offer more then just playing time and money. Having Woodley’s and Tuck’s influence should help other free agents buy into the francsise.

Reggies Plan
These two moves signify Reggie’s plan of patience and not over spending. Fans lost beloved Houston and Veldheer and the Raiders needed to provide some hope for its fans. The Saffold drama can now be put behind us, and fans can buy into the big picture again. Reggie is not going to overspend or lock up players, he wants to build through the draft. Tuck and Woodley are the servicable stop-gap players for fans to be excited about, but they also could be the mentors to Raiders young players. Moreover, these are signings the Raiders can build on as they continue Free Agency and into the Draft.

Something To Prove
I mean really, When was the last time Raider Fans actually had something Legit to be excited about? Reggie McKenzie actually has something to prove to the fanbase which pays his pay check. Same could be said for Tuck and Woodley. Both were intricate pieces of their former franchises, yet were not coveted by their former teams. As they enter their 30’s(Woodley 29 Tuck 31) both players can prove they still have plenty to offer a team. Woodson dispelled the myth that 30 year old players can’t impact games, and Woodley/Tuck will look to do the same.

Sure Woodley and Tuck are not exactly the marquee names anymore. However that is no reason for Raidernation to not be excited, as they are better then anyone else currently on the roster. Sure the Raiders have a lot more to do in Free Agency and they have a huge draft coming up in May, but signing Woodley and Tuck is a step in the right direction.Singularly, neither is the kind of pass rusher to command double teams anymore, but paired offensive QBs have something to fear for the first time in a while.

] Tuck signs with Raiders [\caption]

This is a Giant Game

If I scroll down my bleacher report team stream far enough I can see stories from two weeks ago about how good the Raiders Defense was playing, and how they had hopes for the playoffs. Scroll up a bit and the Raiders collapse against the Eagles has taken the headlines.

At first glance the raiders big loss could be attributed to the Raiders overlooking a struggling Eagles team. Frankly, The Raiders just didn;t match up with the Eagles well.

At the beginning of the season many picked the Raiders to be the least talented team in the league. Well the Raiders are stacked with intelligence and work ethic, even I wouldn’t argue they are stacked with talent. The Eagles on the other hand are a struggling team with tons of speed and athleticism.

I think the Raiders were just over matched all over their field. On defense, players had their hands on their hips. They failed to get any real pressure on quarterback nick foles. The Defensive backs were stumbling all over the place. And the worn out defense failed to stop the run and limit big plays.

On offense a make shift offensive line could not provide Pryor any real time. The recievers and playmakers of the raiders failed to counterreact the high octane Offense of the Eagles. While they were able to get yards, there defense just couldn;t get any real help. But its a new week and the Raiders have no time to waste as they face another struggling athletic team.

I don;t think anyone would argue that Eli Manning and his two superbowl rings are more consistent than Nick Foles. Combine that with the big physical receivers of Hakeem nicks and Victor cruz and there are elements for a similar debacle if the Raiders don’t bring an A game. On the Defensive side the Raiders will also have to do a much better job at pressuring Eli, so that he can be forced into interceptions.

Offensively the Offensive line face Jason Tuck and Pierre Paul. They have the speed and explosiveness to pressure Pryor and keep hm contained. Pryor needs to recognize blitzes and get the ball out. He needs to not have happy feet trying to perserve the play. Manelik Watson will make his starting debut, and pryor should be able to trust is offensive line. Running lanes should be there if he chooses to scramble but that should only be after his first or second read. Lastly, someone is going to have to step up and make a play for pryor. 2010 Mcfadden is not going to be on the field, so the raiders will take playmaking ability from anyone. It is time for one of the Rookie tight ends to step up and make a play. Otherwise Reece or Moore seem the most capable of providing the offense a needed spark.

This game against the Giants will tell a lot about Dennis Allen and this Raider team. Allen has already been quoting as saying this team won’t collalpse like last season. Well this will be an indicator of progression or regression for this Raiders team. The Giants have won two games and  are playing every game to win like a scrappy boxer. If the Raiders don’t want to knock the hope out of their playoff pipedream than they need to have an A game against the giants.