Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Post Mortem

The Raiders are going to win the AFC West. At least, for one week, they played like the only team in the division that actually wanted to be division champions. If you didn’t want an NFL game this year – save for Week 12 – you would conclude that the Raiders are the best team in the AFC West.

Though, that isn’t saying much.

And the saddest thing is that the Raiders might be trying the hardest with the worst collection of talent.

As disturbing as it is, the Raiders are certainly mathematically alive. Hell, they might have the inside track on the division. The Raiders have winnable games against the Chiefs, Chargers and Texans. That would put them at the magical 6-10 mark that should carry the AFC West.

What is the saddest thing – the fact that this could happen or that Raiders fans probably expect this to happen?

There are some of you rooting hard for the Lions to go winless this season. But my dream season would be a 6-10 or 7-9 team making the playoffs. And if we aren't careful, it's going to be the Raiders.

  • How far has the stock dropped on Mike Shanahan? Can he really hang around long enough until Jack Elway has graduated from Arizona State? The Broncos looked awful against the Raiders, but when you are forced to play Tatum Bell at running back, you don't have much of a chance.
  • Great coaching move by Norv Turner to take a timeout to ensure that the Colts had plenty of time to drive down the field and kick the winning field goal. Did he steal Lane Kiffin's guide to being fired?
  • If I was Mr. Goodell, I would claim that my referees are cheating. I'd rather them be dirty rather than this incompetent.
  • The Cardinals just aren't ready to make the leap to championship-level. That's the truth. But it's time to finally give credit to the Giants offensive line. They are amazing. They make an average quarterback look pretty good. That offensive line might be the MVP of the league. They make Eli Messiah seem competent. But a lot of journeymen quarterbacks would look great behind that offensive line. That's a good team, though.
  • The Cardinals certainly weren’t outclassed by the Giants. And there was no shame losing to a team that good. But there is still just one ingredient missing for the Cardinals. Could this be a loss that propels them to new heights? How the respond in Philadelphia this week certainly will tell the story.
  • Did you see the Donovan McNabb press conference where he admitted that he didn't know that a coach could bench his starting quarterback during the game? This guy really needs to start paying attention.
  • Remember those old NFL Films team yearbooks where they would make even the worst NFL teams seem legitimate? So if they did that with the current teams, then they would spend the entire hour talking about the Lions 17-0 lead over the Buccaneers. That might be the closest they get to winning a game. But now it's just mean when teams are spotting them a lead. Word is that the Titans won't be able to rush the quarterback until they count five "Mississippis"
  • Maybe instead of a Jets vs. Cardinals Super Bowl, we're heading towards an all-New York Super Bowl. This seems like the NFL's answer to a slumping economy, but the two New York teams in the Super Bowl. Honestly, the Subway Series was bad enough, but this would be way, way worse. There is no way that this can happen.
  • Pity Cal Poly who nearly pulled a monumental upset at Wisconsin on Saturday. What an awful way to lose. At least they get to chance to redeem themselves in the playoffs.
  • Oregon State is going to face Penn State in the Rose Bowl and I couldn't be happier. The Big Ten has ruined the past couple of BCS title games. Not that it's there fault that they are lousy. That would be akin to putting an FCS-level team into the BCS title game and then being surprised when they lose. But hopefully this awesome Oregon State vs. Penn State matchup will finally shame the Rose Bowl into joining the rest of us in 2008. Now USC gets a chance to play a real opponent in a bowl game to see just how good they are.
  • The NFL should start a mini tournament for the worst teams in the NFL called, the ImpossiBowl. The Chiefs, Lions, St. Louis FC and the Raiders could battle it out for the top pick in the draft. Who would you like out of the four? Probably Kansas City, though St. Louis FC is becoming historically bad.

Qualcomm Stadium is a pretty awesome venue. Especially when there is nobody there. Had a chance to explore Qualcomm Stadium and all it had to offer during the San Diego State vs. UNLV game on Saturday night. And it's pretty cool. There is a hidden section of the stadium under the field level that has its own concession stands and restrooms. Although, it probably gets crammed during a Chargers game. But who did I not know this before?

Why isn't it more packed during State games? Sure the program is lousy, but the tickets are $15 and they serve beer. You should attend a game on principle. Our college programs that serve beer are as rare as left-handing starting quarterbacks in the NFL. The program blows, but the party is fun.

The more you go to the stadium, the more you realize that they should just do an Angels Stadium-like makeover of the place. The location is awesome. The parking lot is pretty easy to get in and out of. There is no reason to abandon it. Unless, of course, the Chargers are going to take the Ed Roski deal in Los Angeles.

And speaking of the Aztecs, they fired coach Chuck Long. What an uninspired hire that was. The school needs to get a guy like Gary Barnett or Bob Toledo to revive this program. The Mountain West is getting pretty good, and it's important to step up or they could be relegated to a lesser conference. Like the Pac-10. There is no excuse for San Diego State to be bad.


Bokolis said...

We're going to have the Bowl in the Meadowlands. To hell with Goodell and Tampa! Actually, they still play both conference championships on Sunday, don't they? I'm wondering what they'd do if both Jersey A and Jersey B had to host.

Gotta step up from those cheap seats, man. I've been there once and I knew that spot was there. That said, on that one trip, I did a Pasqual Perez, circling-the-Murph-for-25-minutes-trying-to-find-the-highway-exit, move. I wound up in the hood.

Anonymous said...

I sure do miss Norv as the Raider's coach - not! Go Enjoy your coach, San Diego!

R.J. said...

I know it's like $12 to go see an Aztecs game, but it cuts into my Leafs game that evening and I can always watch SDSU on Channel 4 or one of those obscure cable stations that televise college football. And it's gratis, which fits my budget.

I have no idea why the Raiders won yesterday. I just happy they beat the Donks.

Bain said...

As disturbing as it is, the Raiders are certainly mathematically alive. Hell, they might have the inside track on the division.

Disturbing? Jokes would be raining from the sky. It would triple THN's traffic overnight

Almost omen-like, my verification word is "latimpo," which is a Lompoc term for a Jim Plunkett figurine carved from Fels-Naptha soap.

Sun Devil said...

It really speaks to the greatness of the Chargers that the Broncos can be this terrible and leading by 2 games this late in the season.

Rudy Carpenter has 2 more games at ASU, then Jack is an injured QB away from the top spot on the depth chart. Shanahan will be watching.

Oh and I wonder, THN, will you be cheering for University of Oregon baseball? With Horton, they're going to be better than CSF within a season.

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