It’s not a full-blown collapse for Hue Jackson’s team, but they are headed in the wrong direction during the league’s most important stretch – December football. Oakland was shellacked in Green Bay, 46-16 and now must chase and hope for help in the final three weeks of the season.
“I’m not going to let this team keep going backwards,” Jackson said. “The last two weeks, we haven’t come close to playing or looking like the football team we’ve been.”
Oakland has looked horrible in back-to-back weeks, trailing 34-0 for a second straight contest, adding to their record pursuing tally for penalties and playing lifeless football.
“We didn’t play well on either side of the ball or on special teams, and when you play the best team in football, that’s what’s going to happen. You can’t turn the ball over five times, commit 11 penalties and think you have a chance to win a game,” continued the head coach.
Meanwhile, the Tebow-lead Broncos are doing whatever it takes; regardless if it appears to be divine intervention, they are winning when it matters most.
“We just didn’t finish,” Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said yesterday. Something Oakland is not doing.
Whether the injuries are catching up to them, or the competition, the Raiders have not shown grit or desire to take grasp of their division.
They had a three game home stretch earlier in the year that could’ve put some distance between the other clubs that were struggling in the west, and they failed.
They had a brief stay atop by themselves in the West – that was squandered.
Now, if they make it into the post-season, the Silver & Black will need to show some guts and navigate through a schedule that has a tough Detroit Lions’ team, with the return of their best defender, and two rivals that would love to add to their current misery.
M.I.A – Richard Seymour
It seems like when Richard Seymour is needed most, the Raiders defensive tackle has disappeared or not helped his club at all.
During their loss versus the Patriots, Oakland needed a massive effort from their interior lineman, instead they got undisciplined play. Unnecessary roughness infractions, no sacks and little impact was the final stat line.
In Miami last week, Seymour extended his streak of ejections per season to three and was chastised by his coach.
Yesterday, the defense was plowed through and he failed to even make the boxscore – no tackles, no sacks and no impact.
Seymour stated: “We couldn’t get off the field on third down. They kept drives alive. We had too many penalties. We just played bad football, no excuses about it. That’s just bad football, period, and I’m a part of it.”
He was acquired for runs like this. A veteran with winning experience – a champion who players can look up to and follow when it’s time to take it to the next level.
Seymour has three weeks to show he can.
Seeding for the AFC playoffs would be this if they started today: 1. Texans; 2. Ravens; 3. Patriots; 4. Broncos: 5. Steelers: 6. Jets.
In the 2009 season, after a 38-0 trouncing at the hands of the Jets, Seymour stated: “I don’t think we could have beaten an Oakland high school team today. Ironically, earlier in that week he commented Oakland would make the playoffs. Yesterday, Aaron Curry was quoted: “You are not going to beat a high school team with the penalties and mistakes (like) the ones that we made.”
“I don’t want to give him all the credit,” Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said of Tim Tebow. “But at the same time, he comes through at crunch time every week. Every single week it’s like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ It gets to the point where you say, ‘What the frickin’ is happening here?’ “