2012 Oakland Raiders Diary: #2: Damn You Franco Harris!

I think all running backs in the National Football League are out to get us.

On Sunday, Reggie Bush ran for 172 yards. LaDainian Tomlinson used to regularly
abuse us in San Diego. Eddie George relished lining up against us in his Titans heyday.
Larry Johnson. Priest Holmes. Shaun Alexander. Chris Warren. Marcus Allen (his Chiefs
seasons don’t exist. Period.). Terrell Davis. Jerome Bettis. Bam Morris. Barry Foster.
Franco Harris?!

Just to name a few.

On Sunday, the Raiders fell to 0-2 with a piss poor showing in Miami, losing 35-13.
When we last met the Dolphins, we lost 34-14 in Oakland, ending our 3 game winning
streak last season. That lost keyed our mini collapse that cost us our first playoff
appearance since 2002.

So what went wrong? Besides Reggie Bush playing like he was still taking bribes at

We just played like crap.

Besides Carson throwing for 373 yards, we never got anything going on offense.
McFadden was held to just 22 yards on the ground. We had one touchdown. Our defense
gave up three long touchdown drives in the last 20 minutes. We got beat by a rookie
quarterback1. No takeaways.

We played like crap.

A lot of my worst fears from last week are becoming a reality: McFadden was an
absolute non-factor. Carson spread the ball around but nothing of any substance other
than passing yards came of it. Our defense couldn’t get any stops. And we turned a 10-7
3rd quarter lead into a blowout loss.

It’s never too early to panic in Raiders Nation.

The momentum of the past 2 seasons seems to be gone. Back are the hapless Raiders of
2003-2009. And I don’t know exactly who is to blame. You could blame Coach Allen.
Maybe even Carson. McFadden should get most of the fault. But none of those feel like
valid places to place blame. I blame the whole team.

When Jason Campbell went down last season and we brought Carson Palmer in from his
Cincinnati exile, I never felt good about it. Campbell had found his niche in Oakland; he
was able to run the offense and everyone seemed to respond nicely to him. I was hoping
that Carson was just a temporary fix, just for the playoff push. But as soon as Campbell
revealed he learned about the Palmer trade from outside the organization, I knew his
Silver & Black days were numbered.

Campbell signed on in Chicago to back up Jay Cutler. The Raiders have Terrelle Pryor
and Matt “Remember me from USC?” Leinart as Carson’s backups. If the offense
continues to remain stagnant, does Allen even consider benching Palmer for Pryor? We’d
have to be at 0-8 to try that. Right?

Our next 6 opponents:



The Steelers bounced back nicely from their Week 1 loss and they still treat us like it’s
the 70s. I can’t see that one coming out in our favor.

While the Broncos took all game to get untracked against the Falcons Monday night, I have no
doubts they’ll come to play against us in Week 4. I hate the Broncos.

Not looking forward to the Falcons in Atlanta either. I always forget that the Falcons
aren’t a pushover team, as Monday’s dominant first half against Denver proved.

Follow these three games up with a dismal Jacksonville team, the hated Chiefs, and
a Tampa Bay team that almost knocked off the Super Bowl Champs and 0-8 isn’t
unrealistic the way we’re playing. The super optimistic side that I rarely show thinks
we could go 4-2 in this stretch, if McFadden starts running better, if the defense gets
some stops, and if Carson can throw the ball into the end zone instead of everywhere
else on the field. If we find a way to win despite Peyton being Peyton. If Maurice Jones-
Drew doesn’t torch us. If the Chiefs keep playing miserably. And if we can contain Josh

In reality, we’ll be lucky to go 2-4 in this stretch and that’s highly dependent on the Jags
and Chiefs cooperating. I’d look at the rest of the schedule but I don’t want to spend the
rest of this entry crying and saying, “There’s always next year.”

The 2012 Raiders need some answers. Now. We need to beat the Steelers this Sunday. I
think we have the talent on the field to do it. Whether or not said talent actually executes
is an entirely different topic.

And Darren McFadden needs to run for 115+ yards with 3 touchdowns. It’s time Darren.
Please stop bullshitting.

Current outlook: 5-11

  1. Ryan Tannehill’s line: 18-30, 200 yards, 2 TDs (one on 2 yard sneak!), 0


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