In the six quarters following Jason Campbell’s injury the Raiders offense has a grand total of 277 passing yards, 6 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. The Raiders have scored 10 points in those quarters, 6 from a perfectly executed fake field goal. With extra work being put in by Carson Palmer and the wide receivers during the bye week, hopefully the Raiders offense has hit its lowest point and is on its way back up.
Last game vs. Kansas City was a debacle and downright embarrassing. The Raiders were shutout in a game they were expected to win. Not only did Kansas City end the Raiders domination of the AFC West, but the victory has supplied the Chiefs with enough momentum to make another run in the AFC West. It’s three way tie for first place. The AFC West is officially up for grabs.
In the coming weeks, Oakland, Kansas City and San Diego all face Green Bay and Chicago. San Diego and Oakland face Detroit. Kansas City will host the Steelers and travel to New England and New York to see the Jets. San Diego will play host to Buffalo and Baltimore. The Raiders on the other hand go to Minnesota and Miami. Inside the division, Oakland faces San Diego twice while playing Kansas City once and each team faces Denver once more.
For the Raiders to take advantage of their comparably soft schedule, they need to rebound this Sunday. Luckily Tim Tebow and the maligned Denver Broncos come into Oakland. Tebow may be the NFL’s worst starting quarterback. Tebow is far worse than a quarterback who returned from “retirement” and might have thrown 3 interceptions in less than a half. What’s sad is that Tebow played worse than his 18-39 for 179 yards and 1 tocuhdown, and 1 interception, 7 sack and 3 fumble performance has indicated.
Tebow’s performance last week provided more than enough fodder for his critics to last until Thanksgiving. This game is a golden opportunity for the Raiders defensive line to feast on an inept quarterback and to show its strength. Chuck Bresnahan can dial up the blitzes and feel confident that any blitz will fluster Tebow.
Up to now, this game is the most important game of the season. Not because it is the next game and not just because it is on a short list of very important games the Raiders have played in November. Rather, this game will show what course the rest of the Raiders season will go. If the Raiders are to go to the playoffs and be contenders, then they have to win games they are expected to win and it starts with flustering Tebow and dominating the Broncos.
NFL teams can never be underestimated and every win is hard fought, but a 4-4 record at the midpoint would be a massive disappointment. After suffering a blowout reminiscent of the dark ages, the Raiders confidence needs a boost. The Raiders desperately need a pick-me-up to get back on track. Lucky for the Raiders, the worst quarterback and one of the worst teams in the league are coming to town.