While the year is coming to a close, the Raiders’ season is very much still alive. With playoff hopes looming, there are few things the Raiders need to do both this current season and in the season to come. This means starting the new year off with a bang against the Division rival San Diego Chargers. The Chargers have become a formidable opponent in recent weeks, especially amidst the Raiders’ inconsistent play. So, these are some of the resolutions the Raiders need to make in the upcoming year:
No More Penalties
While they’ve been better about minimizing penalties recently, certainly better than they were at the beginning of the season, the Raiders still need some work on avoiding penalties altogether. Many people complain that their team is unfairly penalized, but the fact of the matter is that the
Raiders are like a team of Ndamukong Suh’s, meaning that the refs already have their eye on the guys. Just this season, the team has given up over 1,200 yards in penalties, which in inexcusable and needs to change in the near future (meaning now).
Be Positively Surprising
Hue Jackson has been surprising in terms of his play calling, but this has not always been a good thing. At times, his play calling has been shockingly awful and questionable. No one knows if he’ll remain the head coach next season, but until then, he’s got some games to play. In the new year, starting the first, Jackson needs to call those surprise plays that got him early wins, and not call running plays on 2nd and 25.
Break the Field Goal Record
Janikowski is right there in the record books with Jason Elam and Tom Dempsey for the longest field goal at 63 yards. The New Years Resolution for him is to break that record. He’s easily good enough, and has barely missed when trying to break it. C’mon Jano, you got this!
Along with penalties, the health of the Raiders has plagued them this year. In the coming year, they need to get McFadden healthy and keep him that way. Granted, there was a lockout this season so players have been getting hurt left and right, but there’s no excuse for the upcoming season. The training staff must do whatever it takes to keep these men healthy. The coaches are not exempt from this either. When your form is perfect, you run less risk of getting injured, but when you execute fundamentals sloppily, then trouble sets in.
Win The Super Bowl
An obvious, but crucial New Years resolution is to win the most important game of the year: the Super Bowl. They haven’t won since 1983 and haven’t been since 2002. This leaves tons of room for improvement in the winning department, because when it comes down to it, no other game matters unless you’re the Champion. They have to make a lot of adjustments and get healthy, but the Raiders have a shot at it both this season and next. Remember it is a “Commitment to Excellence.”