Hue Jackson got the quarterback he wanted. Too bad he doesn’t have the team he needs.
Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos was an absolute disgrace. I’ve seldom seen an NFL team just quit cold as the Raiders did. OK, let’s be fair. Maybe they’re just so stupid they can’t remember what they practiced. Either way, their postseason hopes are quickly going south.
The Raiders’ only hope now is that the AFC West is so weak, they can win it with a .500 record. But in their last two games, they’ve lost at home to the two weakest teams in the division, Kansas City and Denver — and by convincing margins. Now, they have to play the Chargers in San Diego on Thursday night. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will salivate when he sees how the Raiders DBs played — or rather didn’t play — against Denver.
The sad truth is that the loss to Denver could have been worse. Tim Tebow had open receivers all game, but usually missed them. Tebow just kind of throws the ball in the general direction of his receivers, which means he usually misses them. On Sunday, he hit a couple of them in the end zone, though one of the touchdowns was on a diving catch.
Tebow did even more damage running the ball, 12 times for 117 yards — almost 10 yards a carry. The Broncos have put in a special play for Tebow, where he can either hand off to a running back going to the right side or keep it himself and run around the left side, with no blockers. Didn’t make much difference which option he chose. When he handed off, Willis McGahee ran 20 times for 163 yards, 60 of them on one touchdown run.
What makes it worse is that the Raiders practiced against this play all week and yet it succeeded time after time, which means that stupidity played a large part in the Raiders’ play.
Buttressing the argument that the Raiders are just bone dumb: They committed 15 penalties for 130 yards, even worse than their 14 penalties for 120 yards against the Chiefs. Coaches come and go with the Raiders, and everyone says Jackson’s going to do something about the penalties, but this ridiculous story line continues. And it’s catching on. Rookie Taiwan Jones committed back-to-back penalties near the end of the first half, first an offside penalty as Matt Prater missed a 53-yard field goal try, then a roughing the kicker penalty. Didn’t take him long to learn the Raider way. And then, John Fox took points off the board by taking the second penalty, only to see Prater eventually miss another try. Not incidentally, Fox was once an assistant with the Raiders, so there’s obviously a residual brain-dead part of his mind.
Carson Palmer had an inconsistent day, passing for three touchdowns, including a 40-yard beauty, but also throwing three interceptions, the last one when he was under pressure because the Raiders defense had disappeared. Palmer will be fine, but the whole rationale for trading for him was that he would lead the Raiders to the postseason. Not with the brain-dead teammates around him.
Glenn Dickey has been covering Bay Area sports since 1963 and also writes on www.GlennDickey.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raiders (4-4) vs. Chargers (4-4)
WHEN: Thursday, 5:20 p.m.
WHERE: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
TV: NFL Network
RADIO: KITS (105.3 FM), KFRC (1550 AM)