The Raiders’ season, for all intents and purposes, ended on Sunday. After Jacoby Ford took the opening kick back 101 yards for a score, many of us thought–yours truly included–that they were going to rebound from the week’s drubbing the week prior in Pittsburgh and rebound against the Miami Dolphins.
Many of us were wrong.
Oakland Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable elected to start Bruce Gradkowski over Jason Campbell, and the difference was negligible at best. It’s been said before that when a coach goes back and forth in choosing a quarterback, it doesn’t mean he has two good choices: it means he doesn’t have one. I think it’s safe to say that’s the case here.
Both Campbell and Gradkowski can show flashes of greatness, but for the most part, they are backup quarterbacks being asked to do something they aren’t capable of doing—leading a team to the post-season.
Now it appears as if the oft-injured Gradkowski could be done for the year, so the revolving door appears to be over for now. But the problems aren’t all on their shoulder pads anyway. There is plenty of blame to go around. The defense has disappeared the past two weeks. Against Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, they got a pass. On Sunday, they gave up the pass… over and over again. Chad Henne to Davone Bess looked like Marino to Duper all over again. Every time the Raiders needed to make a play, they didn’t. The ‘D’ got an ‘F’.
And the offense wasn’t any better. Couldn’t run the ball, couldn’t throw the ball. Other than the aforementioned Ford, the entire team got a failing grade for their performance, and unless they can pull off a shocker this Sunday in San Diego, the most thrilling part of the season will be to see if they can avoid losing 10+ games for an eighth straight year.
All of this means that Tom Cable’s job is in serious jeopardy. When you take a team from two wins to four, you see progress, but expectations aren’t too high. Expectations were soaring after that overtime win against the Chiefs, probably too high. But with expectations come disappointments, and disappointments eventually lead to firings.
Maybe that won’t happen. Some continuity wouldn’t be the worst thing for this organization, that’s for certain. They’ve had consistency over the past few seasons, but not continuity. Then again, we could do without the consistency right about now. A win on Sunday in San Diego would be the perfect time to display a lack of it. If not, continuity might not be far behind.