As I sit here and try and figure out a way in which the Raiders could have beaten the Patriots today, the only thing I can come up with is Ken Stabler throwing to Dave Casper for a score. Or Willie Brown making a big interception. How about Ted Hendricks blocking a punt? Because the reality of it is, that the only way we match up with Tom Brady and his cohorts is if we dust off a time machine, and bring back our all-time greats.
See, Jason Campbell is good and Tom Brady is as good as there has ever been. That is a big difference. Three Super Bowl rings difference to be exact.
With the score 14-10 and the Raiders driving for a potential go ahead score right before halftime, Campbell scrambled a little, had no one open and threw the ball away. However, instead of actually throwing it away, he threw it right to Patrick Chung. I really think it was just a brain freeze on Campbell’s part, but nonetheless, it was a costly one. The Patriots took advantage, moved down the field, and got a field goal to take a 17-10 lead into the break.
Then in the 3rd quarter, Brady did it again, marching the Pats down for a touchdown on their opening possession, and just like that, it was 24-10 New England. The scary part is, down by two touchdowns, it felt like the Raiders were really slowing down Brady. That’s how good that guy is.
Still, Oakland tried to fight back but this time the refs got in the way. They blew a pass interference call that would have given the Raiders a first and goal at the one. Instead, they settled for a field goal. Getting field goals against the Patriots is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Trust me, by looking into the stands in Oakland, lots of knives. Not enough firepower however on the field.
The Raiders needed more Cliff Branch, and less of Deion Branch. More Wes Welker of the Red Raiders, and less Wes Welker vs. the Raiders. When playing Tom Brady the week after he throws four int’s in a losing effort, you need to play a perfect game. The Raiders needed Dallas Braden. Instead they got Dallas Winston.
Until they can beat the teams of the upper echelon, they’ll continue to be Outsiders.