2011 Oakland Raiders: On to the Next Coach

The Oakland Raiders went into the season with lofty expectations of winning the division and making the playoffs. For the first time since the merger in 1970, the Raiders are the first team to go undefeated in their division and not make the playoffs.

However, if you win every game in your division, emphatically beat down and provide the eventual division winner with a 'never forget who we are' moment at home, you should be crowned as the true champions of the AFC West.

While Oakland convincingly won the last game of the season, the Raiders still came up short in reaching their season-long goals. But 2010 was a year of resurgence for the Silver and Black.

Despite not achieving their desired goals, the Silver and Black took Raider Nation on a memorable ride back to respectability. Going into the season, it was felt that Tom Cable received a reprieve to turn the Raiders around. It was a collective effort, but that is exactly what he did.

Despite the players wanting to play hard for him, it was well known that he was thin ice. A playoff run was the only thing that was going to ensure a 2011 return. Like it or not, it was the right decision. The timing was curious, but the writing was on the wall.

Hue Jackson was hired as the offensive coordinator and tasked with turning the offense into a productive unit. Mission accomplished as the Raiders improved from the 31st-ranked offense in 2009 to 10th overall in 2010.

The road to respectability is filled with several potholes. As with any season, 2010 was filled with the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

Oakland snapped a seven-year streak of losing 11-plus games a season, while going 6-0 in the division. Jackson proved to be a leader of men and a solid offensive mind. Under his watch, the offense improved dramatically. The running game, fueled by the dynamic tandem of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, became the strength of the team.

The improvement on off...

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