Oakland Raiders: Raider Fans Are Defeatists, The Raiders Are Work In Progress

This should not be confused with a speech on the power of positive thinking.  This, however, is a lecture on the power of defeatism.

After the last-minute loss by the Oakland Raiders to the Arizona Cardinals, 23-24, on Sunday, Raider fans are quick to pin the tail on the donkey, Sebastian Janikowski, because he missed a short field goal with four seconds remaining.

Believe me, Janikowski has caused me some fits over the years, which is one of the reasons I stress the importance of a clutch-kicker, and by extension, the reason that I think Adam Vinatieri was more important to the New England Patriots than Tom Brady.

If Brady had not had a clutch kicker, he would have been left out in the cold.

But I digress, as usual.

The real reason that the Raiders lost was red-zone offense.  In all, Sebastian Janikowski was 3-for-6 on field goals.  Usually (not always), a high number of field-goal attempts indicates the lack of a red-zone offense.

That was exactly the case yesterday afternoon. 

Janikowski connected on field goals of 22, 54, and 23 yards, which should tell you that the Raiders twice stalled offensively within five yards of the end zone.  He missed field goals of 41, 58, and 32.  He also whiffed on a tackle of LeRod Stephens-Howling on the opening kickoff, which resulted in the 102-yard touchdown.

The miss from 58 is forgivable, while the miss from 32 technically cost the game.  We could bash Janikowski for the touchdown on the kickoff, yet the Raiders paid back the Cardinals by recovering two fumbles on punts.

The goat does not represent the game.  The irony is, the blame truly lies in the successful field goals by Janikowski.  The last thing you want to see in a game is field goals made from under 23 yards (unless it is the go-ahead score at the end of the game), because that means the offense stalled at the 5-yard line or...

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