Why Week 17 Was Great For the Raiders

What could be so great about a 21-13 loss to close the season? The answer is that nothing can teach you more about your team than playing a good team. Your weaknesses will be revealed and exploited. The loss will leave the last taste in your mouth about the season so the offseason becomes a much clearer path.

The Ravens were a playoff team last year and playing them showed us that the Raiders were not that far off as they lost 21-13. This is the loss that saved Oakland! It revealed things on both sides of the ball that were killing the Raiders. Two of these players are no longer with the team. Another was a need that we addressed this offseason.

We start with Jamarcus Russell. I won't get into the QB rating or anything else because it's really simple. Frye was the starting QB for the Raiders on that day. The Raiders trailed 14-10 at halftime while Frye was knocked out of the game in the middle of a good drive. Russell completed the drive with a field goal to make it 14-13. Russell then went on to throw a pick and fumbled leading to the 21-13 loss. Is it not obvious what better QB play would have done for us?

Now we shift over to the defense and stopping the run. Sure a great DT helps out, but our DTs were not the biggest problem here. I know most Raider fans love Kirk Morrison and can point to his numbers. He led the Raiders and was one of the top tacklers in the NFL.

However, that isn't the whole story. A 4-3 MLB is going to make a lot of tackles because the defense is designed that way. I loved the Oakland kid just as much as anyone, but the eye in the sky doesn't lie. Perhaps he should have been left at OLB because he has neither the physicality nor the nose for the ball to play MLB.

Week 17 showed us everything we need to know about Morrison at MLB. Raven running backs combined for 242 rushing yards on 31 carries and scored all t...

About the Author