As a young Broncos fan in Denver during the 80’s and 90’s, everyone knew that it wasn’t enough to root for the Broncos, but to root for the Raiders to lose as well... always and for all time. Needless to say, the Raiders 2018 season gives me great hope for ineptitude for years to come.
Raiders fans will tell you that jettisoning Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack for 1st round picks was a shrewd move. I still can’t believe that Jerry Jones gave up a 1st for Cooper, but that’s on Dallas and the subject of a separate article entirely. For a couple weeks before the trade deadline, it was reported that pretty much anyone could be had. Heck, articles popped up saying that Derek Carr could be on his way out for the right price.
You have to wonder what affect personnel moves and rumors have had on the franchise. What’s it like for a player on a team who gives up on the season before leaves fall? It’s clear that Jon Gruden is playing the long game in his approach building HIS team, but what does that mean for players who only have a precious few years? Put yourself in their shoes. I’d be furious, resentful, and borderline hateful for what Gruden is doing. What about their fans? With maybe one more year in the Bay Area, can you imagine what it must be like? Not only is their team ‘peace-out’ on them, but they don’t even have the want to not embarrass themselves from week to week... and for what? A draft pick a slot higher than the Giants? It’s nuts.
It’s remarkable that the Raiders didn’t learn their lesson when they went back to the well and rehired Art Shell as head coach back in 2006. Signing Jon Gruden to a 10-year contract was perhaps the most amazingly thing I’ve ever witnessed in professional sports, and not in a good way. For contrast, the greatest coach in Raiders history was John Madden who coached for... 10 years. The expectations are insanely high for a guy who did not a whole lot in Tampa (without Tony Dungy’s team).
So let’s talk expectations. Remember just a few short months ago when pundits were predicting that Oakland was going to win the AFC West, the AFC, and possibly contend for a Super Bowl? As soon as things got tough and those scenarios came into question, the second coming of John Madden didn’t hesitate to pull up stakes and start playing for next season. With no pressure to win now, why power through and lead when cowering over first round picks provides adequate cover? Shoot, a substantial percentage of Raiders fans aren’t just content with quitting on the season, they’re in full support.
...but here’s what’s wrong with that...
Marshawn Lynch, Bruce Irvin, Amare Cooper, Khalil Mack, and Marquette King (okay, maybe that’s not a big loss) among others are all gone next season. Mack and Cooper generated 1st round picks in return. In order to get back to just where they were before the season (forget the projections of confetti-level success), they have to either hit home runs on those picks or have incredible success in free agency.
Aha! Says the Raiders fan reading this right now. “Look at all the salary cap space we have! We can sign anyone!”
With no cornerstones on the team other than Derek Carr (assuming they don’t trade him in the offseason) left, who in their right mind would sign with the Raiders? In order to attract talent, they’re going to have to overpay to lure anyone over. Further, in only the second year of a 10-year contract, who’s to say that Gruden won’t quit competing again next year if things get tough?
Stay tuned Broncos fans. Hate-watching the Raiders is going to be fun for years to come.
Mason's Mailbag: Promise must become performance
Also included: a look at whether an easier division really helps a team become a Super Bowl winner. The answer might surprise you.
Report: Saints could sign WR Brandon Marshall this week after Dez Bryant sidelined with Achilles injury | National | laconiadailysun.com
The New Orleans Saints could possibly sign another wide receiver this week after Dez Bryant's ill-fated Achilles injury placed him on the IR this week, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Broncos poised to lose 7th-most snaps to free agency next year
The Broncos will face some tough personnel decisions next year.
Rams and Chiefs made the same request for their Mexico City game and the NFL denied them both - CBSSports.com
The NFL wasn't in the mood to help either the Rams or Chiefs heading into their game in Mexico
Chargers earn an easy win over hapless Raiders – ProFootballTalk
The Chargers didn't put together their best performance of the season today, but fortunately they were playing the Raiders. Philip Rivers had a workmanlike effort, and Melvin Gordon had a couple big plays, and the Chargers went to Oakland and won 20-6.
Julio Jones passes Calvin Johnson as fastest to 10,000 - NFL.com
Julio Jones passed another one of his fellow rare breeds in the record books Sunday. With his 30-yard reception in Week 10, Jones became the fastest to reach 10,000 receiving yards in a career.
Larry Fitzgerald now second on all-time receiving list - NFL.com
Larry Fitzgerald's illustrious NFL career has a new claim to fame: Second most receiving yards in NFL history. The ultra-reliable Fitzgerald passed Terrell Owens for second on the career list Sunday.
Drew Brees passes Favre for 2nd-most passing TDs - NFL.com
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees moved ahead of Hall of Famer Brett Favre for the second-most passing touchdowns in NFL history (509). Peyton Manning holds the all-time TD record.
Jamal Adams: Todd Bowles is not the problem for Jets - NFL.com
The Jets hit their lowest point of the 2018 season Sunday when they lost to the Buffalo Bills at home in blowout fashion. Safety Jamal Adams refuses to throw his coach under the bus, though.
Sean McVay on Cooper Kupp injury: I don’t think it’s very good – ProFootballTalk
The Rams won for the ninth time in 10 tries on Sunday, but they did lose a member of their offense to injury before the 36-31 win over the Seahawks was over. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp left the game after a non-contact injury to his left knee in the fourth quarter.
Patrick Mahomes leaves quickly after game because of family emergency – ProFootballTalk
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes broke a record and won a football game Sunday, but there was no celebration. According to Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star, the stepfather of Mahomes' girlfriend "suffered a medical emergency" while at the game and died.
Rams outlast Seahawks for 36-31 win – ProFootballTalk
There will be two 9-1 teams taking the field in Mexico City a week from Monday. The Chiefs did their part by beating the Cardinals early on Sunday, which left the Rams to take care of business against the Seahawks later in the day.
Nick Chubb: Now that I’m getting carries, I’m trying to make the most of them – ProFootballTalk
Before he was fired as the Browns head coach, Hue Jackson talked a lot about getting rookie running back Nick Chubb more work. It took Carlos Hyde getting traded to the Jaguars for Chubb to actually see a spike in his usage and the results make you wonder if Jackson might still have the job if he...
Andrew Luck plays his fourth consecutive game without getting sacked – ProFootballTalk
Early this season, there were major concerns about Andrew Luck's shoulder injury, and the Colts' ability to keep him from getting hurt again. Those concerns are fast disappearing. Luck has been playing very well lately, and he hasn't been taking many hits.
Chicago Bears spell Prince Amukamara's name wrong on jersey
For the second time in his NFL career, Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara had to switch jerseys midgame Sunday because the team accidentally spelled his name incorrectly.
Josh Norman says Washington Redskins fans better on road than home
The Redskins had a lot working against them entering Sunday's game at Tampa Bay. But one thing in their favor, according to cornerback Josh Norman, was playing on the road -- and away from a stadium that no longer sells out.
Cody Parkey of Chicago Bears won't lose job despite missing four kicks off uprights
Cody Parkey's job in Chicago is safe for now despite missing four kicks off the uprights in Sunday's win.
Todd Bowles, New York Jets coach, enters bye on shaky ground
The Jets enter their bye week with the future of coach Todd Bowles uncertain following a blowout loss at home to the Bills.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter says he called plays in historic loss
Against the Redskins, the Buccaneers produced 501 yards but scored just three points. According to Elias Sports Bureau data, the Bucs became the first team in NFL history with 450-plus total yards and three or fewer points.
Ravens, John Harbaugh headed to a mutual parting of ways; in-season firing not discussed - CBSSports.com
There will not be another one-year extension for Harbaugh
Le'Veon Bell, Steelers still not communicating, team believes he may sit out season - CBSSports.com
A transition-tag fight looms as the Steelers wait to see if Bell signs by the Tuesday deadline
Tyreek Hill scores TD, takes over CBS camera to celebrate, films himself being flagged for celebration - CBSSports.com
Cheetah tried to take a job with CBS apparently
Dion Lewis sounds off on 'cheap' Patriots, calls the Titans' huge win 'personal' - CBSSports.com
The ex-Patriots running back seemed rather pleased with the Titans' win on Sunday
Patriots vs. Titans final score, takeaways: Led by Marcus Mariota, Titans utterly dismantle Patriots - CBSSports.com
The Titans made a statement in a huge win over the Patriots