Usually when I do an article on the state of things regarding the Raiders, I always get a few pieces poorly worded, all caps, half-thought emails talking about my mother, how I don’t know what I’m talking about, or both. Today is probably going to be one of those days. Yawn.
For the first time in a long time, the Raiders look like they’re actually trying to field a competitive team. While their trade for Davante Adams sent shock waves through the NFL, it’s the free agent acquisitions of former Denver Broncos LB Micah Kiser and DT Kyle Peko that could put them over the top. Doubtful.
The Raiders new coach for 2022 is none other than known cheater and franchise wrecking-ball, Josh McDaniels. Hurricane Josh is off his pace from when he took over the Broncos in that Derek Carr hasn’t demanded a trade (yet) and large swaths of the team haven’t been replaced by overpriced Patriot castoffs. Although, the Raiders trade for New England’s Jarrett Stidham could be interesting if Carr struggles. That’s exactly the kind of quarterback controversy that we all know the Raiders and McDaniels are capable of. Fingers crossed.
Raiders fans are quick to point out that they are currently enjoying a 4-game win-streak over Denver going back to November of 2020. Another favorite talking point is the Raiders enjoy an all-time lead in head-to-head matchups, 69-52-2. In Las Vegas (and elsewhere), you might be easily fooled into believing that these accomplishments are the sole benchmarks for success in NFL.
With the 20-year anniversary of their last playoff win looming on January 19, 2023, one can see why Raiders fans have elevated the status of secondary stats. You got to take what you can get and, typically, the Raiders haven’t gotten much... in a very long time.
On the other hand, despite enduring their worst stretch of football since the 1960’s, the Broncos at their worst are still better than the Raiders. Over that same period the Raiders have been shutout for post season victories, the Denver Broncos have enjoyed 14 postseason appearances. While the wins and losses are split 7-7, the Broncos have played in 3 AFC Championship games, won two AFC Championships, and won Super Bowl 50.
Please tell me again how meaningless head-to-head records are more important to a franchise than actual hardware and the immortality of greatness.
One thing is certain. Josh McDaniels, like literally every other Patriots coaching castoff, is not a good head coach. He may not have already crashed the Raiders franchise into a tree like he did when he helmed the Broncos, but it’s coming. Personality clashes, bizarre trades, beef with skill players, the inability to not “accidentally” videotape other team’s practices, and awful contracts are all hallmarks of the McDaniels regime. Give it time. It will be glorious to watch. Zebras, as they say, can not change their stripes.
I fully expect the Raiders to make their triumphant return to the cellar of the AFC West this season. The seasons it will take to recover from Hurricane Josh will also be fun to follow in the coming years. The Broncos with all their talent, new ownership, and coaching will finally return as a perennial contender in the AFC West. Unfortunately, the Raiders under Josh McDaniels will also play to expectations and that, my friends, will be so much fun to watch.
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