Back From the Bay: Raider Wrap-Up

When his Chiefs pulled off a road win at the expense of the hated Raiders right before my very eyes, I knew that Herm Edwards had likely saved his job. It looks like that is all but official. Really, Clark Hunt? This is the equivalent of George W. Bush getting a third term for correctly showing Barack Obama the White House during his tour. That’s how low the bar has been set for Harm.

The Raiders lost that game. Take away Maurice Leggett‘s defensive touchdown on the botched fake FG and give the Raiders three points instead and what do you have? A 16-13 Raiders win. The Raiders also only only gave Darren McFadden seven carries after he torched us for around 160 yards in the teams’ first meeting at Arrowhead. The Chiefs won because JaMarcus Russell and Tom Cable are worse than Harm and Tyler Thigpen. Period.

Both coaches made mistakes. Hell, Herm got ultra conservative in the second half once again. Like that stupid little swing pass on third and whatever to Jamaal Charles — that was never going to work. Thiggy’s quarterback sneak? Just as worthless. Between this game and a few others last week, we saw that the QB sneak is an outdated play that simply doesn’t work at the pro level any more. Just look at Indianapolis, who lost a touchdown because Peyton Manning tried to get cute and submarine in from a yard out instead of handing the ball off to workhorse Joseph Addai. Why not Larry Johnson in the Wildcat in either of those situations? I mean, there aren’t very many guys who can stop L.J. dead in his tracks when he’s already got the momentum of a five-yard head full of steam. Or just simply go to Tony Gonzalez. I’ve always loved play action on 3 and 1, and that would have totally caught the Raiders off guard.

Speaking  Tony G, he totally bailed out both the coaching staff and Thiggy on numerous occasions with breathtaking catches. I wish all my fellow Addicts could have heard the collective groans from the home crowd each tim he hauled in a highlight real catch with lockdown corner Nnamdi Asomugha stuck to him like the mousse on Carl Peterson‘s ‘do.

Speaking of Thiggy, he really wasn’t spectacular. He ran well, but Tony Gonzalez and even Dwayne Bowe — on that catch where he went Anquan Boldin pinball — bailed him out. The only real difference between Thiggy and JaMarcus — who also ran quite well — was that Thiggy was slightly more accurate in his milking of a much better tight end. Zach Miller can play, by the way, but he’s no Tony G, as evidenced by a very, very costly drop. Both QBs went to their tight ends way too much.

Tom Cable‘s stupid fake FG and insistence on going to JaMarcus (Maybe Al Davis was barking orders over the phone?) cost the Raiders a game they should have, and could have, won. Herm Edwards did nothing to save his job. In fact, I felt he did the opposite. He continued to get overly conservative in the second half and his defense continued to struggle against the run.

I did like the play of the secondary, though. Bernard Pollard earned his Bonecrusher moniker in that one, folks. His hits on Huggy Bear Jr. and Miller were downright scary. Brandon Flowers and Mo Leggs played really well, too. Brandon Carr and Jarrad Page played fairly well. I was right by the Chiefs sideline (50-yard line, three rows back), and you could see how pumped up those four guys were, especially Flowers and B.P. One question, and it’s a skeptical one; did the Chiefs secondaries force JaMarcus into a 10-28 day, or did JaMarcus’ 10-28 make the Chiefs’ D-backs look better than they truly are?

I thought L.J. looked terrific, and I also was actually glad to see Rudy Niswanger replaced. Along with Jarrad Page and Tamba Hali, I think he’s one of the players that Chiefs fans overrate the most.  Derrick Johnson looked OK, but Chiefs fans tend to overrate him, too. The move to the middle is an interesting one that makes some sense. Maybe now we should try and move Pollard outside and get DaJaun Morgan on th field? We know Pollard can support the run, and he’d be one of the best pass coverage OLBs instead of an average pass coverage safety. That would have to be an offseason move, however, and one which would require him bulking up a bit as well. I’m convinced he could make the switch. The NFL is moving to using a lot of hybrid-type players anyway, so it wouldn’t be anything all that unusual.

As for my personal experience, you guys all read about that here, but there’s more. I hopped on to BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and headed on over to the game. What really surprised me right when I got off was how few Chiefs fans were there. Jarrad Page’s family sat behind me. I truly hope nothing happened to them, but you never know. We’ve all heard the horror stories. I actually even went to Page’s after party later on in the night, but I wasn’t there for very long. It was on a Sunday night at a new club and Jarrad seems like a pretty quiet guy. I wasn’t even there long enough to get the chance to meet him. The groupies sure lined up, probably hoping to become Mrs. Page.

I have video footage that I will try and eventually get up. It wasn’t on my camera, and that’s the issue. Long story short — I’ll do my best. What was the footage? Well, besides Carl and Clark’s pre-game pow wow (I was about 20 feet away from them) and talking to a few nearby fans about my funeral, the footage was mostly of a pre-game lap I took around the concourse. I mentioned this in my article. Before the game things weren’t all that scary. Sure, I heard a ton of F-bombs, “Rai-dahs!” chants, boos and Dorothy/Toto insults, but nothing I couldn’t handle. A couple of guys got right up in my face, or the camera’s face at least, but I never thought I was going to get attacked. One sombrero-wearing Raiders fan with a skeleton mask told me to get that shit out of there about ten times, and kept doing the throat-slit motion with his hand and neck. He seemed pretty serious, but not serious enough to get out of the beer line. I definitely drew the ire of a few hundred fans, but it was a good time.

Until…

After the half, when things got a little scary. One dude gave me a real hard effing shoulder block when I was just walking, minding my own business. Many Raiders fans’ eyes were now glazed over, and what had previously been puzzled stares had morphed into pissed-off ones. Not really a good time. If I hadn’t of been with a girl who was a Raiders fan, I probably would be drinking my food through a straw right now. It definitely renewed my hatred for the Silver and Black. Some fans did have a good sense of humor and I even met some nice ones. One fan came up to me, put his finger in my chest all serious like and said, “you must be drunk.” He then smiled a real big “gotcha” smile and patted me on the back. Pretty funny. A fan behind us warned me to be careful and to wait around for a while until most of the fans were gone before heading back to BART.

Being on the sideline was also very cool. D-Bowe was having some fun with the fans, who were picking on him. I showed him my D-Bowe No. 82 jersey and he pounded his heart and pointed towards me. Pollard also kept nodding at me when I was yelling at him after he rocked Huggy.

The Silver and Black screamers were also getting onto L.J., Thiggy and Tony G. quite a bit. They had some pretty good nightclub barbs that they were throwing at L.J. Obviously used to the heckling, Larry and Tony were impervious. Thiggy pretty much was, too, which was somewhat shocking, considering where he came from and how long he’s been here. If it bugged him, it didn’t show. Tank Tyler lifted up his shirt and was acting all sexy like and rubbing his nipples for the Raider rooters. They were calling him fat, so I guess that was his way of saying he’s big and beautiful. Alfonso Boone also got the best of the fans. He just kept on laughing and saying, “we’re gonna win” and pointing to the scoreboard. I think Devard Darling got it the worst. I think his name reminded some of them of their bitch in prison.

Overall, it was a great experience. The key thing is to smile when they talk smack to you and keep your mouth shut. Save your smack for back at Arrowhead or let the scoreboard do the talking. Going with a girl or at least a Raiders fan helps as well. After tackling the Coliseum and Qualcomm all I have left is Invesco. I’m doing that nexy year — can’t wait. Maybe after that I will try to go see the Chiefs play in all of the 31 other NFL cities over the years. Hey, it will be all downhill after running the AFC guantlet. Well, except Philly. That could get rough. I mean, they booed Santa and cheered when they thought Michael Irvin was a parapalegic.