Finally, we all were watching what we have been asking for: for this year’s Raider team to look as good as they have all year.
The running game rolling with all 3 backs for over 200 yards on the day; Defense played their best with 3 TO’s vs a top 10 QB. Menelik Watson played injury free and at a high level in his first start for quite some time. MEJ finally healthy again; welcome back! Derek Carr looking like his MVP self, slinging it around. And he was even under center for a brief moment!
At that point, I looked at my wife as we were exchanging gifts, and said this is the best we have played all year, legit SB contender. Then….gasp……
I was at the AFC championship game in Oakland vs Baltimore in 2000 and I remember the feeling when Big Fat Siragusa landed on Gannon’s shoulder and took him out. This feeling had returned.
GLASS HALF EMPTY:
We all know how important Derek is to this team. We just can’t dismiss the 7 game-wining drives he has given us this year. At times when our defense and running game disappeared, #4 stayed the course and somehow won us games we were accustomed to losing; remember New Orleans? TB? Buffalo? Carolina?
Unfortunately, you just can’t replace an MVP QB with 1 guy.
GLASS HALF FULL:
The defense had come around and played a great game up until Carr’s injury. Beyond that, the defense has performed quite well over the last 3 weeks. Adding MEJ is a huge shot in the arm to the interior pass rush.
Back under center and in the shotgun, our running game has continued to look playoff ready. Adding Watson who, when healthy is a big upgrade over Howard, makes our Oline even that much better.
There are a lot of stories of when a backup comes in and leads a team to the SB
Does Jim Plunkett ring a bell? In 1980 he came in for Dan Pastorini who fractured his leg vs Kansas City and led the Oakland Raiders to a Wild Card berth and eventually win SB XV vs The Eagles. In fact, they were the first ever Wild card team to do so. Pretty cool, eh?
He did it again in 1983 when an injury to Marc Wilson forced Plunkett back into the starting role and eventually led The LA Raiders to SB XVIII vs The Redskins.
Tom Brady was a backup to Drew Bledsoe before leading the Pats to the SB and Jeff “The Hoss” Hostetler, was the backup to Phil Simms in 1990 when led the Giants to a 20-19 SB victory over the Bills.
So Raider fans, who is Matt McGloin??
Well, quite simply, he is a Raider; a castoff. Matt was an undrafted FA back in 2013 from Penn State. He was actually a walk on at Penn State. Despite how he got started, Matt holds the school TD passing record with 45 in addition to the school record for completions in season.
He fits the mold of what a Raider has been for decades. No one thought he could play in college and in the NFL. He has proved everyone wrong along the way. A true reclamation project by NFL standards.
Now, he will need to continue to keep proving people wrong. The haters and doubters will not give us a shot moving forward. Good, we don’t need them. We know how good this team is and we also know Matty McGloin’s potential.
Matt started 6 games for The Silver & Black back in 2013. Quite obviously, that roster isn’t what it is now. He didn’t light it up mind you, but he has confidence and I believe if he uses his weapons ,and the coaches put the right game plan together, we can Win.
Give him credit, he did complete 2 critical passes to secure the W vs Indy on Sunday. With a week of preparation with the first team, this is great opportunity to travel to Denver and face a legit defense to give Matt a solid test.
Remember: We have the Best Oline in the NFL;
We have multiple receiver options.;
We have a 4 headed running attack;
We have a very opportunistic defense that is getting healthy at the right time.
Obviously the road to the SB became exponentially more difficult. But with Raider Nation is behind the “Scranton Scrapper” 100%, anything is possible. So, just like Mack says, we will win “By Any Means!”
Written by: 303Raider
Edited by: Kenny Stapler
Editor’s Note: I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. The transition to the new site has been very educations but very reaffirming as well. I’m not speaking for myself, but for me as a community. Thank you to everyone who has submitted anything throughout the last few months and thank you to those who will soon. Most importantly, thanks to all of you just for showing up.
Raider Nation was dealt a near-fatal blow on Saturday afternoon, but we’re not out of this yet. As I sit in my living room getting ready to watch this Denver vs. Chiefs game, I’m still grateful to have the opportunity to watch something with meaningful playoff implications for our team. It’s been a long time. Too long to give up so easily. So Raiders Fans, time to put your big boy pants on and root this team on for as far as they can go.
This isn’t a team built to win once. We’re going to be around for quite some time. Sorry AFC West, we’re back. Now raise your glass and join me as we toast the return of one of the greatest sports entities to ever exist.