Sunday, December 16, 2007

Are We Allowed Moral Victories?

The Raiders traditionally have not been. But tonight is the best I've felt after a Raider loss in a long time - particularly considering that this loss was the 10th of the year. The defense played a terrific game, the offense put together some nice drives - including a "masterpiece" - and while special teams were suspect, at least Carr did a nice job with kickoffs.

Kiffin does not share my positive vibe tonight: "We're too far along to feel good because we played the world champs down on the 14-yard line to win the game. Who cares? We lost. We got to start winning these games. Some day we'll be that team that makes the plays and finishes people off like that."

Good point. So on the negative side, the final Colts drive made me think of the unnamed NFL coach frequently quoted by Jerry McDonald regarding last year's highly ranked defense. He basically said that it seemed like any time an offense really needed to score against them, they did. Manning cut it pretty close with a couple of 3rd down conversions, but he did go 7-for-7 and cap it with a TD pass.

Another complaint is our WR depth. Not a new complaint. I couldn't help but wonder whether Doug Gabriel or Travis Taylor might have made the catch that Chris McFoy dropped to end a JaMarcus drive. Jerry points out that Johnnie Lee Higgins was on the bench at that time. So why was he on the field to catch the punt at the end of the first half? His game of possum cost the Raiders a shot at a game-tying FG.

But we only won 2 games last year and I couldn't bear to watch during December, so this feels like real progress. How about the game Howard had? Asomugha shut down everyone who came his way. There was even a brief Sands sighting as he stood up a guard during the second goal line stand. Going back to the situation leading to Johnnie Lee's punt non-return, how is it fathomable that the Colts gain 5 yards on first down with just under a minute to play in the half and MANNING ON THE FIELD...and the Raiders call a timeout! That's confidence. And sorry Lane, that feels good.

1 comment:

John Sousa said...

Yes, yes, yes. I don't really believe in "moral victories," either, but this was one. I'm not even depressed about the L. I'm fired up for '08!