Sunday, September 27, 2009

This is a Game worth Throwing Tortillas Over

Last year we made a series of mistakes in choosing to attend the Raider-Bronco MNF opener. A complete blowout after a full day of drinking by home fans who tend not to be encumbered by jobs or families makes for a bad scene. Making matters worse, we subjected Kristy’s brother and his girlfriend – both wearing orange – to a dangerous walk around the parking lot prior to kickoff. Of the objects and curses thrown at them, however, we all found the fresh tortillas that Frisbeed in from one tailgate to be the funniest, not to mention tastiest.

This week the Broncos return to the Coliseum, and I am ready to declare this a pivotal game. The Raiders of recent years have known only two kinds of inflection points – the ones that temporarily slow the descent into chaos and the ones that renew their acceleration towards the pit of laughingstock-ness. This week’s game vs. Denver has the potential to begin moving the Raiders in the positive direction.

Perhaps that’s stating the obvious: a win and the Raiders are 2-1 in the division, tied for first, with a legitimate gripe over not being 3-0. A loss and the Raiders stole one against the hapless Chefs for their only win of the season. Obvious or not, a win will bring a level of optimism to Oakland not seen for a long time.

I suspect that the major determining factor will be the Raiders’ ability to run the ball, which oddly vanished at about halftime of the San Diego game. Justin Fargas is going to play an important role here. He’s finally active, and he has a way of wearing down defenses with his violent running in the early going that softens things up for McFadden and Bush.

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