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Raiders can find reasons to believe

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    <!-- ClickabilityRefresh=10m --><!-- SAFE:SafeMode -->Decent start, but AFC West losing streak at 15


    By Jay Posner
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

    October 13, 2007
    For many years the Oakland Raiders media guide was a testament to propaganda – and consistency. If only the team could have held up its end of things. Instead, the Raiders performed so horribly the past four seasons, they had to make a change in their normal pattern of boasting. Oh, the media guide still contains the Raiders' usual slogans – “The Team of the Decades,” “The Greatness of the Raiders Will Continue in its Future” and “Commitment to Excellence” – plus pictures of the team's Lombardi Trophy and Super Bowl ring collection, even though the Raiders' last NFL title came before some of their current players were born (January 1984).

    But something is missing from the back cover of the guide: the listing of the top professional football won-lost records from 1963 (the year Al Davis took over the Raiders) through the most recent season. It was there from 2000-06, and – here's a shock – each year the Raiders were No. 1.
    No longer. After four straight double-digit loss seasons (combined record: 15-49), the Raiders dropped a few percentage points behind Miami (which was established in 1966). And so the back cover underwent a redesign.
    Could the listing be back next year, however? With the Raiders splitting their first four games, they enter tomorrow's game against the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in sole possession of first place in the AFC West – something they hadn't been able to say since the end of the 2002 season.
    Rookie Raiders coach Lane Kiffin downplayed that fact this week, saying “it means nothing to me because you don't win divisions this time of year.” And linebacker Kirk Morrison, the former SDSU standout, said it would mean more if the Raiders had won a divisional game (they've lost 15 straight).
    Still, the Raiders' fast start (relatively speaking) and the Chargers' sluggish beginning have added a special quality to an already bitter rivalry.
    The last time the Raiders had a better record than the Chargers when the teams played each other was the season finale in 2003, when Oakland was 4-11 and San Diego 3-12. (The Chargers won that day in Oakland, beginning a seven-game winning streak that remains alive.) Not counting the 2006 season opener, the last time first place was at stake for both teams was Dec. 8, 2002, when both entered 8-4. The Raiders won and went on to capture the AFC West and play in the Super Bowl; the Chargers finished 8-8.
    “We're excited, definitely,” Morrison said. “The whole organization is excited.”
    There's no question this is a statement game for the Raiders. Their victories this season came against the 0-5 Dolphins and 2-3 Browns, and even a narrow loss to Denver doesn't look nearly as good now that the Broncos have dropped their past three. Playing the Chargers offers a chance to prove their improvement is for real.
    “We're playing a team that has beaten us pretty soundly the last couple of years,” Morrison said. “I think this is a game where everyone is excited to play.”
    Morrison credits Kiffin for instilling a new attitude in Oakland after replacing the overmatched Art Shell. Kiffin agreed attitude was his biggest challenge.
    He said his first goal was to “fix the locker room as much as we could and as fast as we could. You had to do that by bringing in new players and giving players an opportunity to show that they were going to do things the way that we wanted to do things together as a team and follow our philosophies and our rules. Players that didn't aren't here anymore.”
    But, as Kiffin also noted, “You have to have players, too,” and the Raiders rebuilt their offensive line, brought receiver Jerry Porter out of Shell's doghouse and added quarterbacks Josh McCown (now injured) and Daunte Culpepper. The line has helped produce the league's best running game, and Porter and Ronald Curry already have five TD catches on fewer than 100 pass attempts. The defense already was solid.
    And, perhaps most importantly, Kiffin knows his work has just begun. “Our guys understand we've done nothing yet,” Kiffin said. “We have to keep improving.”

    The Raiders Suck :turdspuke:
     
  2. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    And, perhaps most importantly, Kiffin knows his work has just begun. “Our guys understand we've done nothing yet,” Kiffin said. “We have to keep improving.”


    Tomorrow they are going to hit a sink hole in Mission Valley and be lost for the season.:bolt: :lol: :icon_toast:
     
  3. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    The Orcs are fleeing through the angry tress of Fanghorn.
     

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