Record-breaking events have taken place lately in the land of the Oakland Raiders (8-8). 

 

 

The Raiders finished the season on a positive note (31-10 win at Kansas City) and for the first time in eight years, avoided a losing record. Albeit Oakland fell short of the playoffs, it became the first team in NFL history to miss the post-season, yet win all of its divisional games. 

 

Oakland conquered all aspects of the game against the AFC West Champions Kansas City Chiefs (10-6), especially in the ground game, and that was without the presence of Darren McFadden, who had the second best YPC (Yards Per Carry) average of every back who rushed for at least 1,100 yards this season. Michael Bush stepped up to the plate for McFadden and scampered for 137 yards and 1 TD on the day and the Raiders looked like they should have been given the AFC West crown. 

 

The Raiders defense also took control, holding the NFL's second-leading rusher Jamaal Charles to only 68 yards on 28 carries. Rookie MLB Rolando McClain brought along a tidal wave, putting together one of his best games, producing nine tackles, and DT John Henderson and Desmond Bryant (Chris Berman: From...? Harvard!) played well in place of Richard Seymour. 

 

Devastating disappointment ensued with the six non-division conference games, losing to Jacksonville, Houston, Tennessee, and Miami (all of which fished with losing records) as well as the Colts and Steelers, but a quick glance at the sunny side of the street never hurts when there's reason for optimism, as the Raiders not only handled their division opponents, but did so with conviction, outscoring the Chargers, Chiefs, and Broncos by an average of 18 points. 

 

In the out-of-conference games (vs. NFC teams), Oakland finished 2-2, beating St. Louis and Seattle, who won the NFC West. The losses were both winnable games. One came at the hands of Arizona, with kicker Sebastian Janikowski having a miserable day, as he missed three field goals to cost the team a victory. San Francisco also won in the battle of the Bay in awkward fashion. The 49ers win didn't come from stellar defensive play or a good showing on offense, but rather simply the Raiders coaching staff's poor decision making to settle for three FGs instead of pounding the ball like they did all season to earn their wins.

 

 

 

The season brought great triumphs and devastating defeats for a young team that showed improvement. In essence, the team should have had at least four more in the win column, but better things are to come in 2011. 

 


The Raiders went out and played every game, showed good character, and even when the team took some hard losses, they always battled back the following week as if nothing effected them or stood in their way of progression. 

 


Owner Al Davis thought otherwise earlier this week. The wicked old man decided to "move forward" by letting go of Head Coach Tom Cable. My jaw dropped initially because the team finished with its best record since 2002. Cable deserved to remain Head Coach after installing such improvement, but Davis felt it was time to pull the plug. 

 


Again I soaked in the disappointment from the Silver and Black, that it really haven't gone anywhere since Cable proceeded in Oakland on the sideline. The Raiders have got better every year since Cable has been coach, but the adjustments and improvements weren't made very clear-cut until this past season. 

 

Was the work done by Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson that made the dramatic impact in 2010? Was Tom Cable's job in jeopardy since the beginning? Was Cable dismissed from his job duties to promote Jackson? The offensive coordinator might already be pursued by other NFL teams to become their Head Coach. If that is the case, Al Davis needs to get on the ball and sign him.

 

 

 


Jackson may be the only coach that knows the system and the quarterback to continue improving the team. Otherwise, Oakland needs to go after a big name, like a Jon Gruden, who was the last coach who got the team in the Super Bowl.

 

 

 


We all know it's not Davis' type of thinking; he won't hire Bill Cowher or take a chance on a Jim Harbaugh (even if Harbaugh was still available). It's just not who the Raiders owner is. If Oakland doesn't hire a big name coach or promote Hue Jackson, it's right back to the beginning and you can scratch out all of what the team accomplished in 2010. 

 

 

 


The Raiders became a team built on foundation, unity, and great emotion and held it all together this past season. With the great balance of young talent and veteran experience, Oakland will move forward no matter what, but the right coach will make the team even better. For the sake of the NFL, the team, and the fans, Al Davis, hire Hue Jackson or an experienced coach that can lead the team to what its capable.