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What are you thankful for about your team this season?


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47 minutes ago, Jlowe22 said:

Don't wish another Pats-like dynasty on us.

 

15 minutes ago, Chiefer said:

We all know Reid and Mahomes are more likeable than Belicheck/Brady

 

14 minutes ago, Jlowe22 said:

For right now maybe, 3-4 superbowls from now who knows.

February 3, 2002 - The Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVI and become America’s lovable post-9/11 underdogs. 
 

March 17, 2020 - Tom Brady leaves the Patriots and America breathes a sigh of relief, saying; “thank goodness that’s over!”

Things change. 

Edited by rfournier103
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It has to be Sean Payton. Offseason church-PR controversy, race issues, injury to your HOF QB, injury to your all-pro WR? No problem. 

Loomis and Ireland deserves a ton of credit...the Saints roster is the deepest in franchise history. 

Lastly...Kamara and Demario Davis. Both phenomenal players. I honestly think that Demario Davis should be in the running for defensive player of the year. 

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For my team, McVay and Staley. Amazing coaches.

Ramsey and AD - I'll be honest, I didn't like paying two defensive players $44 million per year - but Staley has been able to use these two in different ways and elevate the role players on d.

That the travel is over - 5 trips East in one season..

For the NFL in general - I'm happy the Patriots dynasty is over, however, I'd like to know how it took the AFC East until Brady left to produce a challenger as good as the Bills. They are a run of the mill division champ/Super Bowl contender, and they're the first one from the AFC East other than the Patriots since..........the Bills in the 90s?? That's crazy.

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First of all, a happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone here at FF. My favorite website period, been around since 08 or 09. Have a lot of people on here I legitimately consider friends even though we have never met. And I'm thankful to talk football with all of you. 

On to the Raiders

Being in the playoff hunt - For 2 consecutive years we have been smack dab in the playoff hunt after 10 games. Last year we didn't finish very strong, and we got to 7 wins by getting close wins over average or below average teams (though we should have won the Jags game if they call Carr down inbounds and the Denver game could have been a win if we kick the XP instead of going for 2 to end the game one way or another because we had already been eliminated from the playoffs an hour or two earlier). This year we have competed with some the best the NFL has to offer and have 3 wins over teams with 7+ wins. And we have the soft part of our schedule from now down the stretch. I believe we are a legit wild card team this year, 10 wins is easily in play, and 11 isnt totally out of the question with our schedule. But after 20 years of sucking, just playing meaningful games this late in the season is something I am appreciative of. 

The Pairing of Derek Carr and Jon Gruden - I think a lot of coaches would have looked to replace Carr within their first couple years of taking the job, especially with 5 first round picks in a 2 year span. But I thought when Gruden took the job Carr was a big reason why, and I think Gruden prefers veteran QBs more than most coaches (or dislikes rookie QBs lol), but still after 2 years of up and down QB play and Carr being conservative to a fault, Gruden stuck with him, gave him time to adjust and get a good grip on the offense, and Carr is now playoffs the best football of his career IMO. Even better than 2016 when he had 2 pro bowl wideouts, and that's with kind of a rag tag group of wide receivers. I am of the belief that his decision to stick with Carr, build a good OL, give him some weapons that are great underneath, and a steady run game that can be leaned on has allowed Carr to be in his head less. Him trusting his OL, staying in advantageous down and distance, and having guys like Waller and Renfrow allows him to play his best brand of football. And it allowed us to keep a QB capable of playing at a pro bowl level. I don't think any feasible replacement the past couple of years would have as strong a command of the offense, be as accurate as almost anyone in the NFL, be supremely efficient on 3rd down (leading the entire NFL in 3rd down conversion percentage), keep turnovers to about as minimal as one can in the NFL, and overall have the offense playing like a top 10 offense in the NFL. And when Nelson Aghalor is your most productive WR that's even more impressive. The decision to keep Carr, continue to tell him he's our guy, allow him to have the same offense for 3 straight years for the first time in his entire career has allowed Gruden to run his offense exactly how it's supposed to be ran and exactly how he envisions based on the talent we have. Replacing him for a rookie or a journeyman just to make a change would have set us back, at least in the short term. And Carr is still only 29 years old so it's entirely possible we are just now seeing the Derek Carr we could see for the next 5-6 years if we can keep a solid foundation around him and avoid yet another rebuild and system change. Keeping Carr and building around him is something that doesn't get put in the win column for Gruden and Mayock in terms of their decisions but it should. And it's a decision that will be forgotten as a no brainer in the future if Carr continues to play at such a high level, but it was far from that the past two off seasons. Many believed the right call would be to move on. It would have been easy to make the call to look for "their" guy and we all know how difficult finding a good QB can be. They have stuck by him, built around him, and we're seeing that decision pay off right now as Carr is playing about as good as anyone not named Mahomes, Wilson, or Rodgers. 

The big uglies - In general the OL doesn't get a lot of credit, but our offensive line has been one of the better units in the NFL this year, especially in pass protection. And thats with Incognito going down for most of the season, Trent Brown only playing a couple of games, and Kolton Miller missing a game. Good has came in for Incognito and played at a high level at LG and even playing some RT at times and still not really noticing (a compliment for an offensive lineman). I'm a believer games are won in the trenches and our OL gives us a shot against almost anyone. 

Josh Jacobs - The kid is just really good. His efficiency has been down a little in terms of YPC this season, but with all the injuries on the OL it's somewhat understandable. And he's asked to get a lot of tough 3rd and 3 yards, and he's a monster in the redzone with 9 rushing TDs through 10 games. He and the OL keeps us in front of the chains, he picks up the tough yards, he rarely gets tackled for a loss, one of the best in the business in terms of making people miss. He's still incredibly young and still has a ton of tread on the tires. I believe we have a top 7 or 8 back in all the NFL currently with the potential to be a top 3-5 one. 

Darren Waller - My favorite player in all the NFL. Partly because of what he does on the field, but even more so because he's a guy that struggled with some demons, almost completely blew his shot, and turned his life around and took the bull by the horns when given a second chance. He's as good as any TE not named Kelce, and he's only played the position in NFL games for 2 years and change. He operates as our offenses #1 WR and he gives teams fits. Can beat teams short, middle of the field, and can get lose down the field (though we don't use him a ton doing that) and is deadly for a TE when it comes to YAC. He's just a terrific story of a guy overcoming his demons, working hard for a 2nd chance, and taking full advantage of it when given that chance. For anyone that has anyone they love struggling with addiction Waller is a guy you can look to to show it's possible they come out the other side and do something with their lives. And I appreciate him being so open and out there about it. His impact goes deeper than on the football field. 

 

Edited by Mr Raider
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Thought the post was getting a little long so I thought I would break the offense and defense down into separate posts. 

Basically I'm thankful for the entire offense lol. On defense not a ton to be thankful for. Our defense is bad. And I am of the opinion its so bad because Paul Gunther runs a bad scheme, refuses to try anything different and tries to fit a team that doesnt possess the talent to run his bland 4 man rush with soft zone on the back end at a level to keep us competitive. We don't have the talent to consistently get pressure with only 4 lineman, and all of our corners are built and play their best when allowed to play press man. So I'm thankful that Gunther likely doesn't get another year of making it impossible to tell who on defense is a keeper and who needs to be replaced. So I'm thankful I can't see any realistic way he's back and we're running the same bland defense and constantly getting out coached on an X's and O's level when on defense, and getting out adjusted as the game progresses. Our defense lacks any type of star power and it's super young but I also feel we are constantly having to play defense while having those issues of youth and lack of high end talent but also having a bland, predictable, non fundamentally sound defense and teams know we won't even adjust throughout the game. 

As far as players

Mullen - Has looked like the best young corner we have had in ages, he's got potential to be one of the better corners in the league. He's a great run defender IMO, he's tall, long, fast, physical, and he matches up with other teams number ones. When allowed to play his brand of a physical man coverage he has been dominant. When asked to play zone he isn't as good. Still for being in year 2 he's shown enough to be classified as a long term starter for the Raiders. 

Nick Kwiatkoski - He has been an AWESOME find for us. Littleton got all the buzz, but Kwit has been the LB to come in and give us good LB play for the first time in what feels like 20 years. He's always near the ball. He can play downhill and thump some, he's surprisingly good in coverage for a guy that isn't an athletic freak, and he has given us some general consistency and stability as the defensive play caller. Our best free agent signing this off season by far.

Maxx Crosby - Has his flaws and isn't a great edge setter, but when a 4th round pick gets you 16 sacks in their first 20 career games you know he has a place in the NFL. He plays with a really great, non stop motor. He loves being a Raider, and he's an athletic monster. He needs to play with better discipline (he often forgets about maintaining his gap in run defense to sell out on the pass rush, which is somewhat understandable when he's about the only guy that can get us a sack). But he's still only in his second year and he's had about as good a start in terms of sack numbers through 20 career games as anyone ever (which is a testimony towards stats being misleading at times but he still has a bright future). 

Arnette looks like he can play in the NFL. He has shown enough to believe he can be a solid #2 corner. He's only really been noticed when getting abused by Kelce (tough ask of any rookie corner) and biting bad on a double move week one to Robby Anderson. Other than that he's been fairly solid for a rookie corner. Abram makes some really nice plays, when he hits guys they go backwards, but he more than almost anyone is playing in a fashion totally contradictory to his strengths. But both he and Arnette need to clean up some technical issues and dial it back a little in terms of playing out of control but both have some dog in them and I believe it's easier to teach guys to play in control than trying to get a lackadaisical player to play with some fire. If they can be put in a better scheme and play to their strengths both of those guys plus Mullen could be the ones that give our secondary an identity as tough, fast, incredibly physical, and draining to match up with. But neither Arnette or Abram have played well enough to be classified as thankful for them. 

Outside of those guys our defense looks like just some guys. Like Ferrell looks like a certified reach most viewed him as, but he's still a really good edge setter and run stuffer and he actually gets more consistent pressure but can't seem to finish. Littleton has shown he CAN play at a high level in the right scheme but is being wasted here. Hurst has shown flashes. As has guys like Isiah Johnson. So the only other bright spot on defense is there is a lot of room for improvement, and it's not unrealistic to expect it when you factor in almost the entire defense is in their first or second year in the NFL overall (4 starters) or in their first year with the Raiders (4 other starters). So I'm glad if we are bad defensively at least there's hope the guys can produce better in a scheme that fits their skill set, and can improve as the individual players grow and develop in the NFL and get used to playing together. 

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19 hours ago, Jlowe22 said:
19 hours ago, Chiefer said:

We all know Reid and Mahomes are more likeable than Belicheck/Brady

For right now maybe, 3-4 superbowls from now who knows.

Chiefs get caught in a cheating scandal. Andy Reid sneaks into opponent's luxury box suites at the stadium to steal their catering.

Press conference the next day, Reid says he was just popping his head in for some free smells, no chicken wings were stolen. The telltale leftover barbecue sauce on the corner of his beard suggests otherwise.

Edited by DannyB
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