Ever get that feeling after a vacation and some long needed rest and relaxation of, man this sucks to be back? For most, this happens because they have to go back to work or somewhere they are not comfortable being. For others, if they enjoy where they are going and used this as a time to get healthy and come back with a new sense of vigor, we may just see the change and fourth gear kick into this team and propel us into the playoffs.
Check out this interview with Grads I found yesterday..........
Do you see that smile on his face? Does that look say to you that he is excited about the remainder of the year or does it say to you that he has to get ready to go back to work this next week to prepare for the offseason and possibly another year with the Raiders.
Well, coming off this bye week, I think the enthusiasm is peaking for me as much as I know it is for the team. I'm sure they are coming back today with smiles and new stories to share, as well as a new sense of enthusiasm that they have the remainder of the season to finish. Keep in mind though, they are riding a 3 game win streak that has propelled them back to a level of accomplishment and accountability, and I truly believe a better sense of who they are as a team. Becoming a playoff contender.
Our upcoming challenge this week is the Pittsburgh Steelers. After the game last night, which I am sure a majority of the players caught, it is easy to see that they had better show up with their "A" game this Sunday. This is going to be I am going to punch you in the mouth game against an elite team in the NFL.
|Created by Raider Grafix|
So what are the keys to victory that the Cheatriots taught us last night?
1. Throw to the Tight End!
Rob Gronkowski hauled in 5 receptions for 72 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday's win.
2. Throw the ball period.
Tom Brady accounted for four touchdowns and went 30-43 for 350 yards in the win.The Steelers have given up 11 passing touchdowns this season.
3. Protect against the pass.
Ben Roethlisberger finished 30-49 for 387 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Over 300 of Roethlisberger’s 387 yards came in the second half and so did all three of his touchdowns.
Steelers’ wide receiver Mike Wallace also had a big day with eight catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
4. Attack their weaknesses and injured positions.
Pittsburgh finished the game on Sunday without their left tackle (Max Starks), left guard (Chris Kemoeatu), top wide receiver (Hines Ward), starting defensive ends (Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel) and top inside linebacker (Lawrence Timmons). Starks is done for the season by the way.
Just In case you needed a refresher on last year......
Here is a stat we need to be aware of...The Raiders have not won after the bye week since the 2002 season when they beat the Tennessee Titans 52-25. Since then we have lost 7 straight.
2003 13-23 @ the 1-6 Detroit Lions
2004 17-23 to the 6-3 San Diego Chargers
2005 14-27 to the 2-3 San Diego Chargers
2006 21-24 to the 0-3 Cleveland Browns
2007 14-28 @ the 2-3 San Diego Chargers
2008 3-34 @ the 2-3 New Orleans Saints
2009 10-16 to the 1-7 Kansas City Chiefs
After looking at these stats, what was the most common denominator between each of these seasons? We had nothing to play for. Times are different this year, as you can see from the quotes below: