Welcome to another edition of “Acting Cordial,” where we preview the upcoming game by talking with another blog (it’s been a blog for the opposing team every time so far … weird …) in an attempt to DIG DEEP in the minds of the enemy. Honestly, it’s my favorite post of the week because outside of this mildly redundant intro paragraph, I typically just get to copy and paste text into a CSS editor and then decide which parts of it look better in bold or not. Then I find a funny picture of football players, maybe make a LOL Fart joke on it, and slap it in there as multimedia. I’M A BLOGGING GENIUS!
Anyway, this week we had the Bloguin blog “Thoughts From the Dark Side” reach out to us and asked us some question. Our Q&A is up over on their site which you can find by clicking here, BUT NOT BEFORE you give me better page view statistics by finishing reading this article in which I ask them who the hell is Hue Jackson, is the Black Hole like a serious thing or just a joke, and was Carson Palmer really a smart move (30-year old Pro Bowler who has never won a playoff game for a first round pick? I say no). Read on, and make sure to visit their site too, since we’re acting cordial and all.
Purple Jesus Diaries: What has Hue Jackson brought to the table as coach that has helped this team out? Where does he still need to grow?
Thoughts From the Dark Side: He has brought a swagger with him for sure. He has that in spades. Hue is a great offensive mind and his mindset has really made this Raider offense into a high-powered attack. But perhaps the one quality of his that has helped this team the most is the personnel he was able to bring in with him. He is well liked around the league and surrounded himself with great NFL minds like OC Al Saunders, and OL Bob Wylie.
He needs to grow as a game manager. He makes some aggressive play calls which is great but he also makes some terrible play calls as well. He is a first time head coach with a lot on his plate and he will get more conservative as time goes on. Just last week he made a concerted effort to hand the ball off to Michael Bush 30 times. It was the perfect game plan to beat the Chargers.
PJD: If you had your choice, who would you rather have starting at QB for you guys? Jason Campbell or Carson Palmer? And, was the Palmer trade a bad move for you?
TFTDS: Carson Palmer is far and away the better of the two. But Jason Campbell is extremely efficient and with the play of McFadden and co (when he was healthy), Campbell would have led this team to wins as well. Palmer needed a couple games to get used to the offense and the Raiders would have beaten the Chiefs had Campbell not went down. But Palmer is acclimated to the Raiders offense and has already set single game records with some amazing completions.
The second part of the question is difficult to answer. Was the trade a “bad” move? No. Hard to ever say that getting a Pro Bowl quarterback a bad move. Was it too expensive? I say yes. I have caught a lot of flack from those who misunderstand me when I say that. But it is like judging a draft. You can’t really judge a player until a few years down the road but you can judge a team by when they chose the player based on when you thought they could have chosen him. I think Palmer could have been gotten for less and probably should have been. That being said, the Raiders were desperate and Mike Brown took advantage of that so kudos to him for playing hardball.
PJD: Your defense has been growing for a couple of seasons. Where are they at now, and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
TFTDS: The defense is still at best wildly inconsistent. They continue to tinker with it such as trading for LB Aaron Curry. They made great strides late last season but took a big step back when the team hired Chuck Bresnahan out of the UFL to coach them. I won’t really address his future or the future of this defense but as of right now, they are not a group in which I would place a lot of confidence. The best news coming into this week is they are probably as healthy as they have been all season.
PJD: Are people serious about the “Black Hole” and dressing up like wrestlers and everything? That seems a bit too far.
TFTDS: Wrestlers? I am not really sure what this question means but I will try to answer it to the best of my ability. Raider fans are very serious about the Black Hole. Although that won’t really apply in Minnesota. You can expect a pretty decent Raider Nation presence there this weekend but nothing like we saw in San Diego last week where you could argue that the Raider fans actually outnumbered the Charger fans. If they didn’t, it sure seemed that way. As far as fanaticism, they really aren’t that much different than any other fan base in my opinion. Every team has their traditions. Raider fans have a lot of characters to work with due to the persona that Al Davis gave this team. Other team’s fans have their traditions but there just isn’t as much to work with in the costume arena.
PJD: You’ve got some lesser-known receivers putting up some impressive numbers. Who do you like the most out of them, and why?
TFTDS: Denarius Moore began showing his potential for making spectacular plays about two weeks into camp. He was buried on the depth chart much of the first part of this season. But now that Palmer has come in and made it clear how much he trusts him and his high opinion of him, the sky’s the limit. Jacoby Ford has also shown the ability for some amazing plays but he has been injured most of this season and won’t play this week.
PJD: EXTRA POINT! Game prediction?
TFTDS: I re-evaluated the Raiders’ schedule during their bye week after week seven and I had the Vikings winning this game. I am not one to change my predictions so I will stick with that. I have the Vikings winning this game due to Adrian Peterson and the Raiders run defense still a major issue. That said, the events of last weekend gave me a lot to think about. The outstanding play of Carson Palmer combined with the Vikings losing Antoine Winfield could really change things. This should be a close one. Vikings 27, Raiders 24.
I might honestly shit my pants if the Vikings score 27 points. Like, literally fill my pants up with poop. I’ll just sit on the couch watching the whole game, and if they get to 27 points, open the flood gates and just let it smear all over my boxer shorts. Poop. That’s how amazed I would be if the Vikings score 27 points.
Here’s hoping we all get to hear a story about that later.
Thanks again to Thoughts From the Dark Side!