If clichés were X’s and O’s, then the Oakland Raiders would boast a supreme coaching staff. Coach speak was the name of the game after another disheartening loss in a season of disappointment. Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was Captain Cliché at the podium.
“To me, I don’t give any credence to those kind of questions,” Del Rio answered when broached about the team and season spiraling down the drain. “II mean, no offense, but I — to me it’s a, we’re professionals and to me, so long as you have hope, you keep your hope, you keep hope alive. So, we’ll continue to scratch and claw and fight for everything we can.”
It’s those kind of blanket “You just have to believe!” statements that defined the era of embarrassment for the Raiders. Coach after hapless coach boasted rah-rah malarkey at press conferences and pounded the table with “hope” as Oakland piled up the comical losses.
And it seemed only one was brave enough to shout out his true feelings — Bill Callahan during his infamous “dumbest team in America” tirade.
The 33-8 dismantling of the Raiders by the New England Patriots harkens back to those days. Del Rio’s 12-4 campaign last season appears to be nothing but a mirage. A cruel one at that.
Ever wonder why Raider Nation is home to the most notorious pessimist and naysayers? Because of performances like Sunday’s defeat.
To the numbers:
0 — Interceptions or takeaways. Oakland is now 10 games deep without a pick. The defense did force a fumble, but was unable to recover.
1 — Takeaway by New England and was it ever an easy one. Oakland wideout Seth Roberts foolishly held out the ball one-handed after a catch and the Patriots knocked it out of his mitt.
3 — Touchdown throws by Tom Brady. Against a porous Raiders defense, he was Tom Terrific.
4.8 — Average yards per offensive play by the Raiders.
7 — Snaps Obi Melifonwu had playing cornerback before he gassed. The rookie was thrown into the fire and the Patriots no-huddle sapped all of his oxygen.
7.2 — Average yards per offensive play by the Patriots.
8 — Penalties on the Raiders for 66 yards. To compare, the Patriots were flagged twice for infractions for 10 yards.
28 — Completions for Oakland QB Derek Carr. Certainly would have had more, if not for drops by his receiving options. In total, Carr threw the ball 49 times.
30 — Completions for Brady. Get this, he only had seven incompletions. 30 /37. This is the kind of commitment to their craft Carr needs from his pass catchers.
51 — Receiving yards for Michael Crabtree to lead the Raiders receiving corps.
64 — Yards Patriots burner Brandin Cooks torched the Raiders defense on the opening drive bomb in the second half.
67 — Yards Raiders tailback Marshawn Lynch galloped for on 11 carries. Beast Mode looked rather spry and had a long run of 25 yards. The deficit played a large part in Lynch not getting more carries.
149 — Total receiving yards Cooks totaled by himself. The speedster did all that on six catches and here’s a doozy — Carr’s top receiving options had 196 total yards on 20 grabs.
344 — Total net yards of offense for Oakland.
420 — Total net yards of offense for New England.