NY Giants 30 - Oakland Raiders 21
On a soggy New Year's Eve night in Oak-Town, the Raiders 2005 season came to a fitting end. The Raiders did just enough good things on the field to tease their loyal fan base but didn't make enough plays at critical junctures in the game to bring home a victory.
The Good: This game showed some of the promise of a high powered passing attack. Receivers Moss, Gabriel, and Porter combined for 21 catches, 292 yards, and 3 TDs.
DE Derrick Burgess set a team record with his 16th sack of the season and is the 1st Raider to lead the league in sacks.
The Bad: With Lamont Jordan on the shelf, the rushing attack was non-existent. The Raiders ran for a total of 25 yards for the ENTIRE game. A balanced offense was not in the cards tonight. The Raiders gave up 3 critical big plays to the Giants; a 95 yard TD run by Tiki Barber, a 78 yard TD pass to Plexixo Burress, and a 58 yard punt return by Chad Morton.
The Ugly: Down 30-21 with 3:51 on the clock, the Raiders had 1st and goal from the 1 yard line and were unable to score on 4 consecutive rushing attempts. This series of plays on the goal line was symbolic of the Raiders 2005 season. It showed Turner's unimaginative play calling and the players lack of execution during key points in the game.
I was pleased with the team's effort in this meaningless game which does show a certain level of commitment by the players to Head Coach Turner. However no plausible reason can justify bringing Turner back for 2006. His record speaks for itself. 2004 (5-11, 1-5 in the division); 2005 (4-12, 0-6 in the division). Here's a guy who built his coaching reputation on being a supposed offensive guru, an offensive master-mind, an offensive genius. The only thing offensive is the fact that in 16 games this year, the Raiders only scored more than 21 points on 3 occasions. To say that the offense underachieverd this year would be a major understatement. It was interesting (and puzzling) to read in the Oakland Tribune article by Jerry McDonald all of the players'quotes supporting Turner to remain as head coach.
Hopefully this will be the week that the axe comes down on Turner's ugly reign as the Oakland Raiders Head Coach. My future posts will delve into what to expect from the godfather of Silver and Black, Mr. Al Davis, speculation on head coaching and starting QB candidates, and the 2006 draft. I also intend to write about the culture of the Raider Nation.
With the completion of the 2005 regular season, you can now view the Raiders 2006 opponents provided by the league office.
I Bleed Silver and Black,