The Raiders finished the 2009 season setting a new NFL record in ineptitude. The Ravens beat the Raiders primarily by doing the 3 things that most good teams do;
(1) Run the ball (240 net yards rushing; 6.9 YPC)
(2) Stop the run (Raiders ran for 51 total yards; 2.5 YPC)
(3) Win the turnover battle (Raiders had 2 turnovers; Ravens 0 turnovers)
The Raiders lines got beat down on both sides of the ball. Frye got knocked out of the game at the end of the 1st half because the OLine could not protect him. Russell came into the game in the 2nd half and had a costly INT and fumble. Game over. Season over.
The 7-11 store logo is in reference to the dubious distinction of 7 consecutive seasons with 11 or more losses.
2003: 4-12 "The Dumbest Team in America" Bill Callahan
2004: 5-11 Norvell "Deer in Headlights" Turner's 1st year
2005: 4-12 Norv Deux 2: The infamous "Norv Face" on the sidelines
2006: 2-14 Shell II: 7 step drop designed by B&B Walsh
2007: 4-12 Lance Kiffin: "Im In" but looking to get out as soon as possible
2008: 5-11 1/4 Lance + 3/4 Cableman = Hang another 11 loss season in the rafters
2009: 5-11 Consistency is a foreign word when Russell & DHB are in the lineup
This post might sound like I'm negative. For the life of me, I would love to feel more optimistic about the upcoming 2010 season. However, the status quo of an 80 year old owner wearing too many hats (owner, GM, Personnel Director, Board Director, etc) and a Head Coach who has no business being the playcaller and OC doesn't bring sunshine and rainbows to me. The obvious remedy and sensible solution is to hire a capable GM to help shoulder the football operations load.
One of the MOST important roles a newly hired GM would play in Alameda is a mediator and trusted advisor. A mediator between the HC and Davis. The reason we enjoyed so much success in the Gruden/Allen years was that Allen provided a buffer or conduit of communication between Gruden and Davis.
The reality is that Gruden, Allen, and Davis worked in an imperfect yet successful partnership. To think that Davis does not need executive support at age 80 going on 81 is bending spoons. I feel like a starving man who is offered 1 saltine cracker. That cracker looks like a buffet ... I would gladly take ANY executive support over the status quo of Davis wearing all the hats. Take the Gruden/Allen duo out of the equation and the last 25 years has been a complete, unequivocal failure.
To get us out of the 7-11 store, Davis needs to take a long look in the mirror and ask himself 2 simple question, "Do I need executive support?" and "Is winning the #1 priority?". Once these questions are answered affirmatively, tangible change can take place and real hope will be realized.