A Raiders win is a must for Kiffin


A wise man, or maybe it was colleague Carl Steward, once reasoned that if you’re talking about “must win’’ games early in the season, then the season is already lost.

That said, when the Raiders face the Chiefs Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, it is about as close as you can get to a must win in early September.

Anything remotely similar to 41-14 face plant Monday night against the Denver Broncos could have severe ramifications.

When the team’s public relations department dispatched defensive coordinator Rob Ryan Thursday to refute what coach Lane Kiffin said the previous day, it can be taken as a sign that the coach one columnist called “frat boy’’ is at the very least on double-secret probation.

My feeling all along , based on the Kiffin-Al Davis postseason standoff, was that the coach was in trouble if the Raiders hit the bye week 1-3 or worse.

The across-the-board failure in Week 1, which took place in front of the team’s new investors, may have sped up the process.

If the Raiders were to lose convincingly to a very mediocre Chiefs team Sunday, Kiffin may not make it to Buffalo for Week 3.

This was Kiffin’s assessment on his standing with the Raiders when asked about it on a conference call with Kansas City media:

“Knowing who the owner is, you know from Day 1 there’s no job security,’’ Kiffin said.

It’s not much different than what Kiffin said the first day of training camp, but it takes a more ominous tone given the Monday night debacle and the coach’s 4-13 record.

As poorly as the Raiders played against Denver, it was a game they had a reasonable expectation of winning. They were at home, playing a team they beat convincingly last year in Oakland. I talked with a few fans on my Southwest flight to Kansas City, including one who takes a few road trips a year and goes back to the pre-Coliseum days.

He was convinced the Raiders would win. I thought enough of their chances to write the ill-fated “10 reasons the Raiders will beat the Broncos’’ blog.

At the time, taking into account a win at Arrowhead last season, it was within the realm of possibility the Raiders would be 2-0 and have a boost of confidence heading into difficult games in Buffalo and at home against San Diego.

Instead, they’ve got a chance to be 0-2, and considering the opposition the next two weeks, it could well be 0-4.

It’s worth considering that the Denver game was a mulligan and will have no carryover. That seems to be the prevailing hope both in the locker room and with the coaching staff.

It’s not exactly, “Commitment to Excellence,’’ but the slogan for this week was something along the lines of, “We’re not that bad _ honest.’’

Coaches and players took turns accepting responsibility. Kiffin said it was the job of the coaches to get a team that looks good “on paper’’ to play well on the field. Ryan took the blame for the defense.

DeAngelo Hall said it was his fault, and other defenders said they had communication errors which turned into a death spiral.

Hall will get his share of chances to redeem himself Sunday, because it looks as if Nnamdi Asomugha is in for another lonely season at right cornerback. Kiffin was engaged in conversation with defensive tackle Tommy Kelly both on the way to practice and again after practice Friday.

I’m guessing the name “Larry Johnson’’ came up more than once.

Ryan described the Raiders defense Friday as a system which puts what he believes to be great players in position to win one-on-one match-ups.

The same could be said for Oakland’s offense, which will live or die with hits ability to run the ball with quarterback JaMarcus Russell playing his first game at Arrowhead, his blind side likely protected by first-time starter Mario Henderson.

An 0-2 start is no time to panic, but an 0-2 start for a team with an unprecedented five-year run of losing and a coach who exhibits an air of defiance toward his employer could make this a must win for Kiffin.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • BayAreaRaider35

    A “yes man” cannot turn this team around; Davis is going to fire Kiffen because he’s not a “yes man” and the team will keep losing…maybe the new investors can get this idiot to step back and let someone more competent run it (see George Steinbrenner)

  • Morning 4eva!

    I was reading the posts I missed last night! Kid Rock concert was cool he had RUN DMC come out for like 10 mins during his set wich was freaking awesome!

    Oh yeah I want to break all 8 of that insects legs just for fun! 😛

  • Napolean Harris isnt playing today

  • Ufck the chefs! ufck the donkeys & ufck the chokers!

  • Man 408 you get 2 have ALL THE FUN tHE 408 rocks!!!

  • La Milicia Negra


    I totally agree with your post #292

  • Homer

    Has an NFL coach ever been fired during a game? That would be cool! Imagine Al going down to the sideline with 3 or 4 goons, he whacks Lane in head with his cane while grabbing the headset. Then the goons beat the hell out of Kiffin, breaking both knee caps with their billy clubs, leaving him laying there on the side line writhing in agony. Al hands the headset to Rathman and says “better turn this $hit around kid!”

  • Morning LMN

    you ready for some redemption?!

  • Andrews Mom

    All the talking heads this morning are saying Kiff is gone and Al said kiff is not the mAn he hired last year.

    I dont like hearing this, but I bet it all dates back to Kiff pushing for the ARK job halfway into his first season.

  • 4eva last nights concert was @ Knocti in the 707 Lake County.. But the 408 Rocks…

  • Andrews Mom

    Get your arse up Scary and start blogging.
    You took a pass yesterday while JJ scooped you.

    Get busy blogging or else………..

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    Looksl like Mort is at it again just so ESPN can have fun talking about the inhouse beefing as usual in this morning’s pregame show. Dude is talkin’ bout KIFF WILL BE FIRED REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENS TODAY. Not sure if ya’ll have read it but here is the link. It’s one of the top stories this morning on ESPN.com


  • Andrews Mom

    I bet Kerry redneck Collins blows up today.
    The termites will not want VY back.

  • Morning Andrews Mom

    Still best year ever? I havent given up on our boyz yet… I like Kiffin and hope he is our coach for a long long time!

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    That Mort report is depressing. The fact that those rumors are swirling around would make me not even want to coach today’s game and I hope Kiff isn’t thinking like that, but who could blame him? Damn Al, why would he handle the situation like this and leak something like that if it’s true? He better not fire that guy tomorrow, especially if we win.. Or hell, maybe he should, and then Al himself should resign and hand the reigns over to Amy Trask. Something…anything….please help this nation!!

  • PTB

    We’ve been having the same conversation for five years. What’s the common denominator in this mess ? And that’s your answer.

  • Hey AL DAVIS if we loose this one,the entire NATION will have one question for you; HOWS ARE A$$ TASTE!!!

  • AL we love you but please 4 the love of the NATION cut the crap already!

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    I’m not up in the bay so I don’t know what’s happening with the local sports radio. Please tell me it ain’t true my boy Kiff is gonna be gone tomorrow…

  • La Milicia Negra

    Morning 408..

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    I stopped listening to bay area sports talk but the pre game fix starts in 1 hour @
    http://www.ksfo560.com usually strait up Kool-Aid check it out bro….

  • Andrews Mom

    NFL network just did a show on AFC matchups.
    Matchups with winless teams was the last segment.
    They went through evry 0-1 matchup but skipped the Raiders-Chiefs.

    I have not given up on the

    Best year ever!!

  • i dress in black

    PTB – BINGO!

    Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    Appreciate that NC408. Don’t know if you’ve went over to ESPN.com yet this morning, but Mort’s story on Kiff being gone by Monday is the top headline. I think Mort loves reproting on our inhouse chaos. A lot of the times it is bogus though. Good to know I got a link where I can get some straight up biz and no nonsense. Good lookin’ out…

  • Andrews Mom

    Besides I will say the same thing next year.
    I want the Raiders to win.
    I get excited about every game.
    If they are 2-12 then I will be hoping and talking smack about them knocking whoever they play out of playoff contention. And thats my SB.
    I am not happy about losing but I wont let it rent space in my head.

  • aj

    KIFFIN is not the prob.I am so sick of Al. Lets fire KIff and bring in someone who doesn’t want this mess and can’t hire his own staff-that makes sense. Its a revolving door. Someone start a petition to get Al out, or Ill be back on board when Al passes on. This is just comedy, i mean seriously, you have to laugh when u watch this dysfunctional team, up and down the board. we are a joke. u think the players like it in Oak. Theres no passion for them to play. K.C. will “run” all over us today. we don’t have the guts!!

  • Oh yeah, all the ESPN stories about the rift between Al & Kiffin are all mediaiot conspiracies. Yeah, yeah, I feel better now.

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    You a bay guy also Kell? Luckily living down here in SoCal, I get a good mixture of truth mixed in on the local radio along with ESPN crap… I would imagine the amount of falsehoods running rampant in the Bay area are worse though.

  • Andrews Mom

    Jerry said

    “The across-the-board failure in Week 1, which took place in front of the team’s new investors, may have sped up the process.”

    Nice hatchet job, scary
    The investers got to see the future of the offense
    and that looked very bright.

  • i dress in black

    Where there is smoke there is fire. Al has been preparing for this every since he brought Lofton in. Look at it this way. If he fires Kiffin and they go on to be 8-8 he takes the credit, if they suck and we get the #1 overall pick again he blames Kiffin.

  • I live in Alameda. I can see the goalposts of the facility from my front porch.

    And everybody at the barber shop thinks Al Davis should go sit down somewhere

  • Exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    From Scott Ostler:
    Due to an electrician’s error last Sunday, the Raiders’ defensive helmet radio receiver was patched into the order-taker’s radio transmission from the In-N-Out Burger just across 880.

  • NATION collective_ Voldemort

    Who wants to bet that Kiffin goes to SD or KC or Denver and haunts Al Davis until his dying day. God I hope that doesn’t happen, but it seems likely enough. Al Davis is a flippin moron. If he fires Kiffin I’m not going to anther game all year, I’ll just watch from home.

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    yeah I read that garbage I hope it isn’t true! Mort dont know isht from shineola..
    but I fear he may be rite on this 1 AL is a stubborn old fool! Hes my guy and all but he should have just paid chucky instead of putting us thru this BS! anyway enjoy the pre game fix

  • post 322 408 thanks 4 the link!!!

  • PhillyRaider

    Wassp Nation! Bless you Coach Kiffin for opening a PUBLIC window into the mess that Ol’ Wrinkled has formed around my once proud Raiders. Anyone here that chooses to forget the string of one-years firings (which launched the Shanahan curse), the Bed & Breakfast O, the schaolarship player years (which Kiffin had the BALLS to challenge and put an end to), the fake pass-D stats (because teams just chose to ram the ball down our throats), etc., ect., etc.

    ALL OF THAT falls squarely on Ol’ Wrinkled’s walker, er shoulders! No owner in the league does this kind of insane sh!t in ONE season, let alone CONTINUOUSLY. For all of you “Kiffin just shut up and coach” raideraide drinkers, obviously he’s tried to just coach. This guy has helped this franchise out IMMENSELY with his brave, no fearless, expose of the megolomaniac’s insane meddlings. Best of luck in your next, NORMAL, workplace Kiff!!!

    “Al’s will be done…”

  • Does anyone think that this situation, no matter who is the head coach, will ever get better? As long as we have yes men for coaches that kiss up to Al things will remain the same. I mean seriously we are the joke of the nfl. Al Davis has been a maverick to the game of football but his refusal to change and adapt to the new nfl is what will keep us from ever getting back to respectability. And Rob Ryan needs to be gone right along with the head coach if changes must be made. His scheme is outdated or he is just as Lane put it “conspiring with the owner” and it’s Al’s scheme and not Ryan’s. I hate seeing the raiders be the sorriest team in the nfl,but the raiders get back to respectabilty one of two ways: either Al DAvis’ philosophy changes(changes scheme and hires a GM) or he passes away and things have to change. Which do you think will happen first? I think we all know the answer to that question.

  • Al is God.

    Frat Boy is a Fraud.

    Just Win Baby.

  • Oaktown Raiders

    Al Davis need some meds and settle down. Let the kid coach and win some games. LOL.. the Raiders don’t have any stability firing coaches every single year. I hope the kid stay and win some games. I like Kiffin play calling.. he mixes things up. It’s different than what the past coaches instigate in the offense.

  • i dress in black

    Leftcoast Says:
    September 14th, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Does anyone think that this situation, no matter who is the head coach, will ever get better?

    As long as Al Davis is involved -NO!

  • When Charles Woodson rose up, and made a heroic play, out of no way, and forced that Brady fumble. I thought, he’s a true legendary Raider. Al Davis thought otherwise. Sorry Al, you’re the only true Raider

  • Who wants to bet that Kiffin goes to SD or KC or Denver and haunts Al Davis until his dying day. God I hope that doesn’t happen, but it seems likely enough.

    I’ll take that bet. The Frat Boy doesn’t scare me.

    Just Win Baby.

  • It’s not Ryan’s scheme!!!!!!!!!!

    Btw, If Rob Ryan can’t coach defense, he would be the ONLY Ryan who can’t. Not likely.

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    Kell, everybody at the barbershop is right! It’s a sad day 4 the nation ’cause Al is only gonna throw Lofton or Rathman in the top spot, and they’re gonna try to be so loyal to Al it’ll be to a fault, and the next thing you know, we’re takin’ 8 step drop backs again.

  • Andrews Mom

    Lane will not haunt us. He will be lucky to get a decent college job.

  • PhillyRaider

    S&B Bleeder Post 345 – D@mn good point, my man!!

    “Al’s will be done…”

  • Oaktown Raiders

    Rob Ryan defense have no discipline. The roughing penalties isn’t Kiffin fault. The CBs got burned by an unknown rookie costing the Raiders points. I cannot believe Ryan is a former Bears DC! The Bears shut out offenses like nobody business. Ryan is a fraud.

  • 0 days, 2 hours, 10 minutes, and 52 seconds left until the Oakland Raiders visits the Kansas City Chiefs.


  • Andrews Mom

    Just over two hours!!!!

    Scary, start blogging, dam it!!!!!

  • i dress in black

    I can’t wait to go back the late 80’s Marc Wilson 2 runs and incomplete offense.