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

  • How you doing this cold morning Adrews Mom?

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    Philly Raider, you are right about that, and I’ve been feeling the same way. Kiffin’s constant out in the open arguing actually is helping us, ’cause it’s casting a big stage light on the franchise. The only good thing about last week’s loss was the fact that more people on t.v. started talking about Al and his senile behind. Usually I’m against this and I think the media is just trying to ruin us even more, but it’s important to keep a focus on what Al is doing and how he is constantly f’ing up. The only way he’ll see he is in the wrong is if someone stops kissing his behind and tells it like it is instead of saying it behind closed doors.

  • Of course there’s no dicipline. The Raiders haven’t been able to master the snap count either in 20 years.

    Players don’t respond to emasculated coaches.

  • Oaktown Raiders

    We’d gotta give KC a dose Bush up the middle. DMC and Fargas cannot get it done up the middle. Let’s see some fly patterns to Lelie and Walker. I cannot believe the speed we’d have at WR and NOT using it! Let’s stretch the field for the run and bombs away. Russell can throw deep with accuracy. I like Russell style of attacking the field with the medium and deep passes.

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    Kiff might be the first coach to make Al really look in the mirror. Even if Al fires him, he has to take a serious look at his franchise from outside the box and see that the young man had some logic to all his press conference outbursts. I mean, at first, I didn’t know what Kiff was doing with all that out in the open venting, but if anything he is helping us in a demented way.

  • Nation Collective-Delicate Flower

    todays the day to the rest of our F’d up season. fireing kiffin will only screw thing up 10 fold.THANX AL MUTHA F&%#$@! DAVIS, YOU OLD PRICK.

  • Is the sky still falling?

  • PhillyRaider

    Right S&B! BTW, Oaktown Post 348, I DO believe Rob Ryan CAN be an effective DC. He HAS proven before. However, what Kiffin has exposed is Ryan DOESN’T run his own defensive philosophy. Exactly like where the the B & B offense came from!

    “Al’s will be done…”

  • #356

    I agree, Kiffin did us all a great favor.

  • i dress in black

    Is Kiffin really arguing? My take is he is simply being matter of fact about a very dysfunctional situation. I never understood the whole ‘Veil of Secrecy’ Al Davis keeps. Maybe it could be justified if we were consistently winning the division and were the undisputed best team over the last 20 years. But we are not. Nobody wants to know what we are doing because we are struggling just to be mediocre. Look at the ‘Hard Knocks’ show on HBO. There isn’t anything there that nobody doesn’t already know. In the end it’s just football x’s and o’s not WMD’s.

  • #

    # RaiderMight Says:
    September 14th, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Is the sky still falling?
    sadly yes it is but this @ss woopin we’re
    bout to put on the chefs will help me have a great day 😛

  • southflraiderfan

    Man all this crap makes me not even want to go to my bar and watch the game. Al needs to be fired. The NFL needs yo step in and mediate this crap of organization that the Raiders have become. The only tem in pro-sports worse off than the Raiders are the horrible NY Knicks. Al Davis, please step down immediately. Kudos to Kiffin for having balls and speaking his mind! Kiffin is going to be a quality coach somewhere, someday for an owner or school who will let him do his job. Al your simply PATHETIC!

  • Senile Kings’ Aricept

    ….I had a dream last night…I found myself in a dank dungeon. The only object in the room was a T.V., although on, was displaying only static. Suddenly, a picture appeared with this disclaimer, “The following message is being brought to you by the N.F.L. Emergency Broadcast System”…In the message,The Raider’s HQ and subsiquent address had changed to 1313 Mockingbird Lane, home of … “The Munsters”. This new not-for-prime -time-reality show would star:
    Rob Ryan as Herman Munster…”Darn,darn,darn,darn,darn…”
    Al Davis as Grandpa
    Lane Kiffin as Eddie Munster
    Amy Trask as Lily Munster
    Sarah Palin as Marilyn
    ( I understand that in the first episode,a petchulant Eddie goads “Spot” into attacking Grandpa….).

  • Fire Al Davis

    This franchise cannot move forward as long as a senile, wheelchair-bound, 79-year-old man with a drool wipe, is running the franchise.

    In the corporate world, what happens when no one wants to work for the boss? You fire the boss, or you watch as the boss sinks with the ship.

  • Scottish Raider

    Re the Cockran article:


    Nothing typifies the abject state of this franchise more than the Davis brown-noses briefing against Kiffin without the guts to face the public.

    I am also hacked off with so-called Journalists like McDonald and Cockran who act as the patsies for Davis’s sycophants. We all know that ‘front office sources’ means John ‘I love the taste of your shoe-polish, Mr Davis’ Herrera. But Cockran and McDonald play the charade of “several front-office people, who spoke on condition of anonymity”. Just pathetic.

    This franchise is rotton to the core. And that includes the second-rate MNG hacks who don’t have the personal integrity to hold anybody inside Alameda to account.

    The sooner this franchise changes hands and moves to a city and a press-corp that deserves it, the better.

  • southflraiderfan

    Oaktown good call, where was Bush last week? We gotta use this kid. He’s a power runner with the ability to take it to the house. Give Fargas less carries, he’s one dimensional.

  • Oaktown Raiders

    Just attack! We’d might get an upset win today. The offense gotta attack and put up the points. The Raiders cannot get behind all the time before half time. This is a must win game against KC to save Kiffin’s job!

  • post 345 Silver&BlackBleeder You just may have hit the bull’s eye on the stament of going back 2 8 step drops: I think it would be worth checking out 2 see Jmac drop back 8 and RIFLE that Rock

  • Jim (ct raider)

    If Kiffin is let go…I’ll bet anything he becomes Denver’s “assistant OC” until end of the year.. which he becomes assistant or coach and shanahan becomes GM.


  • PhillyRaider

    Post 364, FUNNY sh!t!! lol!

    “Al’s will be done…”

  • Jim (ct raider)


    which he becomes OC or HEad coach after season ends. (not assistant or coach)

  • R8R4FER

    just drink baby

  • Just because his daddy and twin are good defensive coaches doesnt mean Ryan is also. but i have to agree KK it is more likely that he is a good defensive coach and its just that raider philosophy of line em up and our guy will beat your guy. That is Classic Al Davis old school train of thought. unfortunately for us the game has evolved and Al Davis hasnt

  • Jim (ct raider)

    we have to hit Al in the pocket book!

  • Lucky Raider Chris

    Al is the problem. He’s been the problem. Remember before he hired shell he couldn’t find a coach for a very long time. This very very sad, and the franchise has hit rock bottom. Al owns the team, it’s his decisions that are breaking the team apart. I mean, a coach can’t make decisions of his coordinators?? Ridiculous, only in Raider land. Basically Kiffin is the O-coordinator – and that is it. I’m more concerned with the long term impact to JRussell and Macfadden…Sad very Sad.

  • Oaktown Raiders

    Bush prove he can get the inside yardages. Give KC a dose of Bush up the middle, DMC pitch outs to the outside and Fargas spells out DMC. We’d get it done, Russell gotta take chances throwing deep to Lelie and Walker. Just attack and stretch the field for the ground game! Raiders football baby!

  • I mean we are talking about a guy that can throw it on his knees 80 yards.Jmac could end up being the maddest bomber of all,if they let him

  • and futher more we cant pass block

  • WTF
    ksfo is breaking my balls! I cant get my pregame fix to work! bad omen

  • WTF

  • i dress in black

    Football economics say, despite the Raiders sucking for so long they have been profitable because there is a very established customer base that will spend money on this team (us). The P/L may look red this year after Al’s spending spree. This might motivate the other investors to finally do something about it. Force a hostile take over and insert a normal business structure associated with other successful franchises.

  • southflraiderfan

    Call me a pessimist, but I have a bad feeling about today’s game. Henderson starting at LT, Kiffin on the ropes and Ryan possibly our next Head Coach. I see us losing this game like 17-7 or 14-3. The odds are against us. What turmoil this season has already become. There is no way in hell I’m going to the Miami game this year and wasting my money and getting heckled by *ussy ass Dol-Fans.

  • El Dirty

    Sup Nation!

    Today we deliver a blow that will be heard around the NFL!

  • Oaktown Raiders

    Whitted ain’t on the roster dropping the deep passes. Lelie and Walker will snatch the medium and deep passes all day. Russell can deliver!

  • PhillyRaider

    Shame on you I Dress in Black, posting a LOGICAL solution to this madness is verbotten!! lol!

    “Al’s will be done…”

  • Marv Hubbard Rules

    Last week I was 8 – 8 against the spread. Not bad for opening week. I have adjusted my poll based on the almighty formula and have made my predictions. Last week, my biggest differences vs. Vegas were Cleveland, NE and Oakland. Looks like Vegas knows what they are doing!

    Tenn at Cin Tenn by 3
    Buff at Jack Jack by 9
    Oak at Kan KC by 5
    Ind at Minn Minn by 1
    Chic at Car Car even
    GB at Det GB by 8
    NYG at St.L NY by 11
    NO at Wash Wash by 3
    Atl at TB TB by 7
    SF at Sea Sea by 7
    NE at NYJ NE by 7
    SD at Den Den by 1
    Mia at Ariz Ariz by 11
    Pitt at Cle Cle even
    Phil at Dal Dall by 7

    Biggest differences this week against the Vegas spread:

    NE by 7 (Vegas = pick em)
    GB by 8 (Vegas = GB by 3)
    Ariz by 11 (Vegas = Ariz by 6.5)
    Cle even (Vegas = Pitt by 6.5)

    Again, I go strictly by the formula. I do not agree with all of the picks (Oakland must win!) but the formula rules.

  • Morning Dirty!

    super mario better protect Jamarcus!

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    Man, I’ve been a Raider fan my whole life. From growing up as a kid in CT, to moving to KY and going to school, to this point now, and I’m currently living in Oxnard in SoCal. I’ve been to several road games when I was living in Louisville (Colts, Rams, Titans) over the years, and can’t wait to finally make it to a Raiders home game and go thru that experience. My question for ya’ll Bay area cats is does anyone ever come to the games with “Give it up Al: Just Quit baby” signs? Or do people have too much of a respect for what he’s done in the past to do that at a game as a fan of the squad? I promise if Al would see that more often, he’d have to seriously think about what he’s doing. Whenever I watch the home games on T.V., people always hold up the “Fire Kiffin” signs and Al probably thinks he’s doing a good job and it is all on the coach. Us as fans need to really let the guy know, or do we alreay do that at the games? Somebody fill me in whose a regular please…

  • Im getting only the commercials on the link 408

  • PhillyRaider

    Boomer talking about us on BSPN!

    “Al’s will be done…”

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    If anything, holding up “Give it up Al: Just Quit Baby” signs would make the new investors see how we really feel, or do they know? How on Earth could they think Al is doing a good job?

  • El Dirty


    He better do something! 3rd rounder waisting roster space.

  • 4 eva it will come on but my lame as$ mac wont load the player I even installed a patch thingy so I can do WMP Ufck!

  • Also, Al should’ve just honored his contract with Shanahan. Al, was it worth 200,000. Mismanagement.

  • Jim (ct raider)

    silver&blackbleeder. Holy crap! i went from ct, to ILL, to MO! Where are you from in CT?

  • Jay

    Can’t wait till that senile idiot is gone. Just go away baby! What sort of stupidity will Al engage in next? What a loser. Can’t wait till he is gone!

  • Lucky Raider Chris

    Why don’t more of the national talking heads bash Al Davis?? No one calls it how they see it.. Everyone is afraid of the old man. Kiffin has big balls, calls it how he sees it, and is committed to win. Period. Al Davis is not committed to win. He’s committed to doing it his way. Stubborn and old. The best years have passed Al Davis. No GM, Al Davis signs off on everything. Al Davis picks his players. Trade a 2nd rounder for an overrated corner. Lots of $ for overrated D tackles. the Coach can’t select his staff. Al Davis signs Lofton as coach. Al Davis says no you can’t fire the D coach… If you recall Gruden wanted to fire the D coordinator back in the day too but Al Davis said No… Sad. Same thing being repeated. Kiffin is a good, direct, and solid coach. He wants to win. Al Davis just wants to do it his own way. Al Davis needs to always have someone he’s arguing with. When will it end?

  • Jim (ct raider)

    getting ready to go to Hooters. my first year in 10 w/o having the ticket!

  • i dress in black

    Oh sorry Philly i got sidetracked.. Let me restate that, We are going to go 15-1 with Lofton at the helm. D-Mac will rush for over 2200 yards and Russell will be the first person ever to inducted to the HOF in only his second year.

    All hail Al Davis

  • I hope the donkeys and the chokers kill each other today!

    Yo dirty I’m going up against Thec today in FF that guys roster is stacked.. =/