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Imagine Lewis in silver and black

Random observations following a long trip to Baltimore:

– The Raiders were far from alone in this, given that the dominant defensive player of his era lasted until the 26th pick of the first round, but how would history have been different if Al Davis had been smitten with Ray Lewis instead of Rickey Dudley?

A Raiders team that has had difficulty stopping the run for most of their return to Oakland would have had the services of the one common thread in a defense which has been among the NFL’s best in that area since 1996.

– “It’s personal. It really is,’’ Lewis told reporters earlier this season. “Me being around here for as long as I’ve been around, it’s just the bottom line whenever a new person comes in here. The first thing I say is there’s something we don’t do. We don’t let people run the ball on us.

“It’s kind of a thing we all buy into from Day 1.’’

– Three linebackers were drafted before Lewis _ Kevin Hardy to Jacksonville at No. 2, John Mobley to Denver at No. 15 and Reggie Brown to Detroit at No. 17. The No. 1 overall pick was Keyshawn Johnson.

(That’s the good news for Oakland _ Denver passed on Lewis as well, meaning the Raiders wouldn’t have had to play him twice a year for 13 years).

Baltimore, getting its move-year from Cleveland off to a great start, also got Jonathan Ogden at No. 4 overall.

– The Raiders traded the No. 17, No. 48 and No. 109 picks to Houston in order to take Dudley at No. 9. Dudley wasn’t a bust _ only Tim Brown caught more touchdown passes during his time with Oakland _ but poor hands made him an unreliable receiver who never achieved the greatness Davis expected.

– The Raiders managed to get Brett Favre of their back last week. Lewis has been equally difficult in his infrequent appearances against the Raiders. The Ravens are 3-1 in the Raiders not including a 16-3 smothering of the Raiders in the AFC championship game following the 2000 season.

The only Oakland win came in 2003 when Rick Mirer made fewer mistakes than Anthony Wright, with the Raiders prevailing 20-12.

(Thanks for correction _ it was Anthony Wright, not Alexander . . . )

– In the last meeting, the Raiders managed 162 yards of total offense and Aaron Brooks left during the first series in favor of Andrew Walter with the Ravens prevailing 28-6.

– As good as Lewis is, and coach Tom Cable believes he hasn’t lost a thing, the Ravens have a rookie quarterback in Joe Flacco who has been error-prone, only one real threat at wide receiver in Derrick Mason (tight end Todd Heap can also do some damage).

If the Raiders can defend the run as they had earlier this season, and put last week’s 242 yards by the Jets behind them, there’s no reason they can’t keep the game close provided they take care of the ball.

Throw in a touchdown on defense or special teams, win the field position battle and let Sebastian Janikowski kick a field goal or three and they’ve got themselves an upset.

– Cable last coached against the Ravens in 2006 as offensive line coach of the Falcons. It was a tightly fought game which Baltimore pulling away at home largely because of two big returns by B.J. Sams.

Maybe he’ll get to the M&T Stadium, break out multiple formations and try to pass the Ravens dizzy, but Cable is selling the notion of a slugfest. The Raiders used to get Junior Seau out of position on occasion, but Cable doesn’t believe Lewis will take the bait.

“He’s played too much, he’s seen too much,” Cable said. “You try to do some things, but he’s seen a lot of football. You’re not going to trick him.”

– What to make of the John Elway blast leveled at the Raiders? Lose 10-plus games five years running and you’re a punching bag. Only way to change it is to win.

It’s worth noting that Russell’s pass protection has actually been better than expected, and through six games he’s not taking the sort of physical beating Elway was alluding to regarding young quarterbacks on bad teams.

But if the Raiders do a grand sweep of their coaching staff following the season, junk their entire offense and start over, then it’s a setback.

But so far, so good.

– The Ravens are very good defensively, but they haven’t exactly been beating up on quarterbacks. They’ve got 12 sacks _ four fewer than the Raiders _ and only bounty-hunting Terrell Suggs (4.5) having more than two.

– More impressive than the site of Camden Yards when driving into Baltimore _ the gas stations. Regular unleaded gas is $2.49 per gallon.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://insidebayarea.com Raiderkoolaid

    They have a ring and that’s what it’s all about. It is time for The Raiders to turn things around. Our DL is OK but lacking in depth. Our linebackers are fast, and our db’s are talented. Our defense is not as good as Baltimore’s but I think it matches up well to Baltimore’s offense. We need our offense to avoid mistakes and find a way to get something done. I think there should be some plays to be made against a beet up secondary.

  • Grow or Pay

    if our rungame shows up, we will have chance, if the game is based on our passing game then we will be in to it to our necks. Fargas really needs to run hard and hurt the Defense. This is one of the games where O’neal would have been a huge asset.

  • http://view.playlist.com/12165303563/standalone 408RAIDER

    GOP

    I have no choice I have an extended friends list that I game with all the time .. Sucks huh

  • http://! Blackholepriest

    That ges without saying, maybe what I’m saying is over your head. I’m saying they should’ve been a dominant team for at least 5 years and they haven’t.

    Sure our record over the last 5 years stinks, I’m all too aware of that fact but let’s see if we take advantage of Russell’s presence during his career better than they did with Ray and that defense. It’ll be interesting to see Russell develope and watch the Raiders build around him. We should be in contention year in and year out. I think we’ll get 2 -3 SB appearances during Russell’s career. We did it Plunkett Lamonica and Stabler and Gannon. Russell wil get several cahnces to play in the big game. Trust me.

  • Grow or Pay

    -408..

    well the odds say the next one should last :)

  • http://insidebayarea.com Raiderkoolaid

    I think trying to force the run against this defense would be like beeting our heads against the wall unless we have some success throwing the ball and get them back on their heels a bit. I would like to see us find a way to make their big guys run a lot and get tired by the fourth quarter.

  • Grow or Pay

    -Blackholepriest, yeah lets hope so, lets hope he isn’t a jeff george, though I don’t think he is, I just think we wont be able to fight for the good spots until his third year, or maybe fourth, I don’t think we should rush it, and I hate to say it, but Elway is right, we need some weapons to Russell, we need a roscoe, an evans or a Royal.. I have very little faith in the receivers at hand

  • http://! Blackholepriest

    Well give it time these are very young kids and can develope right alng with Russell, One thing I know about Mr Davis, he is not bashful about getting talent.
    Sometimes it doesn’t work out but it’s not for lack of trying. If you put a Crabtree or someone with his talent in the mix this WR corp could take off. We’re set at HB. Add more talent to the Oline and continue to biuld the defense. This could happen sooner than anyone thinks. By years end let’s see where we are and then we’ll know what we really need. Chaz could be the one who knows? JLH and Shields could develope into big play WR’s you just don’t know.

    But there is no doubt in my mind we will get what we need………………..period

  • http://! Blackholepriest

    GOP, we have forgotten that we lost a great FB in OO and it shows every week. If he were in the mix I would take our running against anyone. Without OO we are struggling. He is sorely missed. In the passing game as well as the running game. That was a huge blow.

  • http://www.insidebayarea.com/ MR

    I just pooted fatburger. ewwwww

  • http://www.Raiderclassics.com Sea of Hands

    I have to agree with BHP on his Russell should be in multiple SB’s comment. Yes, we have sucked ass the last five years, but maybe we got the marquee QB this franchise has needed because of that. Indian-crapolis, San Diego, the 90′s Dall-ass teams all built their franchises during long down stretches. You just can’t blow those very high picks. Sorry Phony Whiners.

  • http://www.peopleeater.com JAWS

    Quint tasted like chicken.

  • Shenanigans

    SC Raider – The receiver you are thinking of was Mike Alexander (back in the L.A. days). I remember him because a friend of mine and I drove down South once as Steve Beurlein tossed a TD pass to Alexander, we stood up and cheered (at the LA Coliseum) as the LA fan base looked at us like we were nuts. My friend then yelled, “What’s wrong with you people, the Raiders just scored!”. The older man sitting in front of us then turned around and said, “The LA fans don’t care that much, the team belongs back in Oakland.”

    He was right.

  • http://contracostatimes No More Fargas

    so jamarcus wins one game and youre ready to call multiple super bowls. Yeah lets win more games then we lose and then im ready for the crazy talk.

  • http://contracostatimes No More Fargas

    I hope Jamarcus turns out great, but still need to see more before we know what we have, and please use bush sick of fargas sub 2yrd runs.

    GO RAIDERS

  • ragin

    don’t forget ray lewis’ outstanding community presence, oh wait, I forgot he was a person of interest in a murder….all you home O’s putting down the raiders need to switch teams, real raider fans don’t need you around anyways…wear your red and gold things proudly!

  • http://www.isuckdicks.com MR

    I like Red and Gold. And Jeff Garcia and Steve Young. Those are real men. And I mean real men.

  • http://InsideBayArea PercEpTivE

    JERRY MCDONALD IS A HATER. I can’t stand his negative comments. He is bitter and uninformed.
    We need someone else to cover the Raiders.
    Why can’t Steve Corchran do his own daily updates.
    Sign me up for any other website.
    Why do I come to this site then?
    I am wondering that myself.
    Go Raiders.

  • http://none MR

    Yeh, Jerry is bitter and uninformed, while you’re in the know because why, you’ve got Raiders.com open in another tab. Get a life moron.

  • http://www.raiders.com Oakglenn

    I like Red and Gold. And Jeff Garcia and Steve Young. Those are real men. And I mean real men.

  • http://www.raiders.com Oakglenn

    I just pooted fatburger. ewwwww

  • http://www.raiders.com Oakglenn

    Don’t taze me bro.

  • http://www.raiders.com Oakglenn

    Just got back from watching a replay of some of the last game. Maybe Al does know what he is doing. The Raiders played well. Plus I love huge bums.

  • http://none MR

    And, Oakglenn, the Raiders have been “competitive in most of their games”?!? What does that even mean? Is there a standing anywhere for merely being “competitive” in a game? You having this little league dad-like sympathy for the Raiders is more insulting to them than anything else. They’re a professional football organization, where the industry’s bottom line is WINNING, period. There’s no prize for being “competitive”. It’s not like little league, where they don’t keep score. So if “competitive” is the only goal you and your senile pimp Al Davis are shooting for these days, maybe he should hang the Raiders up, take on a little league team, and bring you along as a mascot. Because in the NFL, competitive alone don’t cut it. You get dumber with every post, Oakglenn.

  • http://www.raiders.com Oakglenn

    My mistake. The bottom line is making more money, not winning. How stupid can I continue to be..

  • http://none MR

    Oakglenn, the bottom line is making money when you own a hardware store. Winning is the ultimate goal of a sports franchise. In most professional sports leagues, a team can be disbanded for going so many years without winning. In fact, that could be what’s in the crystal ball for Al Davis if he doesn’t straighten up his act.

  • Turf Toe

    anyone know the last time we one 2 in a row?

  • ???

    Post # 84 Last Year right? started 02 won the next 2 2W 2L at the bye and then it all went down the crapper except for the two other games they won.

    actully if i am not mistaken they did the same thing in 07 and went down the crapper after the bye that year too.

    Not going to even claim they will win today I stopped making perdictions years ago. They are of course their own worst enemy you could argue they should be 4 and 2 or at least 3 and 3. But as is the case every years since 03 they have stunk.

    On the upside they got a core of young players that might be good if they can learn how to play as a team. Only then can they learn how to win more then they loose.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    1st play a 5 yd slant to JLH.I still dont think Fargas is 100%.So with that in mind lets turn Bush loose,put Dmac in the slot.We will need 2 use all our ingrediants 2 win,especially STs,but I know we can win this one.Dmac in the slot,in the slot,in the slot.GO RAIDERS.Good Morning NATION =)

  • Andrews Mom

    Isnt that the truth.

    Another team with a fully working front office.

  • Andrews Mom

    No coffee yet.
    That last post was for #38 BHP

  • Andrews Mom

    How about Texas Tech?
    I would love to see them beat Texas.

  • Andrews Mom

    #54 BHP is on fire

  • Andrews Mom

    Dam, not even 100 posts the night before a big game.

    This place jumped the shark after the draft.
    Where did all the regs go?

    Some gay arsed site that allows coke can sized avaters and every other post is

    HOWIE RULES!!!!!!!!!

    WE ARE THE RAIDER NATION!!!!!!

    Regging will not help at this point. Scary needs to hire some more trolls. I bet they fired the copyboy that was screwing with us here at ROR blogworld.

  • Andrews Mom

    #78 MR

    Most owners…… errrrr corporations dont care about winning near as much as they care about making money.

    Answer this.
    How many owners have put their heart and soul 24/7 into a team for almost 50 years like the man you loathe who owns the team some Raider fans love.

    AL will take us back to the playoffs and he will spend his last nickle making sure he does not lose when he gets to the playoffs.

  • Andrews Mom

    Anyone can answer this.

    How many sure fire hall of fame QB’s have entered the draft in the past 25 (you can use almost any number here) years?

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    I dont know AM I can think of 6-7 tho

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    It suprises me tho,it seems like the best QBs come in the l8ter rounds.Like the greatest of all-time JOE MONTANA came in the 6th

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    I hate when people assume outcomes like that. Ray Lewis is a great play and is a hall of famer but that doesn’t mean he would have been dominant on the Raiders. Think about it, Lewis came into the league and eventually played on some of the best defenses in league history. He was surrounded by outstanding defensive talent across the board.

    Lewis is great against the run but has ALWAYS been a liability in coverage. On a lesser defense, teams would have tried to expose this but being surrounded by a superior defense tends to cover up holes like that. Drafting a player is always a gamble. They could have all the potential in the world but if they are put in the wrong situation, there is no room for development.

    I hate when people say things like “ahhhh man, how did we pass on this guy?” It’s almost impossible to predict careers. It’s alot easier to judge 7 years after the draft when you had time to watch the player. Who knows…maybe Rickey Dudley was a good player and we just had a bad TE coach? Maybe Ray Lewis would have been exposed as a one-dimensional linebacker in the Raiders organization. Who would Lewis have benefited from? Outside of Burgess and Woodson for 2 years, we never have not had a dominant defender since the glory days. Who would have had Lewis’ back and cover up his lack of pass defense? Napolean Harris? Phillip Buchanon? Tyler Brayton? Terrance Shaw? Ray Buchanon? Regan Upshaw? Sam Adams? Bill Romanowski’s twilight years? All borderlined defenders at best. Ray Lewis would not have been such a dominant player had Oakland taken him.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    Anderw’s Mom,

    Off the tope of my head, I’d say 1…Steve Young.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    God, am I tird or what….add Elway Marino and Kelly to that list too.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    tired*

  • Andrews Mom

    4Eva I dont know either.
    I was just messing with MR.

    I was thinking Peyton and maybe Eli,
    Like you said theres probaly about 6 and we have one of them.

    I think he will live up to the billing and its obvious Al knows that too. Now we are building a team around him. Al is all in 100% and I bet he is ready to spend every dime he has in two years.

  • Andrews Mom

    Tatum

    Even if there were 12, we grabbed one and I hope that he is able to follow through.

    I just think having a great QB covers a multitude of sins, so to speak.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    Come on now, you can’t be that naive and call Russell a sure-fire hall of famer. You just can’t do that. I love the Raiders but come on. Maybe it’s just because I’m a cynic, I’m still not ready to crown McFadden either.

  • Andrews Mom

    I just read that Rush Limberger wants to buy an NFL team.

    What do all the Al haters think?

    Sell to Rush, move to LA and live happily ever after forever?

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    No thanks on Rush.

    I’d rather have dimented Al than a racist pill popper.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    AM I agree with you 100% Jmac could very well be the one,thee greatest ever,he surely has all the tools physically,If he can learn 2 read a defence 3/4 as good as King Joe Look-Out!!! Also DEATHbyTATUM;I also agree with you too:The draft is a crap-shoot at best,nobody knows=)Thats one of the games biggest and best angles nobody knows

  • Andrews Mom

    I agree Tatum.
    I mentioned “before the draft” for that reason.
    Now you can debate that JR was considered a sure fire before the draft.
    Not to mention I am taking liberty with sure fire.

    We all know theres no such thing.
    I was thinking in order to qualify as sure thing you would have to be drafted first or maybe second if theres another sure fire ahead of him.

    So theres no set rules. Just something to talk about

  • Andrews Mom

    Heres a off the wall topic that I feel I have to share.

    Im on the wrong side of 50 and I just discovered last night that you can throw a big handful of popcorn seeds in a brown paper lunch bag, fold it over three times at the top and nuke untill it stops popping.

    Much, much cheaper then buying prepared bags with tons of CRAP (probaly half is china poison)