A few links to consider before the Raiders play the Dolphins this afternoon in a battle of 5-5 teams hoping to remain in the playoff chase:
— The story got held a few weeks for space considerations, but “Fade to Black” examines the problems the Raiders have dealing with an antiquated NFL blackout rule with a season ticket base of between 20,000 and 24,000.
When I put out a brief post asking for fans and their experiences at the Coliseum, the e-mail response was overwhelming. Given an approximately 900-word limit and all the issues involved, I wound up using very little in terms of fans quoted in the story. Rest assured, however, I read them all and it provided valuable perspective in framing the story.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to send an e-mail.
— Here’s my weekly NFL column and the questionable tactics utilized by the San Diego Chargers, who nonetheless are in good position for another strong finish and and AFC West title.
— My weekly NFL rankings have the New York Jets at No. 1 and the Raiders dropped to No. 18 after their loss to Pittsburgh.
— Beat writer Steve Corkran writes about Tom Cable’s quarterback sneak, a silent flip-flop from Jason Campbell to Bruce Gradkowski.
— Today’s Dolphins-Raiders game features two teams at 5-5 trying to atone for embarrassing losses in their previous game.
— We’re changing up the game-day chat format. For the past few Raiders home games, I’ve been doing in-game chats from kickoff to finish, and I’ve got a confession to make. I’m spending so much time interacting with readers and writing comments that I’m missing too much of the games I’m supposed to be covering. When I have chats on Tuesdays, I’ll get questions about plays I never saw because my face was in my computer screen.
So today, I’ll have a pre-game chat starting at noon and lasting until just before kickoff. I’m sure topics on the table will be the Gradkowski-for-Campbell switch, as well as how the Raiders will rebound from last week’s defeat against Pittsburgh.
I’ll check in with quarter updates here and on my Twitter page.