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Raiders hope for springboard similar to ’99

Even without the cooperation of the San Diego Chargers, the parallels are striking.

Back at the turn of the millennium, the Raiders closed out the regular season at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs in hopes of finishing with a .500 record and the promise of a better day.

The Raiders were 7-8, losing to the Chargers the previous week not long after they learned they’d been eliminated from the playoff race before taking the field Sunday afternoon.

All Kansas City needed was to win and capture the AFC West. Lose and they were out of the playoffs.

It set up the same way this season until Cincinnati upended San Diego last week, giving the division title to Kansas City.

Given that the Chiefs have already assured themselves a playoff berth, it’s impossible to duplicate the ecstasy that came with the 41-38 overtime victory on Jan. 2, 2000.

The Chiefs had beaten the Raiders 11 straight times (including a wild card playoff game) at Arrowhead and took a quick 17-0 lead only to have the postseason ripped from their grasp as Jon Gruden and Co. celebrated wildly when Joe Nedney’s 33-yard field goal split the uprights in overtime.

Some other instances of history repeating itself:

— The Raiders, scored 390 points that season, were convinced they were better than their record, ranked fifth in total offense and eighth in scoring.

The 2010 Raiders feel the same way, having scored 379 points to rank seventh in scoring and No. 10 in total offense.

— Place-kicking woes with Michael Husted (20-for-30) cost the Raiders dearly. He was eventually dumped in favor of Nedney with three games to play with Al Davis drafting Sebastian Janikowski in the ensuing draft to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Janikowski, for as well as he kicked this season, missed three field goal attempts, including a 32-yarder at the final gun, in a 24-23 loss in Arizona in a loss many see as the death knell to their playoff hopes.

— There were rumors going into the Chiefs game that Gruden’s job was not safe because Davis felt the Raiders underachieved. Davis later joked at a press conference that when the Chiefs went up 17-0 that day, Gruden and assistant Bill Callahan engaged in some gallows humor about looking for new jobs.

– Coach Tom Cable is in the last year of his contract this season and only Davis knows if he considers this season requisite progress or totally unacceptable. Hue Jackson, to whom Davis entrusted the offense with good results, has aspirations of becoming a head coach.

When the Raiders were knocking out the Chiefs, Cable was transitioning between being an assistant coach at Colorado and a head coach at Idaho and said he knows little about the 1999 game except that it gave the Raiders an 8-8 record.

The same record this season, Cable believes, along with a 6-0 record within the division, “absolutely’’ could be a similar lift-off point as the 1999 team had in taking down the Chiefs.

“First of all, it gets that losing thing away from us – meaning we don’t finish 7-9, we finish 8-8,’’ Cable said Friday before the Raiders departed for Kansas City.

“We sweep the division, which is a tough thing to do in any division in this league. And then I think it just sends everybody to the next step, meaning the offseason, feeling like heh we’re right there and now we gotta finish the deal and make it all the way next year.’’

Oakland used the 1999 game as the impetus for a 12-4 record the following season and its first division title in nine years.

Running back Tyrone Wheatley was the author of the game’s signature play, a 26-yard run on a counter draw during which he broke several tackles before crashing into the end zone, a moment captured by play-by-play announcer Greg Papa’s call of “Wheatley won’t go down!’’

Wheatley, now the running backs coach at Syracuse, said his enduring memory is what it took to cross the goal line.

“I remember Darryl Ashmore pushing me into the end zone _ everyone helping a teammate score,’’ Wheatley said. “It signified the extra fight that was maybe missing earlier in the year and we went and rolled off three years of real good football.’’

Wheatley said offseason participation was high.

“Guys bought in _ it was an incredible deal,’’ Wheatley said. “Accountability was big. We were accountable for our own mistakes and accountable for each other.’’

INJURY REPORT
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour (hamstring) and running back Darren McFadden (turf toe) did not practice and both were listed as questionable, with Cable saying McFadden has a better chance of playing than Seymour.

Both will be game day decisions.

Other official injury designations included wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins (ankle-questionable), wide receiver Nick Miller (ankle-questionable) and tackle Langston Walker (concussion-questionable). All were limited during practice.

Cable said Walker “seems to be OK,’’ making him the likely starer over Mario Henderson at right tackle.

Tight end Zach Miller (foot-probable), cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle-probable), cornerback Chris Johnson (groin-probable) and safety Mike Mitchell (ribs-probable) all practiced without limitations.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • BadMoodGuy

    “Hue Jackson, to whom Davis entrusted the offense with good results, has aspirations of becoming a head coach.”

    I guess if there is no news to report you try to make some? Hue basically said “F U” in a polite way when he was asked about it.

    BAN THE TROLLS!

  • M Lonetree

    Terrapin,

    sure, you pick up Gholston, Mamula and Tyvon Jackson early in the first round when you’re better off with a third rounder like Justin Tuck or Sho’nasty.
    The draft is more than just a crapshoot (better odds of success shootin’craps), it is like a blindfolded person trying to reach into a box of deadly scorpions to retrieve a gold nugget without getting stung in the process.

  • YoungAmerican

    The Raiders have too many positions that need upgrading to spend an early pick on a DE.

  • http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=eb53t3&s=5&hid=3&tag=my+pool Lynn from Snot

    # The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    December 31st, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Cable took over a team in 2008 that was 4-12 it’s previous year.

    His 3rd year and he’s at 8-8, best? Probably 7-9? Bye.

    Gruden took over a 4-12 team and had them at 8-8 his first year. Had them at 12-4 his 3rd. Fudge Tom Cable.
    =======================
    Gruden had George then Gannon . Cable had Russell Grads and Campbell. Cable had less to work with.

  • PurpleDrank81

    Thats How our Draft should look

    2).Greg Jones/Jimmy Smith,
    3).Pat Devlin/Muhammed Wilkerson,
    4).Moffit/Pettis,
    5).Will rackley/Colin Kaepenick,
    6).Davon House/Lawrence Williams,
    7).Vai Taua/Owen Marecic

  • TerrapinRaider

    Don’t underestimate the power of an exceptional DE. They can turn games. Freeney & Mathis were wreaking havoc last weekend.

  • TerrapinRaider

    But I agree nonetheless. The team has more pressing needs; although not as many as in prior years.

  • DKnight007

    55.PurpleDrank81 Says:
    December 31st, 2010 at 2:15 pm
    Thats How our Draft should look

    2).Greg Jones/Jimmy Smith,
    3).Pat Devlin/Muhammed Wilkerson,
    4).Moffit/Pettis,
    5).Will rackley/Colin Kaepenick,
    6).Davon House/Lawrence Williams,
    7).Vai Taua/Owen Marecic

    ^^^^^^^
    Moffitt or Pettis in

  • DKnight007

    Moffitt or Pettis in RD4 would be steals.

    A BIG NOOO…to taking a CB with that 2nd Round pick.

    Ugh

  • http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ KoolKell

    SnB Production Says:
    December 31st, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Part of me says stick with Tom Cable because he apparently can take orders from Al Davis really well and has no problem with the role of HC in Oakland

    However, I can’t help but think that if Hue Jackson became Head Coach, the little things like:

    1. A real legit TOUGH training camp
    2. Better preparation during bye weeks
    3. More attention to detail…discipline to cut down penalties
    4. Higher expectations and ACCOUNTABILTY
    ———————————
    Things that Al Davis does not allow.

  • lefty12

    Tom Cable took over a team that was the laughing stock of the NFL and in 2 years has brought them back to respectability.When the Raiders are now mentioned it isn’t with snickers and laughter.The team acts and looks like a team.They players show pride and act like they care-and now many want him replaced.It doesn’t make any sense.

  • PurpleDrank81

    Pettis is slowly dropping down boards…I have no clue why and Moffit can play center and guard.

  • M Lonetree

    Dwight Freeney, 1st rounder
    Robert Mathis, 5th rounder

    and the point is?…

  • PurpleDrank81

    I want Greg Jones really bad but that most likely wont happen and then everything kind of drops off in Talent. Muhammed Wilkerson mite be a reach in the 2nd and Pettis is fallin hard down boards

  • PurpleDrank81

    I think Pat Devlin would be a nice pick up and Will Rackley is a Sleeper smaller school but he’s very talented with the rite size

  • lefty12

    A tougher training camp-how the he!! do you know what camp is like?More attention to detail/discipline to cut down penalties-that has been the same since 1964 and no matter who the coach is it isn’t going to change.Higher expectations and accountability-riddiculous-the players always say how up front Cable is,and all he ever says is the expectations were much higher.

  • M Lonetree

    you want a player? Matt Szczur of Villanova. This kid is RB/Welker/KR rolled into one. Whoever gets him it will be a steal unless he opts for MLB.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3ng4yHw2xk&feature=PlayList&p=E565EF0DE2F587FA&playnext= Raider75

    # lefty12 Says:
    December 31st, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Tom Cable took over a team that was the laughing stock of the NFL and in 2 years has brought them back to respectability.When the Raiders are now mentioned it isn’t with snickers and laughter.The team acts and looks like a team.They players show pride and act like they care-and now many want him replaced.It doesn’t make any sense.
    ……

    yes, and just think what a real coach could have done.

  • Just Fire Baby

    J Hill Says:
    December 31st, 2010 at 12:12 pm
    Charlie Weiss heading to Florida helps our AFC West chances next year. Can’t say KC will have the smartest piar of OCs in the diviaion anymore.

    *************************************

    That will be 4 “systems” in 4 years for Matt Cassell.

    Last year of NE, than Todd Haley’s offense, Weiss and whoever next year.

    Somehow, I don’t think it will be a frequent excuse on KC chat rooms.

  • lefty12

    Just because most of the ‘experts’ on here don’t think Cable has done a good job as HC doesn’t make it fact,in fact to me it is just the opposite.

  • alex7

    Haha, good one JFB.

    The excuses for Campbell are ridiculous, as if it should take him more than a few weeks of hard work to get some rhythm with his receivers.

    The good QBs seem to take not much longer than a week or two with a new replacement WR.

  • M Lonetree

    Lefty12,

    I have to agree with you. Curly Howard/Barney Rubble (yes he does coach like those two at times) has done a fine job dragging the franchise from dys to functional. No it has not always been artful nor without its nadirs (too many blow-out losses in games that have really been needed as victories), Tommy “Talk-to-the-Hand” Cable has done quite a job as HC – especially once his play-calling duties were curtailed – in getting the troops to begin to believe. (personally I see that Seymour on D and HueJack on O have had the biggest impacts toward the resurrection end, but TC deserves his due…woowoowoowoowoobwoo!)

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3ng4yHw2xk&feature=PlayList&p=E565EF0DE2F587FA&playnext= Raider75

    # lefty12 Says:
    December 31st, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Just because most of the ‘experts’ on here don’t think Cable has done a good job as HC doesn’t make it fact,in fact to me it is just the opposite.
    …….

    In reality none of our opinions matter. We will have to see what Al thinks.

  • alex7

    The requirements of a Raider head coach are kinda slim, no?

    “Wanted: Raiders head coach.
    No previous experience preferred.
    No ideologies preferred.
    No ‘if I was HC, here’s who I would bring in’ list.
    No draft experience necessary.
    No play-call experience necessary.”

    I mean, what on earth would Cable be fired for when he didn’t pick anything on that field?

  • M Lonetree

    Raider75,

    Stooges marathon on AMC for New Year’s. Al probably watched those short flicks on the big screen back in his Brooklyn days and has always had a fond spot for Curly. Perhaps Cable will survive as a “victim of soicumstance!”

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3ng4yHw2xk&feature=PlayList&p=E565EF0DE2F587FA&playnext= Raider75

    # alex7 Says:
    December 31st, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    The requirements of a Raider head coach are kinda slim, no?

    “Wanted: Raiders head coach.
    No previous experience preferred.
    No ideologies preferred.
    No ‘if I was HC, here’s who I would bring in’ list.
    No draft experience necessary.
    No play-call experience necessary.”

    I mean, what on earth would Cable be fired for when he didn’t pick anything on that field?
    …….

    What you have to remember is Cable doesn’t have to be fired.

    His contract is up. Its not about if he’s done enough to be fired, but rather he’s done enough to be given a new contract.

  • hwnrdr

    With that said…Happy New Year, Nation!!! Have a safe night with your families! Bring on 2011!!!

  • http://blackhillsphoto.com/sturgis-weddings/black-hills-weddings.jpg Dakota

    Tom Cable will never even be a .500 hc in the NFL…guess some of you can live with that…rest of us will be waiting for a real NFL HC.

  • alex7

    Dakota,

    some of us know we will never again get a real NFL HC.
    Best you can hope for is to get fortunate with an up and comer.
    Yet most of today’s up and comers are likely of the Lane Kiffin variety, who KNOW they know more about modern football than Davis, and find no reason to stick around.

    For the little that our HC matters (it’s an owner/assistant-led team), Cable is as good as it gets for Al Davis.

  • http://blackhillsphoto.com/sturgis-weddings/black-hills-weddings.jpg Dakota

    An “up and comer” would be much better than a out of nowhere, unqualified, unmitigated idiot like Cable….not all young coaches are like Lane Kiffin…besides, Lane Kiffin will have much more success than Tom Cable in the end.

  • alex7

    OG #62 Rodney Hudson
    and QB Christian Ponder are two guys to scout out today in the Chick-fil-a Bowl game between FSU and South Carolina.

    3-4 OLB Justin Houston of Georgia is playing right now and is worth a look if the Raiders will be utilizing the 3-4 more next year, or if they want a passing-down edge rusher.

  • raiderfankirk

    Players back the coach and u dousch bags can’t?Find another team if you don’t back the organization.

  • Raiders for life

    Why do you think the Raiders will use a 3-4 next year?
    Just wondering.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Wow….AJ Green just dogging it the whole 4th quarter, dropping passes and he didn’t even try for the hail mary at the end of the game.

    Doesn’t he realize the difference in the #5 pick in the draft and the #12 pick in the draft is about 10-15 million dollars?

    You can’t even act like your trying for 10-15 millie???

    My gawd, kids these days!!!!

  • PurpleDrank81

    I really wanted To see how Ponder did tonite…

  • Guy

    Raiders for life, It is probably because Seymour, Kelly, and Houston are all 3-4 ends. Groves, Wimbley, and Scott are 3-4 OLbs and McClain is a 3-4 ILB (atleast in college). We are missing a NT though and Shaughnessy probably doesn’t have a place in the 3-4 looks. I think Goethel would also be a 3-4 ILB

  • PurpleDrank81

    Runnin a 4-3 with all 3-4 guys…GOTTA LOVE IT

  • Raiders for life

    Thanks Guy, got it.
    I was wondering why everyone wants NT. Now I know.
    Thanks

  • Guy

    Np, don’t quote me but I think there is a NT in a 4-3 too. I’m not 100% sure though.

  • Just Fire Baby

    We are on about 5 years running now where people chime in about the 3-4, how our personnel would work if we moved all these players around and this and that.

    Never happens, and never is going to happen.

    This is a 4-3, man-to-man defense.

    And for the “we need to blitz more crowd”, we have blitzed more this season than I have ever seen the Raiders blitz. Almost every 3rd down is a blitz, a lot of times with Huff the FS. It obviously hasn’t helped the defense any, because we have more 30+ points scored games given up in years.

  • alex7

    Jarriel King will be playing on the right side of the South Carolina o-line tonight. Plays both G and T. Raw athlete with mucho upside. Likely 5th to 6th rounder.

    Former DE with high motor, intelligence, and physicality.

  • alex7

    Davis has used the 3-4 before, in the Raiders prime years.

    So there’s hope :)

    He’s watched the team struggle stopping the run ever since GM Bruce Allen left, so he might be ok if Marshall wants to continue molding the defense differently.

    Already allowed much more zone D this season, and Marshall gave us a top-10 pass D, so there might be some wiggle room there.

  • TerrapinRaider

    M Lonetree Says:
    December 31st, 2010 at 2:45 pm
    Dwight Freeney, 1st rounder
    Robert Mathis, 5th rounder

    and the point is?…

    *********************************

    Huh? That IS my point! Freeney = RDE …Mathis = LDE …like I said you have a greater chances of snagging a LDE late than a RDE that must go against the best OLinemen.

    I think we are just missing each other here. But that is exactly my point.

    Still ..Shaunessey has had a good year and he may get better. There are bigger fish to fry.

  • alex7

    Nigel Bradham is playing OLB for FSU tonight.

    Very impressive against the run, has led an FSU D resurgence. About 4.5 speed as an OLB, which Davis will love. Top 7 OLB prospect.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Getting a dominant OLB would be great for this defense.

    Would have no problem with McClain being the steady, smart MLB, and with the OLB being the star.

  • PurpleDrank81

    Greg Jones would be great for us..

  • Guy

    PD I think Jones will be gone unless we trade up.

  • PurpleDrank81

    I wish there was a way to snag up Travis Lewis

  • Guy

    Do you know if Bruce Carter is good? he is the 3rd ranked 4-3 OLB

  • PurpleDrank81

    Yea and what sucks is theres going to be such a drop off in olb after him