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Raiders getting healthy at the right time

Jacoby Ford AP

A wildly up and down regular season for the Raiders comes to a conclusion Sunday with the team still alive for its first playoff appearance in nearly a decade.

The Raiders have struggled over the last month for a few reasons.  Their defense — 29th in points allowed and yards allowed — remains overrated and underperforming.

The team has also been hurt by a number of injuries and a surprisingly thin bench. The good news is that the team is getting healthy.

No, Darren McFadden won’t play on Sunday against the Chargers and probably won’t play again this season. But the team will have receivers Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore on the field together for the first time since Oakland won in San Diego in early November.  (Moore returned from injury two weeks ago.)

Darrius Heyward-Bey has certainly had his moments, but Ford and Moore bring a more explosive, reliable, and versatile element to the offense.

On defense, Michael Huff should be back in the mix. His backup Matt Giordano is not a starting-caliber player and has been exposed with Huff out of the lineup.

Oakland isn’t playing particularly well right now, but it wouldn’t surprise us if they made the Divisional Round of the playoffs. If they get the No. 6 seed, for instance, the Raiders would have a manageable game in Houston, where they already won this year.

The Raiders showed early in the year they can compete with any team. With a lineup getting healthy at the right time, they could still make some noise.

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47 Responses to “Raiders getting healthy at the right time”
  1. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 31, 2011 2:21 PM

    Does it matter? They’re still epic choke artists.

  2. edmazeing1 says: Dec 31, 2011 2:21 PM

    Just picture Run DMc back with Bush for the last game, Damn your ankle/feet whatever Darren….Go Raiders tho!!!

  3. dawsonleery says: Dec 31, 2011 2:24 PM

    Hue Jackson has does a great job in his rookie season. Raiders injuries have gone a little unnoticed by the media. Jason Campbell and Darren McFadden go down. Any team that loses their starting QB and RB are in trouble. Huff has been out most of the season. Seymour and McClain seem to have been playing hurt all season. Ford and Moore are in and out with injuries. Its been pretty crazy but Hue Jackson still has his team playing well, gotta give him credit.

  4. crippled4life says: Dec 31, 2011 2:25 PM

    I love the Raiders but this team is enough to give me gas!

  5. acieu says: Dec 31, 2011 2:27 PM

    So we are to believe this POS football team’ record is because of injuries not the horrible coaching and uncommitted players?

  6. joshsports6000 says: Dec 31, 2011 2:28 PM

    Raiders are 2 good defensive players, Rolando McClain’s improvement, and a new DC from being a legitimate contender. Expect the Raiders to be VERY involved in free agency this year, because I think Hue realizes this team is very close to being a top seed. Especially, because Carson will have finally gone through a training camp, and will be much more comfortable in this offense. The Raiders are back.

  7. oscojoe says: Dec 31, 2011 2:46 PM

    The Raiders are the Yet’s of the West!

  8. sjbryce says: Dec 31, 2011 2:46 PM

    Yeah, Hue has done a great job with this team.. not! They are one of, if not the most, undisciplined teams in football. They take terrible penalties all the time. The penalty they have committed the most… personal fouls! So tell me how Hue has done a great job getting a whole bunch of players to be selfless in “the ultimate team game.”

  9. bombayjon says: Dec 31, 2011 2:49 PM

    “His backup Matt Giordano is not a starting-caliber player and has been exposed with Huff out of the lineup.”

    —————————————-

    Gotta disagree. Giordano has been playing pretty well.

  10. descendency says: Dec 31, 2011 2:50 PM

    The right time was a month ago. A healthy team isn’t going to beat a hot team.

  11. demiglase says: Dec 31, 2011 2:52 PM

    This season has more to do with stupid penalties rather then injuries. I dunno how many times I SMH after a dumb raider penalty. They should be about 2 games up on the tebows right now.

  12. claymatthewsisonsteroids says: Dec 31, 2011 2:53 PM

    Getting healthy just in time for vacation.

  13. 1captain1 says: Dec 31, 2011 2:58 PM

    Time to unload Run Injury at the end of the season.

    Time to uncork the passing game and put up some Brees, Brady, Rodgers numbers!

  14. mattlion says: Dec 31, 2011 3:00 PM

    The AFC West next year is going to be crazy. I could see any of the teams finishing anywhere from 5-11 to 11-5. The Raiders have more positives than negatives, though.

  15. atwatercrushesokoye says: Dec 31, 2011 3:03 PM

    I agree Hue Jackson has done a tremendous job in his rookie year, just look at the way he’s gotten rid of all those pesky draft picks. Come July when every other team is trying to get their picks signed and worrying about their first round picks in camp on time the Raiders will be sitting pretty with their aging vets…everything’s coming up Raiders!

    8-8 commitment to excellence!

  16. boknowsvt says: Dec 31, 2011 3:06 PM

    Not to mention Taiwan Jones should be back on the field to spell Bush.

  17. ima9er4life says: Dec 31, 2011 3:09 PM

    9erz all day

  18. fittytuckin says: Dec 31, 2011 3:10 PM

    Looking towards the future and their 1st round possibilities… oh wait.

  19. 1heatedtoombrayduh says: Dec 31, 2011 3:25 PM

    If we play penalty free fb tomorrow, we have a good shot at winning…I see cincy losing and the jets winning…hopefully the tebroncows lose too

  20. lanjoith says: Dec 31, 2011 3:28 PM

    They will get blown out by the Chargers tomorrow. This is exactly the kind of game Oakland doesn’t show up for.

  21. 1heatedtoombrayduh says: Dec 31, 2011 3:28 PM

    descendency says: Dec 31, 2011 2:50 PM

    The right time was a month ago. A healthy team isn’t going to beat a hot team.

    I hope you’re not implying that the bolts are a “hot team” after just getting rear ended by the lions?? Plus if we win, then we will in turn be heating up

  22. rexryantheblowhard says: Dec 31, 2011 4:19 PM

    ” Their defense — 29th in points allowed and yards allowed — remains overrated and underperforming.”

    How can they be overrated, and yet still underperform?

  23. vincentbojackson says: Dec 31, 2011 4:22 PM

    “Raiders getting healthy at the right time”

    Just in time to enjoy their offseason which begins after Sunday’s game.

  24. java49 says: Dec 31, 2011 5:33 PM

    What a deceiving headline…without Run DMC this offense is mediocre at best.

  25. backinblack67 says: Dec 31, 2011 5:49 PM

    lanjoith says:
    Dec 31, 2011 3:28 PM
    They will get blown out by the Chargers tomorrow. This is exactly the kind of game Oakland doesn’t show up for.

    You Sir are a retard…. Oakland will win this game, and win this game big. SD allready turned in the gear for 2011.

  26. sjsuraider says: Dec 31, 2011 5:51 PM

    The Raiders are obviously relevant enough for all you non fans to comment on every article about them. I don’t understand why some people feel the need to talk sht about the Raiders on subjects that have nothing to do with their teams.

  27. joetoronto says: Dec 31, 2011 5:53 PM

    sjbryce says:
    Dec 31, 2011 2:46 PM
    Yeah, Hue has done a great job with this team.. not! They are one of, if not the most, undisciplined teams in football. They take terrible penalties all the time. The penalty they have committed the most… personal fouls! So tell me how Hue has done a great job getting a whole bunch of players to be selfless in “the ultimate team game.”
    **************************************************
    Personal fouls have never been discouraged with the Raiders, as long as it’s worth it, take the penalty.

    It’s the offside, illegal procedure etc that really hurt.

  28. yelix says: Dec 31, 2011 6:07 PM

    All of the worst members of the 2006 Raiders could reunite to play in this game and the Chargers would still find a way to lose. They are just not a good team.

    I should note that, as a Chiefs fan, I hate both teams equally. Well, truth be told, I hate the Raiders a tiny bit more, but whatever.

  29. rayguyreturns says: Dec 31, 2011 6:25 PM

    “bombayjon says:
    “His backup Matt Giordano is not a starting-caliber player and has been exposed with Huff out of the lineup.”

    —————————————-

    Gotta disagree. Giordano has been playing pretty well.”
    _____________________________________

    Yes, he’s been playing well 98% of the time. He’s also given up 2 Hail Mary passes at the end of games this year with the last one being the 60 yard bomb in the last minute of the Detroit game that handed Detroit the win by one point. Without that play, Denver would just be an afterthought and we wouldn’t have to hear about Tebow anymore, at least until next year.

  30. jbaxt says: Dec 31, 2011 6:30 PM

    @ dawson

    Hue Jackson has does a great job in his rookie season. Raiders injuries have gone a little unnoticed by the media. Jason Campbell and Darren McFadden go down. Any team that loses their starting QB and RB are in trouble. Huff has been out most of the season. Seymour and McClain seem to have been playing hurt all season. Ford and Moore are in and out with injuries. Its been pretty crazy but Hue Jackson still has his team playing well, gotta give him credit.

    So you give Todd Haley credit too? I just can’t wait until you trolls figure out that you gave up a 1st and 2nd rounder for your 2nd string QB. Of course if he’s as good as you think he is you’ll be giving up 2 1st rounders… Too funny.

  31. tedmurph says: Dec 31, 2011 6:42 PM

    sjsuraider says:Dec 31, 2011 5:51 PM

    The Raiders are obviously relevant enough for all you non fans to comment on every article about them
    ==================================
    It’s not so much about commenting on the Raiders, it’s about the ridiculous comments by their fans. No other teams have fans like that. Between the conspiracy theories, blaming the refs and wildly overrating the players, I’ve never seen anything like it. Matt Goirdano? Taiwan Jones? Earlier posts suggested Van Dyke was a shut down corner and Heywood-Bay was becoming a real threat. WOW.

  32. atwatercrushesokoye says: Dec 31, 2011 6:43 PM

    joetoronto: That’s the worst rationale I’ve ever heard! A personal foul is the most selfish penalty you can get, you’re either giving the other team a free first down or you’re putting yourself in a hole. And the line of thinking that you’re “intimidating” the opposition by doing it, is laughable at best. It’s like thinking teams fear going into the black hoe to play…and yes I did call it hoe on purpose cause most of the time the opposition goes it there and has their way!

    But your ridiculous line of thinking would help explain why the Faiduhs are trying to clinch their first winning season in 9 years.

  33. bombayjon says: Dec 31, 2011 6:45 PM

    rayguyreturns says:
    Dec 31, 2011 6:25 PM
    “bombayjon says:
    “His backup Matt Giordano is not a starting-caliber player and has been exposed with Huff out of the lineup.”

    —————————————-

    Gotta disagree. Giordano has been playing pretty well.”
    _____________________________________

    Yes, he’s been playing well 98% of the time. He’s also given up 2 Hail Mary passes at the end of games this year with the last one being the 60 yard bomb in the last minute of the Detroit game that handed Detroit the win by one point. Without that play, Denver would just be an afterthought and we wouldn’t have to hear about Tebow anymore, at least until next year.

    ————————————————-

    True, but our whole defense has been giving up big plays. I’m not sure any of our defensive players have played good 98% of the time, so if Giordano is doing that well that might just make him or best devensive player, lol. Scary thought, huh?

  34. tatum064 says: Dec 31, 2011 6:46 PM

    Now that they’re healthy, they need to light it up against San Diego and give that beleaugered franchise an AFC West title and move on in the playoffs (silence the doubters that they are one and done).

    Maybe we just might be relevant again.

    RAIDER NATION!

  35. ern215 says: Dec 31, 2011 7:03 PM

    It’s goin down in the town

  36. raidmagic says: Dec 31, 2011 7:48 PM

    I don’t care what any of you say. As a lifelong Raider fan it’s fun to have a shot at the playoffs at this point. Just being in the discussion is good stuff and it only brings real optimisim for the future of this team.
    Hue has done a good job in his first year and with all the injuries sure he needs to buckle down on the discipline but hopefully that will come. After such a long time the team is finally relevant again.

    GO RAIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. sjbryce says: Dec 31, 2011 7:51 PM

    @joetoronto
    It’s always a good idea to punch guys in the face, a la Richard Seymour. That penalty is definitely worth getting ejected from the game and the 15 yards. It isn’t just the personal fouls that bother me, there is just no discipline from this team at all. I’m not a raiders fan, but I watch them play and for having some decent talent, it’s frustrating to see all the false starts, offsides, etc. Time for Hue to go back to the basics a bit and teach them some discipline. Hate to say it, but look across the bay. Great coaching staff did this team wonders. And I know all the Raider fans are gonna hate on this, but come on! It’s gotta be frustrating committing so many penalties.

  38. atwatercrushesokoye says: Dec 31, 2011 7:56 PM

    Saying Giordano has been good 98% of the time means little if the two plays he gave up (in your words) were hail mary passes. Giving up a 60 yard pass in the fourth (in a game you lost by 1!) carries more weight than making a tackle on a 2nd and 7 run in the first quarter. Those two plays will be the reason why the Broncos are celebrating a division title tomorrow and the Faiduhs aren’t.

  39. beastofeden says: Dec 31, 2011 8:31 PM

    Oakland will be in the playoffs while Tebow gets cut from the team.

  40. failcopter says: Dec 31, 2011 8:39 PM

    It’s not so much about commenting on the Raiders, it’s about the ridiculous comments by their fans. No other teams have fans like that. Between the conspiracy theories, blaming the refs and wildly overrating the players, I’ve never seen anything like it. Matt Goirdano? Taiwan Jones? Earlier posts suggested Van Dyke was a shut down corner and Heywood-Bay was becoming a real threat. WOW.

    —————————————————-

    Darius Heyward-Bay.

    55 rec, 845 yards 3 TDs despite having to develop chemistry with a whole new QB halfway through the year.

    You were saying?

  41. blackbeard43 says: Dec 31, 2011 8:45 PM

    tedmurph says: Dec 31, 2011 6:42 PM

    sjsuraider says:Dec 31, 2011 5:51 PM

    The Raiders are obviously relevant enough for all you non fans to comment on every article about them
    ==================================
    It’s not so much about commenting on the Raiders, it’s about the ridiculous comments by their fans. No other teams have fans like that. Between the conspiracy theories, blaming the refs and wildly overrating the players, I’ve never seen anything like it. Matt Goirdano? Taiwan Jones? Earlier posts suggested Van Dyke was a shut down corner and Heywood-Bay was becoming a real threat. WOW.

    —————————————————-

    If you look closely it’s almost nothing but naysayers and haters in this thread. Say what you will about us fans but one thing the Raiders do have is loyal fans all over the globe. What team do you root for? the dischargers?

    As far as the players you mentioned two are rookies and Giordano was a FA pick up and he has made some plays along with boneheaded ones…Every team has a mix of bad, mediocre and good players but when healthy the Raiders have play-makers all over.

  42. conjecture101 says: Dec 31, 2011 10:36 PM

    I’ve had it!!! I demand Greg Rosenthol be removed as a writer for this site. He knows nothing about the Oakland Raiders.

    STOP WRITING ABOUT TEAMS YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT, ESPECIALLY WHEN GIVING OPINION.

    Dude, you don’t know what “explosive” or “versatile” even means. You don’t watch Darius Heyward Bey’s routs or any of the other receivers and you have absolutely no clue what distinguishes them from eachother. You base your incoherent slander on doctored quotes that you recieve 6th hand from Carson Palmer after some idiot reporter has twisted it 5 times already. DHB is a great player, get over it. Watch the Raiders or stop writing about them.

  43. tedmurph says: Dec 31, 2011 10:39 PM

    @blackbeard43:
    Pats fan. Raiders have fans all over because they think it makes them a ‘gangsta’ and want to wear the colors or they’re living in the ancient past. Sure the Raiders are going in the right direction and they have a lot of good young players. Why do Raider fans talk about them like they’re Pro-Bowlers?
    ———————————————————-
    -Darius Heyward-Bay.

    55 rec, 845 yards 3 TDs despite having to develop chemistry with a whole new QB halfway through the year.

    You were saying?
    ———————————————————
    Perfect example. This guy thinks he has a ‘gotcha’ moment. H-Bays yrds are good for 31rst in the league. With 3 TDs. A top 10 draft pick. Probably leads the league in drops. IMO there are 2 better receivers on his own team.

  44. codysteeler says: Jan 1, 2012 1:55 AM

    Wont matter even if they get into the playoffs because they’d be playing the steelers or ravens in the wild card! Good luck

  45. raiders757 says: Jan 1, 2012 10:43 AM

    Cody, you have a good point, but nobody is scared of the Steelers. Bring them to the H.O.T. I would look forward to such a match up. Yea, they’re the better of the two teams, but I would rather my Raiders face the Steelers than face the Ravens. The Ravens have proven they’re a much better team than your Steelers. Not only that, the team that beats the Steelers in the playoffs will be the heroes of NFL fans everywhere. Everyone is sick of them, and sick of their loud mouthed fans. No offense meant, but…

  46. dubb597 says: Jan 1, 2012 12:13 PM

    No matter the outcome of this year, you have to be happy with the continual growth dating back to last season of this team…….Raider Nation!!!!

  47. dubb597 says: Jan 1, 2012 12:24 PM

    @mr. Wright….. Just because Raider fans intimidate you please don’t use your fear as fuel to hate on my team…..Raider Nation!

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