The San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami must be having all sorts of fun with the Raiders' current predicament. In case you missed it, Kawakami had a contentious exchange with Davis lackey John Herrera following a Sept. press conference from then-head coach Lane Kiffin (who must also be having all sorts of fun right about now).
After the team's latest debaclement -- a 17-6 loss to the Panthers that included four Jake Delhomme interceptions -- Kawakami wonders why the Raiders chose to trot Sebastian Janikowski out for a end-of-game 58-yard field goal since, you know, they're only worth three points.
Could Mr. Big Somebody [Al Davis] have ordered that ridiculous, meaningless Janikowski 58-yard FG attempt, down by 11, simply to try to make sure the Raiders... you know... COVERED THE 9.5-point betting spread?
No. Can't be anything that craven. Play vs. the spread when you've already lost? Terrible, terrible. Bad form. The NFL frowns on anything that smacks of Las Vegas influence, you know.
In the end, Kawakami concludes that Davis had another, less sinister motive for going for three: to put some points on the scoreboard. Sure, bookmaking concerns aside, a loss is a loss, whether it's by eight or 80, but, well, this is humiliating, even by Oakland standards: Kiffin averaged 17 points a game last season, and 19.5 points a game through the first four games of 2008. Cable, in the five games since, has seen the Raiders put up 35 points. Total. That's 7 points a game, thank you very much. But it gets more depressing:
Yes, it is EVEN WORSE than the Art Shell/Tom Walsh 2006 Raiders offense, which was the ugliest of all-time but managed 168 total points, or 10.5 per game.
And even with that 78-point Kiffin head start, the Cable Raiders, presuming they maintain their 7-a-game rate through the final 7 games, would score 49 more-or 162 total. That's LESS than the Shell/Tom Walsh Raiders. Which was the worst looking offense ever. ... Wow. That's the bottom. The rock and the bottom. That leads to desperate things like sending SeaBass out there for a meaningless 58-yarder.
Sad and desperate.
I'm starting to think Al Davis might not be very good at running an NFL franchise. World history, on the other hand, is an entirely different story.
Why Would SeaBass Attempt End-of-Game FG When Raiders Trailed by 11? originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Mon, 10 Nov 2008 13:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.