by David Zizmor
ALAMEDA–Every win is kind of kind of unexpected the way the Raiders started this season nobody thought the Raiders were going to be any good in fact a lot of us including myself thought the Raiders were going to be among the worst teams in the league and while their not amongst the best teams in the league they are not among the worst either.
We were wrong on that this is actually a pretty feisty squad it’s actually the Pittsburgh Steelers who are among the worst teams in the NFL their not the worst that honor goes to the Jacksonville Jaguars. This game between the Raiders and the Steelers was not a battle of titans, it certainly has a lot of history locked up in it the Raiders and the Steelers were among the two best teams in the 1970s and battled each other on a regular basis in the some of the most famous games in NFL history.
This game last Sunday was not necessarily one those all time memorable games although it did have a historic play involved the Steelers are just in a down cycle it’s pretty rare for Pittsburgh to be in such a rare situation but they have had a couple of lousy drafts and suffered through some bad injuries and had some misfires and now their sitting with a lousy team record at 2-5.
The Steelers have had some misfires and it all means their all bottoming out right now, the Raiders already bottomed out that was already that kind of last season with the Carson Palmer deal and just everything going on in the off season when they cleaned house and they got rid of everybody the Raiders while their not a great team they have a lot of young feisty players and their in that rebuild process.
So what ends up happening is you get all these young players who are really fighting and clawing and scratching and trying to get themselves into the league and try to get themselves on the roster and get a job and it makes for desperate play and sometimes these guys are playing some desperate football end up playing decent football and that’s what the Raiders have done they have found a decent mix of players who really want to be there who are really receptive to coaching and learning.
Then the Raiders have found a quarterback who knew that former owner Al Davis’ last draft pick quarterback Terrelle Pryor would end up being such a solid player. He has a deficiency and you don’t look on this guy the same way you look at 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he broke on the scene last year and Pryor can play.
That 93 yard touchdown run by Pryor last Sunday shows why you want this guy on the field that threat of a guy who can make that kind of a play is something defenses have to respect and it makes you play the game differently if your a defensive coordinator you just have to prepare differently. You see it now with the 49ers now that Colin Kaepernick is 100 percent healthy.
It’s the same thing when you have a quarterback who can run in such a way that he can break a long run just as easily as any running back you have to devote extra resources to cover that guy. You have to have a spy on him and simply having that one guy on him and follow the quarterback around can open things up elsewhere.
David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio