Where is Al Davis? If he has been at Raider games last year and this, he must be either asleep or distracted. Al Davis has always quickly recognized his team's deficiencies, and has rapidly addressed those shortcomings. Perhaps his battles with the NFL, the owners of other NFL teams and the City of Oakland so occupied his energies that he has failed to notice his once-proud organization virtually disintegrating.
The problem is not merely one of bad officiating or bad breaks. The Raiders have not only lived with adversity in the past, they have thrived on it. The problem is not merely one of the choice of quarterback. They have one fair one and one at least the equal of the quarterbacks of most teams that have beaten them. Unfortunately, the problem is more basic.
Raider coaching (and the primary source of advice reaching Davis) defies description, if not analysis. The offensive play-calling is second in abomination only to the offensive game plan. Third-and-long against Washington found the Raiders repeatedly (and futilely) trying to throw deep against one of the best blitzing teams in the business. Todd Christensen, long dependable to get open and make the catch in difficult situations, becomes a pariah, except for the occasional meaningless short dump over the middle.