Posted Sun Apr 1st by Ian Henson
2011 saw the Oakland Raiders come within inches of their 13th AFC West crown needing literally just one win in Week 17. The Denver Broncos squeaked away with the title and famously back-peddled into the playoffs only to use up all of their Jesus juice while beating the Pittsburgh Steelers with one of the most miraculous throws in Tim Tebow‘s career. They of course were beaten to a pulp the next week by the New England Patriots (for the second time in 2011).
The Patriots, as Raiders fans will know, are largely populated by players that Oakland has basically put out to pasture. Had Oakland had one more crack at Denver the outcome would have been obvious– obliteration, the Broncos would not have stood a chance. With that, I present to you the top five reasons why Oakland deserved the AFC West crown:
5.) Darren McFadden was one week away from coming back from injury-
Can you imagine our prolific running back Darren McFadden against the likes of Pittsburgh in the playoffs? There is no answer on the Steelers’ defense, not a single one… He would have rushed for 150-200 yards easily. Not to mention what he would have then turned around the following week and down to the Patriots, come on! With a healthy McFadden back in the lineup there is no one standing in the way between the Raiders and the Super Bowl, that’s a fact.
4.) Strength of common opponents-
Sure, Oakland played all of the same opponents last season except for two, but when the Raiders played the teams they were at full-strength. When the team left the stadium leaving behind only, broken bones, the screams of terrified wives and mud holes that’s when the Broncos would play them. Only then! Would Denver get a crack at the team, it’s borderline conspiracy on behalf of the NFL to make Tebow’s path to the playoffs as simple as possible.
3.) The trade for Carson Palmer-
Another fumble on behalf of the NFL (which almost always seem to bounce in a way that will most negatively effect Oakland), Carson Palmer should have been a Raider a whole two, if not three weeks earlier! That’s three wins the NFL cost us! That’s the difference between 8-8 and 11-5! Come on NFL, if a player doesn’t want to play for his team they shouldn’t be allowed to retain his rights, they should be done with him right then. Just like it is in the NBA, when a player wants out in the NBA he just tells the media. That’s it, it’s that simple. Palmer did that in like August when he found out Hue Jackson was 100% coming back to coach the Raiders.
2.) Tie-breaker games-
Why aren’t there tie-breaker games in the NFL? Had Oakland had a tie-breaker game at the end of the season against Denver instead of against the San Diego Chargers the Raiders would have won easily. I mean did you see what the Broncos and Tebow did against the less than almighty Kansas City Chiefs led by none other than Tebow’s mentor Kyle Orton. From what I can remember Tebow completed around five passes that game and couldn’t even score a touchdown. Seriously had that been Oakland instead of Kansas City, Oakland’s definitely in the playoffs.
1.) Praying should be punished just as harshly as excessive celebration-
Seriously, I don’t care who you pray to or what religion you are, keep that behind closed doors. I mean what if every time the NFL wanted to mic up Tebow he was saying a Satanic chant and before he got interviewed post-game he gave his almighty graciousness to Al Davis. Roger Goodell would put the stop to that with the quickness. What’s the real difference between Davis and God though? One’s dead. With the amount of fines Tebow would have racked up just in pre-game and post-game camera time Goodell would have had no choice to to suspend him for at least a game, Broncos would have lost to the Chiefs and the Raiders would have been in the playoffs. I know that the Raiders would have still had to have beat the Chargers, but with no Tebow in the way that would have been no problem.
Harsh? Yeah, but the problem with the truth is that it is usually brutal. The Raiders, not the Broncos deserved the AFC West crown last season. It may be a pill that’s quite tough to swallow for some Denver fans, but they won’t be able to disagree.
(Update: April Fools!)