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The Dark Side Tailgate 

TAILGATE

THE DARK SIDE

"I CAN BRING YOU IN WARM OR I CAN BRING YOU IN COLD​"

After the game, I stood in the Parking lot talking with old friends, having a beer or 2 while reminiscing past days, I was reminded the origin of my infamous (or annoying) positivity.
" I stood there and thought, poor Charles.. he had to witness more losses than anyone inside the Coliseum" my brother Master Chad said.
"Well, we experienced EVERY possible moment you could possibly have in a stadium.. everything from the cough syrup saga to winning the AFC Championship" I mentioned.
" Correct.. but you physically experienced more years of losing records than the opposite"
" Shit.. you’re right".
I then realized the remedy of remembering ALL of the positive things in life after the game was essential in covering up the sadness. Othwise? I’d most likely be in a mental asylum by now.
This week the positive was our old buddy Metal Cindy stopped by for the last time..
I got to see Roland’s Family..
and the Lakers continue to win.
Post game Tacos also rule..
My point is, even in the worst possible times, I continue to keep my chin the fuck up. This is the way. Always know that you’re going to support your team either way, so why stay angry?
I’m also going to get you to that stadium regardless of our record.
(Oakland or LV)
"I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold"
..Either way, I’m bringing you!!!
Although, we’ll worry about Sith Lord Bounty hunting later. Now? We have to relive last Sunday one more time.
"We put ourselves in a position to make a run and we didn’t do it," quarterback Derek Carr said. "It’s as simple as that."
No shit, Derek. We all came up short again. In my humble opinion, we’re simply running out of weapons due to injury. 
"We’re missing some players that really helped us win three straight games," coach Jon Gruden said. "The Golden State Warriors are going through a similar process. It’s not easy when you’re not playing with your frontline guys . . . it’s my responsibility to fix it and it certainly doesn’t look good the last few weeks."
At least I thought Derek played a little better than the past couple of weeks. Our Receivers are still not getting open while our QB is having a tough time with decisions. I know the most popular criticism is to blame #4...
But you have to look the entire offensive squad to give the correct analysis. With all that being said? Yeah, Derek should of corrected a few things...
"I’m not saying he played a perfect game, but he’s playing good football," Gruden said. "He played one of the best first halves he’s played yesterday since I’ve been here. Unfortunately we didn’t sustain it. I call the plays so I made some mistakes myself. But we have had more moving parts on the offensive line, the backfield and skill positions than any team that I know of."
Coach then commented on our 3rd string Brandon Parker filling in for stud tackle Trent Brown.
"Parker had a holding call, a costly one on third down, but other than that he played good football," I thought Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington really stepped up. If you watched Richard pick up some blitzes, you can’t be totally disgusted with everything from yesterday’s game. There were a lot of bright spots . . . I’m going to look at it that way, I’m going to continue to see the positive."
Wow, that sounds familiar. I take pride in thinking like a Head Coach. No matter what lies ahead? You have to look on the bright side no matter how many roadblocks you see.
I mean, we did have to deal with a lot this Season. All the injuries, travel schedules, Receiver drama.. it all adds up. It’s important we still maintain our mental stability. It’s not like other Teams care either. There isn’t much sympathy when it comes to the NFL.
"Nobody cares about the situation. Nobody cares who is playing. Nobody cares who has been here, who has not been here," Carr said. "Nobody cares. We didn’t win the football game and it is what it is."


Carr was philosophical about the BOOO reaction, having heard those same fans at their loudest when they were winning three straight games in November as well as some of the 18 come-from-behind wins he has authored as the starter. 

"You play here long enough it will happen," Carr said. "We have a rowdy group and that is why we love them. They are passionate. They just want to win. Even when they are mad at you, they are like family, even when they are mad at you they still want to hug you. They still want you to do well. I understand their frustration. I think I’d shed some emotion too, but I don’t think anything of it. It has happened for six years."

Hopefully, many will hear about his philosophy and respect the man more, but I highly doubt it. Many like to stay angry.

These guys had to go through so much this year but never can truly see the entire picture."Oh, it’s been crazy. Let’s not sugar coat it," Carr said. "Let’s just be real about it. I’m into facts and it’s been a really weird year. Someone should write a book at some point, (with) some of the stuff that went on, but nobody cares. I’m used to that."


There’s also still a debate about Carr’s fourth-quarter fourth-down pass from the 2-yard line that he threw over the head of wide receiver Zay Jones. The Raiders weren’t going to win, but that’s not the point. Why not give your receiver a chance? Carr concluded instead there was no chance. Either that or he was wildly inaccurate on the throw. 

The Titans coaches in the booth next to the press box were delighted with his decision, judging by their reaction. 

"I promise you, I ran through the whole thing on that one," Carr said. "They have got seven defensive backs looking at me waiting for the ball at that point." 

Coach Jon Gruden shrugged it off. 

"I think he kept the play alive for 12 seconds," Gruden said. "It wasn’t like he just aborted the ball . . . I think he played really well today. Given what’s going on around him, I think there’s a big story there. At least we recognize it. We’re proud of the way he’s competing and performing with a lot of moving pieces." 

It would of helped having our MVP Josh Jacobs aboard the Pirate ship during battle. He was ruled out Sunday morning and ruined my Fantasy Football score (: I still love him..

Gruden said Jacobs’ fate was determined before the game when a pain-killing injection that’s allowed him to take the field for the last six games didn’t have the same effect. 

"He was really in tears today wanting to play. He took a shot to play like he’s been doing, but the injury weouldn’t let him go out there and play under these circumstances,: Gruden said.

I’m concerned he won’t be able to go next Sunday as well. We shall see..We shall also see if our OTHER top star can perform better than what we witnessed Sunday. Darren Waller is clearly one of the breakout stars of 2019. He had 6 receptions for 73 yards but made one of the most critical errors when we were trying to escalate a comeback.
Waller was stripped along the sideline by Tye Smith, with Jayon Brown returning the gift 55 yards for a touchdown. Ugh....


"I was just trying to be too cute on the sideline instead of just lowering (my) shoulder, putting two hands on the ball and getting what I can," Waller said.

It also sucks we lost another great player to injury. Foster Moreau landed awkwardly on a fierce tackle and is now out for the Season.

Moreau finished with 21 receptions for 174 yards and the five touchdowns. 

"It’s a tough injury. He’s got a lot of rehab ahead and can’t compliment the job he did enough,:" Gruden said. "He came in here as a rookie and played good football for us and is going to be a big part of the Raiders future."On Defense, we were about the same as we’ve been the past couple Weeks. We were as soft as baby Yoda.
I always thought we should draft a Wide Receiver in the first Round, but we need so much on Defense it might make me change my mind..
"We’ve got to play better, and we’re going to play better, and there will be changes," Gruden said Monday at his weekly press conference. "There will be changes. What happened yesterday will not happen again. I can’t allow it to happen."
I suddenly thought our Defensive Coordinator’s job is not safe with the above comment. Paul Guenther better start sending off resumes soon. At least there were some bright moments.. Particularly, from our D linemen!
Maurice Hurst and Dion Jordan’s best play of the year came on the game’s opening possession, the Titans drove to the Raiders’ 19-yard line. There, a Tannehill pass was deflected into the air by Dion Jordan (Maxx Crosby was right behind him) and Maurice Hurst picked it out of the air and rumbled 55 yards to the Tennesee 24-yard line. Tannehill caught him with a sharp tackle at the 24-yard line. 

"It was a good play by Dion. he hit the bal up, it got up in the air and I was able to make a play on it and get some yardage," Hurst said. "I was hoping (for a touchdown). I looked to my right, didn’t see anybody, but I guess the quarterback came back and made a good play."

Tannehill got his revenge later by throwing a bomb to AJ Brown who is a fast and agile Rookie Receiver.

On the long touchdown, Tannehill had decent pressure from Johnathan Hankins and Clelin Ferrell, who took the quarterback down just as he threw the ball. 

"I’ll take that hit every time to throw a 91-yard touchdown," Tannehill said. "It was a play we talked about all week. To have A.J. not only catch it but finish it off was huge."Daryl Worley was also the victim of the touchdown reception with 14:07 left in the first half, and later missed a tackle attempt on Brown on a second touchdown from 16 yards out. 
I’m not sure our starting Cornerbacks will be on our squad In 2020 with plays like that. It makes me ponder what’s the main issue on the defensive side of the ball.
"Lack of execution," Linebacker Tahir Whitehead said of the defensive effort. "Just tackling, getting the ball on the ground. Yards after the carry, yards after the catch, we just didn’t do a good job of getting them down on the ground and staying on top of the routes." 
We also had no pressure on the QB. After some promising plays Weeks ago, we’ve regressed a bit in the past Month.
"Hard to rush the passer when you can’t really get a beat on when to rush," Gruden said. "You have second and three, second and four, second and five and we never truly got them behind the sticks, at all. You got to get him to third and seven, third and nines, third and twelves, you have to get your pass rushers an opportunity to tee off and rush. And that wasn’t happening today."
Tahir also commented on all the issues that plagued the Raiders this year don’t really mean much to the opposition in the heat of battle.
"No one cares what you have to go through during the week," Whitehead said. "No one cares how many injuries you have. It matters as far as getting guys ready. But no one gives a (expletive). They expect us to go out there and they expect us to execute."
So Execute damnit!!!! Do I have to take the field?!?! Hey, the Force choke can work on ANYONE!!!
Eh, maybe CB Isaiah Johnson can make a difference next Week if he gets more time as Coach Gruden previously predicted.
"He’s a converted wide receiver, he’s not the most experienced corner," Gruden said. "He missed a lot of time. So to put him in there in prime time and say let’s go might not be fair to him yet. But we’re going to look at him. We’re going to look at all options and we’re going to try and play a hell of a lot better than we did yesterday."
Man, I hope so Coach. I also hope we get this losing stink off of us. We’ve been beaten up enough and are ready to take our frustrations out.
"It’s like getting punched in the stomach," Gruden said. "It knocks the wind out of you. Any time a team takes the ball the length of the field that many times, it’s hard to do in this league . . . sometimes you’ve got to win the game of field position. You’ve got to force a three-and-out and we weren’t able to do that yesterday from the jump. Very, very concerned about it. We’re going to make some changes and get it right."



Despite all the bad play, errors and misery, Derek Carr remains confident. I believe he knows he can play better than this. When addressing next week’s regular-season finale in Oakland, Carr made light of the fourth-down play. 

"I’m going to be amped up so I’ll have to calm down so I don’t throw it out of bounds into the twentieth row, but hopefully we win the game and I can give somebody a ball," Carr said. "That’d be fun."

It’s important to see our guy relaxed. We need this next one bad. We’re talking about one of the most historical, legendary and charismatic teams final game in Oakland. The Coaching staff knows this too."We’re going to try and win this game," Gruden said. "We’re never going to put a guy out there that can’t play, but we’re going into the last game in the history of the Oakland Raiders and it’s an emotional time and we’re not eliminated from the playoffs. We’re going to try and win every single time we strap it on."
Thank you, Jon and Derek. I expect nothing but the best from you both..and the team.
May the Force be with us.
Summary:


OAKLAND, Calif. -- The way the Tennessee Titansoffense is rolling under Ryan Tannehill, an early interception proved to be an easy obstacle to overcome.

Tannehill threw for 391 yards and three touchdowns, Derrick Henry ran for two scores and the Titans won their fourth straight game by beating the Oakland Raiders 42-21 on Sunday.

"Every time we touched it, we felt like we were going to score," Tannehill said. "It was just a belief of everyone in the huddle, the run game was going, guys were making plays outside. We had belief in each other."

That's the way it has been ever since Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota as starter after Week 6. The Titans (8-5) have won six of seven games since then to move into a tie with Houston for first place in the AFC South with two games in the final three weeks against the Texans.

Tennessee scored touchdowns on five of the next seven possessions after the interception to run away from the Raiders (6-7) and make sure there was no slip-up before hosting Houston next week. The Titans are second in the NFL in scoring with Tannehill at quarterback at 31.4 points per game.

"I just told the team we don't work as long as we work in practice and prepare just to win eight games," coach Mike Vrable said. "We don't. That's the reality of this business."

Tennessee broke open a tight game with a three-touchdown barrage in a span of just over seven minutes of the second half that all but ended the playoff hopes for the Raiders in their final season in Oakland.

Henry, who rushed for 103 yards, broke a 21-all tie with a 10-yard TD run midway through the third quarter to cap an 89-yard drive.

The Raiders then went three-and-out on their next drive and Tannehill easily drove Tennessee 84 yards for a 35-21 lead on a 17-yard pass to Jonnu Smith.

"When we're going three-and-out and not picking up first downs and going down and scoring points, it's tough," guard Richie Incognito said. "The offense put the defense and the rest of the team in a tough position to start that second half, and they just exploded on us."

The boo birds then came out in the second-to-last game at the Coliseum when Darren Waller fumbled a catch after a hit by Tye Hill and Jayon Brownreturned it 46 yards.

Tennessee outscored Oakland 21-0 in the season half and has a league-best plus-59 point differential in the second half over the past five weeks.

"We just have to keep it rolling. The offense is firing on all cylinders right now," tackle Jack Conklin said. "That's the goal for us every week, come in and wear down a team."

What had been a promising season for the Raiders with a three-game win streak in November that improved them to 6-4 has gone off the rails the past three weeks. They lost by 31 points in successive road games against the Jets and Chiefs and then fell apart in the second half against Tennessee.

This marked just the second time in franchise history that Oakland dropped three in a row by at least 21 points, having also done it in 2012.

"We did put ourselves in position to make a run and we didn't do it," quarterback Derek Carr said. "It's just as simple as that."

Tannehill threw two TD passes in the first half to rookie A.J. Brown, including a 91-yarder. Brown finished with five catches for 153 yards.

Tennessee finished with 552 yards, their second most since the merger in 1970. They had 563 in a 27-10 win over Kansas City on Dec. 16, 1990.

HENRY'S HIGHLIGHTS

Henry also had a 12-yard TD run in the first quarter and has eight touchdown runs in his past five games to give him 13 on the season. He joined Earl Campbell as the only players in franchise history with back-to-back seasons of at least 12 TD runs. Campbell did it three straight years from 1978-80.

DEEP STRIKES

Tannehill burned the Raiders in the second quarter with the 91-yard deep strike to A.J. Brown, which was the longest pass play in Tennessee history. Oakland answered with its own deep shot later in the quarter when Carr connected with Rico Gafford from 49 yards out. It was Gafford's first career catch.

DOINK

The Titans missed a chance to break a 21-21 tie when Ryan Succop hit the left upright from 42 yards out on the final play of the first half. Tennessee now missed nine field goals this season, one shy of Dallas for the most in the NFL.On 2 the next, Nation!
We close out 24 years of history next Sunday! I need less booing and more decibels on 3rd Down! Don’t make me use my saber!!!
Gardner Minshew must be sacked, pressured and beaten like a drum to achieve victory! I expect many doses of Leonard Fournette so we must be prepared to tackle like our life depended on it!
JOIN THE DARK SIDE ONE FINAL TIME IN THE CITY THAT MADE LEGENDS!
SEE YA NEXT SUNDAY!
Excelsior!
Lord of the Sith, Master of all evil
Darth Raider