The Oakland Raiders got off to a break neck pace in some aspects on Monday night against the Denver Broncos. While it wasn’t raining points like it did in 2010 when the Raiders made the same trek, the Raiders showed that they reign supreme in the mile high city. The win at Denver marked the fourth straight time the Raiders have gone into their house and beat the Broncos. And although the Raiders didn’t hang record points on their divisional foe, they did set some record setting paces for themselves in 2011.
Perhaps the lousiest record you could ever have is the one for most penalties in NFL history. The record was set in 1998 by the Kansas City Chiefs at 158 penalties. From 1993-96, the L.A. Raiders tied an NFL record by becoming the most penalized team in the NFL for four consecutive seasons. The record tied the Chicago Bears of the 1940’s who accomplished the same feat twice in that decade. Last season the Raiders nearly broke the Chiefs' all-time record for penalties in a season, but this year they are on pace to shatter the record with a whopping 240 penalties.
If they continue to rack up the penalties at the pace of Monday night’s game, the Raiders will also shatter the Chiefs' 1998 record mark of 1,304 yards penalized by well over 700 yards with an astounding 2,096 yards. Head Coach Hue Jackson wants no part of either of these records however.
“I’m not going to make an excuse about it, obviously, we committed them. It’s something we talked about first and foremost after the win. Are some questionable? Obviously, some people will say some are questionable, but I’m not going to subscribe to that theory. When we get really good, we’re not going to talk about penalties in this room because that’s not going to be an issue. We need to get better, we need to do things fundamentally correct so that we don’t get called…and that’s the truth.
“I’m not just going to sweep it under the carpet and say it is what it is because we won the game,” the Raiders’ first year front man continued. “It might be game 16—and it’s solved—but I promise you this, it will get solved. I’m not going to relent.”
Coach Jackson said he would like to see 5-6 penalties per game. All we can say is, good luck.
It’s not all bad though, the Raiders are also on pace for some good records this year too. One of the most open-to-discussion records in the NFL is Michael Strahan’s sack record of 2001. When all hope was dwindling of Strahan achieving the mark against the Brett Favre-led Green Bay Packers, the Pack called a play where Favre basically ran out to Strahan and laid on the grass in front of him, giving the Giants’ defensive end the record without contest.
At the present moment, Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour is on pace for 32 sacks this season, which would leave little doubt in the mind of skeptics about who the all-time sack master is. If Seymour were to reach this highly unlikely standard he has set for himself, he would beat Strahan’s record by 9.5 sacks—a season’s work for most NFL defensive players.
Not only is the individual sack record on the line after week one, but the team high sacks record for a season is in serious jeopardy also. The Chicago Bears' 1984 “Monsters of the Midway” defense produced an astounding 72 sacks. Right now, the Raiders' defense is on pace for 80 sacks in 2011. If they make even the mark set by the ’84 Bears, they should not only win their division, but they should go to the Super Bowl and win it nearly uncontested.
“Five sacks and you rush for 190 yards, that’s a pretty good statement on opening day,” Hue Jackson chimed in on Monday during his meeting with the media.
Which brings me to my next hypothesis. Darren McFadden posted 150 yards on Monday with three runs of 20-plus at a pace of 6.8 yards per carry. Now, every defense is not going to be as pathetic against the run as the Broncos were, but nevertheless, DMC is on tempo to carry the rock for 2,400 yards this season. That mark would obliterate Eric Dickerson’s 1984 single-season mark of 2,105 yards. However, while McFadden posted a high yardage mark in his first 2011 action, his 0 touchdowns for the season that would go along with his record would make it look somewhat goofy.
Thus, I do declare McFadden must find the end zone when he puts up his buck-fifty against the Buffalo Bills in week two. I also request that he do it in the right side of the end zone, in section 102, where I will be seated for the game.
Believe it or not, the Raiders' mark of 190 rushing yards in the game is not on pace to set the precedent for rushing yards by a team in a season. That mark was posted in 1978 by the New England Patriots who put up 3,165. The Raiders also are not going to set the single-season rushing attempts mark of 681 set in 1977 by their likeness. Achieving this feat would require some 43 handoffs per game.
Other records the Raiders are not treading on are the record of seven quarterback sacks in a season set by the Miami Dolphins in 1988. The Raiders are on pace to allow 16 sacks of quarterback Jason Campbell. They also won’t achieve the most receptions in a season set by Marvin Harrison in 2002 when he had 143 catches. But even so, Darrius Heyward-Bey is working on a career high in receptions for himself with a potential 64 catches.
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