NFL 2018 Season - PS4


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Week Seven Takeaways
by Dennis Ranahan

Last week, when confronted by news that the organization was shopping Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden said, “I don’t know. I haven’t heard that. I’m not. I’m not. I’m just sorry to have to deal with a lot of these reports. I just hope Amari’s OK. Like I said, he’s going to be a big part of our pass offense.”

Now, that statement is only true if Gruden is headed to Dallas to run the Cowboys offense, because that is where Cooper is going to be contributing to a pass offense after the Raiders traded him this week. If Gruden is still in Oakland, then that statement is false from start to finish. Even taking a popular refrain from today’s culture, accusing the messenger of misbehaving while doing their job.

The day that story broke, and that quote was played on the NFL show co-hosted by former NFL executive Bill Polian, he said flatout, “Why would he say that?”

Polian went on to explain how damaging that statement could be if the Raiders were to trade Cooper. “How will his players respond to a coach they can’t trust,” Polian posed while adding, “What would Bill Belichick have done?”

He asserted that Belichick would have said, “He’s a member of our passing game, we’re getting ready for Chicago.”

Co-host Alex Marvez, paraphrased what Polian said and they both laughed at how well Belichick handles situations like this and how poorly Gruden did here.

“Well,” Marvez said, “If they trade him now there will be hell to pay.”

Welcome to hell Silver and Black style.

It is a sobering thought to longstanding Oakland fans that only the Cleveland Browns have a worst regular season won/loss record than the Raiders over the past 15 seasons. But, it is true. And now, the Raiders are having a firesale on their best talent while Gruden digs down his ranks to find a trusting team.

It is a deep dig.

While the Raiders troll the cellar of the AFC West, the Kansas City Chiefs are atop the division with the best record in the AFC, 6-1. They are also the only team in football with a perfect point spread mark, 7-0.

The Chiefs success is first tied to an offense that has more weapons than the Israeli Army and a trigger man setting weekly passing records while simply outscoring Kansas City opponents. The success quarterback Patrick Mahomes is enjoying with the Chiefs is well deserved by both his on the field and off the field activities.

Last year, after the Chiefs traded up in the 2017 draft to snag him with the tenth pick, his agent lined up a number of possible advertising opportunities for the rookie. Mahomes chose to accept none, not wanting to in any way upstage the current starting Kansas City quarterback, Alex Smith.

He waited his turn, with class and dignity, and a season later after the Chiefs traded Smith to the Washington Redskins, that character is feeding the Chiefs scoring frenzy. Thing is, Kansas City has to score a lot of points to win because their defense has allowed more yards than any other NFL team and an average of 26 points per game, which is the eighth worst in the league.

The combination of Kansas City having to carry bloated point spreads while the books look to set point spreads that neutralize the edge the public is enjoying with the perfect Chiefs, will inevitably make the Chiefs a tough point spread win in weeks to come.

That could start this Sunday, when they host another AFC West team, the Denver Broncos, and are favored by double-digits.