After the way the Oakland Raiders failed to show up against the Denver Broncos, it’s hard to have faith in the team moving forward. It just seemed like they played without any heart after losing leader Derek Carr.
But perhaps there was another reason for the lackluster performance. We all assumed the team simply wasn’t in the game mentally, which could still be part of the problem. But both Greg Papa on 95.7 The Game and Jimmy Durkin on his podcast Raiders Talk, dropped a tidbit of knowledge I was not aware of on Sunday.
Apparently, much of the Raiders, including Mario Edwards Jr., were sick with the flu.
That’s not an excuse but at the same time, you can’t expect everyone to have a Jordan-esque flu game. If it was so easy to play while sick, what Michael Jordan did wouldn’t be considered one of the greatest sports performances in history. It’s the fact that he did it in spite of having the flu that makes it so special.
Hell, I had a nasty cold a couple months ago and that alone had me whining like a baby. I can’t imagine playing a sport like football while trying to fight the flu.
Again, it’s not an excuse. The Raiders got beat fair and square but it’s fair to have hope that this week;s game will be different if they are healthy. Not only will they be playing to rid themselves of the stench of that Denver blowout, they should have more energy. At least those who were sick or just getting over being sick last Sunday.
It’s not much, but at this point finding any explanation for the horrific events of New Years day makes it a little less painful. And it makes me a little more hopeful for this upcoming Saturday.