Shutdown Corner - NFL

New York Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce(notes) grew up as a fan of the Oakland Raiders. And he doesn't like taking shots at other NFL teams.

When appearing on Sirius NFL Radio yesterday, though, host Alex Marvez asked Pierce if the Raiders were as bad as they seemed. Pierce just couldn't stop the truth from pouring out. It's not pretty, if you're a Raiders fan. Pierce said that playing the Raiders felt like a light scrimmage.

"I do not like knocking teams. But right now, they're struggling. We're playing that game the other day and, honestly, it felt like a scrimmage, like a practice. It felt like we were going against our offense (in a controlled setting) as far as the tempo.

"There was no vibe of trying or effort from the Raiders at all from a defensive standpoint against their offense. We're getting three-and-outs. You don't hear nobody (saying), 'Hey, let's go!' trying to pick the guys up, rallying them, getting guys fired up. There was nothing. It was quiet. A guy gets sacked or somebody gets beat, they just get up. It's not like there's yelling or no kind of (emotion) about the way they were playing.

"It was shocking to be out there in that game and get that kind of feeling."

Oh, dear. I can't say the comments are shocking, because that's what it felt like to watch the game, too. It was like Captain Lou Albano's (rest peacefully, Captain Lou) British Bulldogs against Reno Riggins and Iron Mike Sharp.

And it was only back in Week 1 that the Raiders seemed so ... borderline competent. Almost prideful. Non-embarrassing to the National Football League. From there, it took only a month for them to fall back to the depths of the sad, pathetic and unlovable.

The saddest part of it is that this could probably be fixed by one little move: benching JaMarcus Russell(notes). It's not uncommon for a team to play more inspired football for one quarterback than they would for another, and while we can't know for sure until we see another quarterback play, the Raiders seem to be a likely candidate for such a syndrome.

Put yourself in a Raider's shoes. Why go out there and spend your blood, sweat and tears when it's an absolute certainty that the quarterback will do something to submarine everyone else's efforts?

I'm not saying that's good, or that it's the right attitude for a teammate to have, but there is a certain logic to it. It happens. It's happening right now, in fact.

Gracias, Pro Football Talk.

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