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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
OAKLAND -- Some Raiders observers said the season opener Monday night against AFC West rival Denver was the team's most important game since the Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay in Jan., 2003.
The Raiders had floundered since, winning a NFL-low 19 games. However, optimism was high this year as Al Davis, 79, opened up the vault and spent a total of $255 million this offseason all in the spirit of making another run at a Super Bowl.
The Raiders thought they had a great secondary, a great running game and an exciting young quarterback. They may have all of those things this season but they didn't have any of that Monday night.
The Raiders looked as lost and troubled as they have at any point in the past five years. They were ineffective and undisciplined. Oakland was called for four personal foul penalties. New cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who was supposed to a major part of Oakland's resurgence, was hit twice for unnecessary roughness in a span of three plays.
It seemed like coach Lane Kiffin had this team headed in the right direction but it didn't show Monday night.
Kiffin deserves a chance to turn this around but don't be surprised if the rumors about his job security start to swirl if the Raiders continue to perform like they did Monday night.