Oakland Raiders: Randy Moss

We continue our list of the bottom 5 Oakland Raiders free-agent signings in franchise history with quarterback Aaron Brooks checking in at No. 4 ...

Kerry Collins may not have elicited the most excitement or even a modicum of team success as a Raiders quarterback, but he was coming off a 3,759-yard passing season with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 15 games in 2005. And he wanted to come back in 2006.

The Raiders, though, decided to go in an entirely different direction with Art Shell returning for his second tour of duty as Raiders coach by replacing Norv Turner , signing Brooks to a two-year, $9 million contract after five solid seasons starting for the New Orleans Saints.

But things got off to a bad start – Brooks was sacked seven times in a 27-0 season-opening loss to the San Diego Chargers – and never really got better.

Brooks lost a pair of fumbled snaps in Week 2 at the Baltimore Ravens and strained a pectoral muscle in the process as he did not play again for two months. By the time the season ended, Brooks never won a game, going 0-8 as a starter, while throwing three touchdown passes, eight interceptions and completing 57.3 percent of his passes for a career-low passer rating of 61.7. He was also sacked 26 times in his eight starts.

Of course, it was not all Brooks’ fault – the Raiders of 2006 were an utter mess. It was the season of Tom Walsh coming from running a bed and breakfast to serve as Shell’s offensive coordinator, before he was demoted, and of receivers Randy Moss and Jerry Porter essentially mailing it in, and running back LaMont Jordan being lost for the season in the same game Brooks returned from his injury.

Whether it was Brooks or Andrew Walter under center, those Raiders were historically bad, scoring the fifth-fewest points in league history in a 16-game season (168) while failing to score an offensive touchdown in eight games.

But it was Brooks who was brought in to lead the team ... and it was Brooks who paid for the failure as the Raiders did not pick up his option for the second year. He never played another down in the NFL.

Another lasting legacy of Brooks? Oakland went 2-14, the worst of any Al Davis Raiders team, and had the No. 1 overall pick in the draft ... which they used to select JaMarcus Russell.

Previous lists

Top 5 free-agent signings

5. Jerry Rice

4. John Matuszak

3. Rich Gannon

2. George Blanda

1. Jim Plunkett

Bottom 5 free-agent signings

5. Mike Brisiel

4. Aaron Brooks

3. ?

2. ?

1. ?
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- As the purportedly rested and rejuvenated Oakland Raiders come out of their bye weekend and prepare for the Pittsburgh Steelers, one fact hovers over Oakland.

The Raiders have lost their last 10 first games after a bye -- by a combined score of 271-139.

“I think we’re all aware of that, but like I told the players today, the past has no relevance to the future,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Monday. “Any of the outcomes that have happened after a bye in the past won’t dictate how we go out and play against Pittsburgh. What’s going to dictate how we go out and play against Pittsburgh is how well we prepare during the week, and then how well … we go out and execute that plan on Sunday.”

Fair enough, but what’s that old saying about those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it?

Sure enough, a look back at the Raiders’ decade of post-bye blues reveals some interesting moments:

Nov. 2, 2003, Raiders at Detroit: Marques Tuiasosopo, Oakland’s second-round pick in 2001, makes his first NFL start and has a QB rating of 34.3 in completing six of 11 passes for 65 yards and an interception in a 23-13 loss to the Lions. “Tui” would start only one more game in his career, at the New York Jets in 2005.

Oct. 16, 2005, Raiders vs. San Diego: Randy Moss, in his first season in Oakland, went up for a Kerry Collins pass late in the first half and was hit hard by strong safety Terrence Kiel in a 27-14 loss to the Chargers. The groin injury would linger and it was the first time Moss was held without a catch in his career.

Oct. 12, 2008, Raiders at New Orleans: It was an inauspicious debut for Tom Cable as Oakland’s interim coach in the wake of the memorable overhead projector presser announcing Lane Kiffin’s firing. An ashen-faced Cable had no answers as the Saints ran all over the Raiders in a 34-3 blowout.

Nov. 21, 2010, Raiders at Pittsburgh: Richard Seymour had seen enough, so the Raiders defensive tackle went and got himself kicked out of the Raiders’ eventual 35-3 blowout loss to the Steelers. Seymour’s open-hand palm strike to the facemask of Ben Roethlisberger was as swift as it was pretty as Roethlisberger went down like a sack of Primanti Brothers sandwiches.

Oct. 14, 2012, Raiders at Atlanta: Playing their most complete game under rookie coach Dennis Allen, the Raiders were tied at 13-13 and driving for a potential winning field goal when Carson Palmer threw a 79-yard pick-six to Asante Samuel. Palmer responded by driving Oakland 80 yards for a game-tying touchdown. Alas, Atlanta kicked a 55-yard field goal with one second to play for the win.

So what should be expected out of Sunday’s game at the O.co Coliseum? The Raiders have won the last two meetings in Oakland -- 34-31 last season and 20-13 in 2006 -- and the last time the Steelers won in the East Bay was in 1995.

The Raiders’ main goal in their weekend break was getting healthy, while getting revived.

“I think we had a good plan in the bye,” Allen said. “I think we got some guys freshened up a little bit. Now the key is, we’ve got to focus in on the preparation. We’ve got to do the things that are necessary to go out and play well on Sunday.”

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