WELCOME TO today's celebrity roast. Have we got a funny show lined up for you.
Instead of honoring just one of our beloved Raiders, we've got three on the marquee. You may know them as "The Chosen Ones" — quarterback JaMarcus Russell, running back Darren McFadden and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Round One draft picks, each of them. Yes, that's true. Go ahead, start your laughter.
Oh, these potential busts might get the last laugh before their careers are done. But we kid you not about how poorly they performed in the Raiders' 16-10 loss to the one-win-coming-in Kansas City Chiefs at a half-empty Oakland Coliseum.
The Chosen Ones are supposed to boost the Raiders' offense. Awesome, aren't they? It's not as if they're the last-ranked offense. They're 31st, ahead of at least the Cleveland Browns (pending that "Monday Night Football" outcome).
Let's start this roast with Russell. That's right, we're taking him No. 1 overall, just like the Raiders did in 2007. Baaahaaaahaaaa.
Russell got benched for the second time in two home games by coach Tom Cable. What's that? You're giggling at how Cable himself hasn't been benched — not by the NFL, Raiders czar Al Davis or the Napa County District Attorney. Baaahaaaahaaaa.
Cable — gainfully employed with a 2-7 record this year — waited until late in the third quarter to summon Bruce Gradkowski from the bullpen. Too many of Russell's pitches were in the dirt, high and outside, or hitting mascots in the Black Hole.
Too many also bounced off the hands of his intended receivers (eight drops at Cable's count, plus a couple others off defenders' hands).
Russell's 15 incompletions came in so many fashions, that strike-zone graphic on baseball telecasts would've been of help telling us where Russell's pitches sailed.
His final pitch count was 23. He completed eight for a measly 64 yards. Awesome.
Not so funny? Then you haven't heard the Chiefs' scouting report on him:
"He's been struggling and turning the ball over more than any other quarterback," safety Mike Brown said. "That's something we talked about, and he usually looks at one side of the field. He doesn't read the whole field. He's still a young quarterback. He has a lot of talent. He has a tremendous arm."
Ah yes, the golden gun. Say, did the Raiders ever get a permit for that weapon of mass dysfunction? HaHaHaHaHaHa.
Next to the stage is Heyward-Bey — aka "DHB," for "Dude's Hands Bad," "Drops Hella Balls" or "Davis' Hilarious Bust."
DHB sealed Sunday's loss when he acted more like a volleyball setter than a play-making wide receiver. He twice juggled a Gradkowski pass at the Chiefs' 9-yard line, batting it backward to Brown for a comeback-killing interception with 30 seconds left.
"That stinks. It shouldn't have come down to the end like that," Gradkowski said. "We had plays earlier in the game we should have made."
Yeah, like one by, ahem, Heyward-Bey in the second quarter. It was the play of the game. Call it a twisted, modern-day remake of "The Ghost To The Post." DHB played the role of a ghostlike receiver (five catches in eight previous starts) who ran a post pattern deep down field.
Russell's 52-yard pass hit Heyward-Bey right in the gut at the Chiefs' 5. This was the connection Davis dreamed of on draft days since his birth in 1929. But something went terribly wrong: Pass incomplete. Baaahaaaahaaaa.
Had it been caught, "it's a totally different game," Russell said.
DHB did make one catch, allegedly. A replay review upheld a wrong ruling on the field, that he made a 22-yard sideline catch at the Chiefs 26 on the final drive. He didn't break stride, didn't try the tiptoe tap and didn't get both feet in bounds. But the officials gave it to him.
So where did McFadden, the 2008 Chosen One, fit into all this dysfunction? Great question. Where was he?
Oh, there he was, taking direct snaps in the Raiders' "Wildhog" scheme. He did so on back-to-back plays on the Raiders' second series, resulting in a 3-yard run by him and a 2-yard trot by Johnnie Lee Higgins. Game breakers, those guys.
McFadden had four carries for 11 yards, and before you shrug that off as limited chances, he had a golden one in crunchtime. The Raiders faced second-and-one near midfield with one minute left. McFadden got the ball, and he didn't get that yard.
He had no gain. Such is the state of the Raiders' Chosen Ones. The offense isn't gaining any ground with those first-round draft picks. As a result, the Raiders are losing ground.