In case anyone got spoiled by last week’s Saints-Falcons Thursday nighter, the NFL is following that up with a bracing shot of unwatchability with a showdown of AFC West rivals of dramatically different skill level. So yays to come if you like Raiders fans looking depressed and Peyton Manning being gushed over. Otherwise, not much to see here.

While Pey-Pey appears primed to have a field day against Oakland’s 25th ranked pass defense, at least the Raiders will get Darren McFadden in the lineup for the first time since Week 9. Sure, that won’t do a whole lot for their wretched secondary, but it does take some pressure off Carson Palmer, who immediately distributes no fewer than four interceptions as soon as there is any expectation of him doing anything useful. Also worth noting that the Raiders are 3-5 this year with McFadden playing and 0-4 without him. So Run-DMC doesn’t necessarily make the Raiders a good team, but they are certainly less awful with him around.

While Raiders owner Bucky Larson Mark Davis had been vocal in recent weeks about head coach Dennis Allen’s perceived lack of emotion and intensity, there shouldn’t be lack of emotion given Allen’s father just died two days ago. Am I saying that Mark Davis is responsible for the death of his coach’s father in an effort to light a fire under him? No, but that’s something Al Davis totally would have done.

Programming note: Some readers have mentioned having issues unlocking the achievement badges associated with participating in the live blogs. I consulted with our tech guy earlier this week. He said today that he identified and corrected the error. So apologies if you didn’t get the badges you were supposed to have gotten before. Everything should be running as intended now.