Jim Henderson: Raiders of the Lost Art

You look at the results around the NFL Sunday and maybe it wasn't so much a case of the cream rising to the top as it was the sediment falling to the bottom.

Some of the league's worst teams threw a scare into their opponents before succumbing again.

But the Oakland Raiders couldn't even manage to say "boo" to the Saints before Oakland's fans were saying "boo" to them during a second-half exodus from O.co Mausoleum... err, Coliseum.

When it comes to that franchise's historic reputation for physical intimidation and quick-striking, downfield firepower, these are the "Raiders of the Lost Art."

So toothless are this bunch that they've made the black hole about as frightening as Mr. Rogers neighborhood.

For the past decade the Raider quarterbacks have been an endless parade of has-been's and never-were's.  Carson Palmer looks to be the latest in a long line to pass through the turnstile.  He spent much of the afternoon Sunday performing with all the dynamism and alacrity of a bank auditor.

If the Raider fans did choose to return to their seats after half time, they had barely warmed them when the Raiders quickly showed that they hadn't lost their knack for doing what they do best.

One play after a 75-yard return of the second half kick-off by Travaris Cadet, Mark Ingram scampered into the end zone from 27 yards out.

A one-play, 17-second drive made it 28-7 Saints, with nearly a half to play.  The Saints would out-score the Raiders 14-3 in the period, adding to the Raiders' third quarter ineptitude in which they have now been out-scored 123 to 34.

As if on cue, hundreds of seagulls arrived to pick over a second half that featured more garbage time than the weekly schedule at River Birch landfill.

As different as Oakland is from their cross-bay neighbor San Francisco is as different as their football teams are from each other at the moment.

Smiles must be wiped from the countenance of the Who Dat nation after Sunday's laugher.  The 49er's are about to arrive.  And game-faces must be restored and firmly in place when they do.