So it begins, Raiders on Monday Night
The entire off season has been leading up to Monday night. New head coach and staff, new general manager, and even a new owner have put many Oakland Raiders fans into a dither. Some are very hopeful of what is to come this season even with all the change that has surrounded the organization. While others are prepping for the worst because of all the change. But the truth lies somewhere in between those two view points for the Oakland Raiders this season.
First let’s look at the offense and for all intents and purposes the one issue on the team that might not be a problem this season at least on paper that is. Yes, you have Darren McFadden leading the way as the All World running back for the Raiders but then you get the obligatory “If Healthy” tag since McFadden has missed chunks of Raiders seasons over his last 4 years with the team. Ultimately, McFadden is only one part of the offensive puzzle when it comes to the Raiders.
Carson Palmer will have to be the cohesive glue that makes this offense go especially in the new Greg Knapp System. Palmer will be asked to do a lot for this years team and I just hope that he is up for the challenge because of the King’s ransom that was given up for him under old Raiders head coach Hue Jackson. Yes, the trade has been made and really there is nothing that the Raiders or fans can do about it. Unless we somehow get a hold of the technology from “Looper” and can somehow take out Jackson before the trade went down but alas it’s just a movie. At this point, we just have to move forward from it and hope for Palmer’s sake that a full pre-season camp has knocked all of the USC tailgating rust off. Look I’m not asking for him to become the next Tom Brady, I’m just looking for him to be efficient and to limit INT’s and turnovers. Sure Palmer, will have to adjust to the new offense but I’m hoping that Knapp is able to build the offense around Palmer in order to take some of the pressure off of Palmer needing to be super mobile. Palmer is the classic pocket passer and if he can’t adjust his game at 33 to move around with the pocket in this offense, it is going to be a long season for everyone involved.
Then we have the defense which is laden with question marks like a failed Riddler’s costume. First, can Allen have the same impact on the defense that he had in Denver without players like Elvis Dumervil, Champ Bailey, and Von Miller at his disposal? The next big question mark is who will lead the line backing core for the Raiders and will Rolando McClain ever live up to his potential? Finally with so many young and inexperienced DB’s on the defensive side for the Raiders, the pressure will fall on veterans like Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer to pick up the slack but do they have enough left in the tank to do so?
These are the main questions that I have of the Raiders first team defense and that’s not even bringing into account the penalty situation and if the Raiders front seven can hold up over the duration of the season. I expect a lot out of Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly who will anchor the defense in the middle but the two players that I am hoping will have big years will be Matt Shaughnessy and Lamarr Houston. Shaughnessy is coming off of shoulder surgery after an injury in the 3rd game of last season knocked him out for its entirety. Team him with Houston, who is in his third year, and I think the Raiders will have a surprising push from the defensive end position.
If the Raiders defensive front 4 can provide a solid push and harass the quaterback, it will do a lot to take pressure off of the secondary to have to cover for prolonged periods of time and allow play makers like Tyvon Branch and Michael Huff to make plays and create turnovers. Hopefully this will be the philosophy that Dennis Allen and new Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver bring to Oakland. Then again as along as the defense is in the top 15 of Defenses this season, I will be extremely happy. I am very easy to please.
I figure the Raiders can go 10-6 this season and before you get out the pitch forks and kool aid mix, hear me out. First off, the Raiders will not be as bad as everyone thinks and I think that the AFC West is ripe for the taking. Even though, everyone’s early season pick is either the Chiefs or Broncos to take the division both of those teams will suffer the same fate as every other pre-season darling. They will both perform way below expectations which will be great for the Raiders. Sorry for the fact that I don’t believe at all in Romeo Crennel and the fact that Peyton Manning’s Frankenstein neck will stay together for a full season. Then you have the Chargers who have already penciled in a 6 game losing streak as we speak and will once again resign Norv Turner for another year even though every single piece of information tells that team not to. Thank you San Diego for keeping it classy and keeping a head coach well past his expiration date.
So sure, go ahead and say that I’m a homer but when the Raiders end up 10-6 and wrap up the division just remember you heard it hear first. Plus, I think the Raiders are going to take on some of the A’s “Screw the World because everyone is against us and thought we would suck except for Frank Gomez” attitude and win in spite of what everyone thinks.
Let’s Go RAAAAIIIDERS!!
Monday Night Score:
Raiders 27 – Chargers 20
Share This Article
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.