Yeah, I know what many people will think after reading the title. "The Raiders? This guy must be crazy." Even some Raiders fans may think that this may be too strong of a statement. But if you look at the AFC West, it would be hard to dismiss the Raiders as a team that could win the division.
Again, I know people will bring up the transition that the organization has gone through—new general manager, new head coach, new defensive coordinator, practically new everything—but in this case, I don't think it is going to matter.
Let me remind you that the Raiders weren't expected to do much last year with new, 1st time head coach Hue Jackson, when they ended up in 1st place during the 1st half of the season. Then they lost 4 of their last 5 games.
When you factor in the fact that they lost their starting quarterback Jason Campbell, starting running back and at the time, the NFL's leading rusher Darren McFadden along with the majority of their starting receiving corps (Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore), the Raiders still ended up tied with the Chargers and the Broncos with an 8-8 record in the AFC.
If you are still wondering why I think they could win the AFC West in the 2012 season, continue reading. Those of you who already understand where I'm coming from and where I'm going, well... keep reading as well!