This year things are finally looking up for the Raiders. This year there may even be reason to watch the silver and black, even if you aren't a fan or have a Raider on your fantasy team. Here are my top ten reasons why the Raiders will be the most exciting team to watch.
10. The Haters
Yes Raiders Hating is like always running rampant, there may even be just as many haters as fans. Examples include Mel Kiper, Chris Carter, Chris Mortenson well you get the picture basically all of NFL Network BSPN and anyone who buys into the garbage they preach.
Just think how great it will be when all these people are forced to eat their own words.
9. Celebration Time
I remember when I played football one point the coaches always stressed (especially to freshmen and non-skill positions) was when you reach the end-zone act like you've been there before.
Don't be surprised if a few players, namely Johnnie Lee Higgins, act like they've forgotten what the endzone is and once one player starts celebrating that energy is often contagious. Also don't be surprised if you see Janokowski kicking point afters from 15 yards back.
8. The Fans
Raiders fans are some of the best and arguably most passionate fans in sports and we know how to show our colors. Whether it be silver and black war paint, masks, team gear whatever it always looks like Halloween if the Raiders are playing in Oakland.
7. The Cannon
JaMarcus Russell has quite possibly the strongest arm in all of football, though I'm sure Jay Cutler would protest. Give him some protection and some time to further develop his accuracy and confidence and he may be the next John Elway.
6. Raider Speed
We're not just talking regular speed but Raider speed I mean sub 4.3 speed, game breaking speed and the Raiders have plenty of it to go around: Justin Miller, Darren Macfadden, Tyvon Branch, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Darius Heyward-Bey, and maybe a few others.
5. Potential to break a record
I'm talking about Sebastion Janokowskis monster leg. He is hands down the strongest legged kicker in the NFL and is often seen kicking 70 yarders for warmups. Against the Jets in overtime he nailed a 56 yarder with plenty of room to spare, it had the distance to have been made from the 63 yard record mark.
4. The Backfield
The Raiders have one of the most talented backfields around with halfbacks Justin Fargas (who I believe has the heart and ability to keep the starting job), speedster Darren Macfadden and the big bruiser in Michael Bush.
And the talent doesn't end there at FB (hopefully returning to near his rookie form after knee surgery preseason last year) Oren O'neil and new additions FB Lorenzo Neal and FB/HB Gary Russell.
3. Outstanding special teams
One of the most impressive special teams squads around. The Best punter Shane Lechlar with ridiculous hangtime and distance on his kicks. Seabass with his monster leg, Justin Miller returning kicks and Johnnie lee higgins returning punts.
2. The Big Hits
Namely from the likes of Michael Mitchell and Lorenzo Neal. Maybe we will even see Frantz Joseph and the linebackers mix it up too.
1. The Return To glory
Yes, I said it; this is the year that marks the beginning of the Raiders' return to greatness.