The Raiders last year:
Last year, the Raiders were not the greatest. They finished 5-11 and 3rd in the division. The Raiders were 29th in total offense and 27th in total defense. However, despite their defense ranked 27th, the defense was actually not half bad. They were 10th in least passing yds allowed per game. The big problem for the Raiders on defense was defending the run. They were giving up 159.7yds rushing per game. That was 31st in the league in 2008. The Raiders had a problem at quarterback last season as well. Their quarterback, Jamarcus Russell was not that good last year. He did throw for over 2000yds, but he was only completing 53% of his throws and he had a quarterback rating of 77.1 last year. Their rookie running back, Darren McFadden played decent last year for a rookie, but not what the Raiders expected of him. He only had 499yds rushing last season. He wasn't a starter, but the Raiders expect more for him.
The Raiders in the offseason:
The Raiders picked up a free agent quarterback, Jeff Garcia in the offseason. Garcia played 12 games with the Bucs last season. He had some injuries to deal with so he had to sit out 4 games. Garcia threw for over 2500yds and threw 12Tds. He also completed 64% of his passes with the Bucs and had a quarterback rating of 90.2. The Raiders really needed a big wide receiver . Their quarterback, Jamarcus Russel doesn't really have a big weapon at wide receiver position. He has some wide receivers that are tall, but not all of them use their size well enough to be productive. The Raiders fixed that problem in the 2009 NFL Draft. They picked Darrius Heyward-Bey, wide receiver from Maryland with the 7th pick in the 1st round. This wide receiver could really be a huge weapon for the Raiders. The Raiders also drafted some big defensive players as well to help them improve their rush defense like, Michael Mitchell safety, Slade Norris outside linebacker, and Stryker Sulak defensive end. They added some offensive linemen in the offseason as well.
Raiders in the preseason:
The Raiders played very well in their first preseason game of the season. They defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 31-10. Jamarcus Russell played great. He was 6 for 9 with 50yds passing. He also had 18 yds rushing as well. Russell is the biggest key for the Radiers. If Russell succeeds, then so will the entire Raiders team. The veteran quarterback Jeff Garcia will challenge him at that position to try to steal his job from him. I beleive Russell will have the season he had last year. He just doesn't have the experience that the other elite quarterbacks have. Once he gets the experience, then Russell can succeed.
The Raiders 2009 season prediction:
The Raiders can finish between anywhere from 5 to 8 wins this year depending on the play of jamarcus russell. He didn't show any sort of spectacular play last year, but maybe this year will be different for the raiders. Plus the raider have a great young talented running back, darren mcfadden. He is looking great in training camp and could have a big year. Hopefully for raiders , this season will be different.