Since the trenches are going to lead our beloved Raiders to the AFC West crown, then expect our skill positions to lead us to our first playoff win since 2002.
For all the negative talk about Jamarcus, here is the retort. Last year, his first year as a starting NFL QB, had some bright moments, especially the last six games when he was actually solid. Compare his stats AND victories to Aikeman and Mannings and please just shut it! Add an offseason of work under quarterback guru Paul Hackett and he can only get better.
Enter a healthy McFadden; think week two last year before the injury along with a fully healed and proven beast named Michal Bush; think the two games he toted the rock regularly, and expect living hell for defensive fronts across the league. If Fargas is still there, he can do some pretty good work as evidenced by his resume.
Clearing the running lanes is Big O, Oren O’Neil, now that he’s healthy. He’s already cleared out Lorenzo and no has ever been able to do that! Remember our rushing attack with Big O clearing the way in 2007 when everyone and their grandmother knew we had to run the ball because we couldn’t pass for Jack!
We will not have that passing problem in 2009. Our “starters” to end the year, Schilens and Higgins, did a heck of a job when given the chance. Schilens is on the verge of stardom and Higgins is improved. We drafted two diamonds in the rough, Bey and Murphy. Bey and his Olympic speed will spread the field and run down Jamarcus’ missiles. Murphy has been very productive this preseason and comes from an outstanding Florida passing offense. The wild card in this group is Javon Walker – no stretch calling him a wild card! IF he is truly recovered and can return to pro bowl form, lets just put down TWO playoff wins.
Don’t even get me started about our tight ends! Zach Miller has been outstanding in his first two years with shoddy QB and OL play. But that shoddy play is a thing of the past as are AFC Pro Bowl teams without Zack! With Bey clearing out the field, expect Miller to shine brightly. My favorite for last – remember the name Brandon Myers. At Iowa last year, he ranked third on the team in receptions (34) and yards (441) and tied for team lead with four touchdown receptions on a running team. This kid will surpass Stewart, who has also improved over the last two years so no reflection there. Brandon will be our surprise red zone scoring machine.
Lastly, with the experience of playing together for a full season and the maturation of our young players (every one mentioned above), expect the Raiders to peak in time for the playoffs. Move out of our way San Diego – you are victim number one in our way to the AFC west crown and at least one playoff win.