Predictions As Raiders Prep for Opener

A.J. DeMelloCorrespondent ISeptember 8, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 22: Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers passes against Greg Ellis #99 of the Oakland Raiders during a preseason game on August 22, 2009 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

In less than a week, the Raiders will host their AFC West rival the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football in Oakland. At which point, we will get an idea of how this team has changed since last year and if the Raiders have made any vast improvements.

For half of the past decade, the biggest weakness for the Raiders has been the run defense, so many had hoped the Raiders would finally add an experienced vet through free agency along the lines of a Grady Jackson or Rod Colemen (both of whom are former Raiders). But, no such acquisitions came to pass.

However, while no moves were made to sign a free agent, the Raiders did finally make a move with Richard Seymour now coming aboard via trade with New England. With Greg Ellis on one side and Seymour on the other, offenses will have to account for two solid football players sealing off the edge. That should improve the run defense, especially since undersized defensive end Trevor Scott was projected as the Raiders opening day starter...

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