Oakland Raiders 2010 Predictions —April Edition
While it's only April, the furor and excitement of the Schedule Release Party and the NFL Draft have got to have Oakland fans chomping at the bit to bring their Raiders against the NFL's best.
I believe that this Raiders teams shows more promise than any that have come before since Rich Gannon retired.
Let's hope that come December we're still in the thick of it...
Week One: At Tennessee
The 2010 season begins with the Raiders traveling to visit the Titans on September the 12th.
Tennessee is a much improved team, with the resurgence of Vince Young, the dominance of Chris Johnson, and new stars like Kenny Britt.
The Raiders have their own new studs—and it looks like the pair of Schilens and Murphy is going to be the most underrated duo in the NFL.
It all hinges on new QB Jason Campbell and how quickly he learns yet another new system in his career.
Prediction: The Raiders will barely contain Chris Johnson, but the Raiders defense will keep it low scoring and close. I'm wagering the Titans will be overconfident against the Raiders, which will hurt them.
I think Janikowski gives us the edge, able to his from nearly any distance.
Field goals makes the difference, as that Raiders win 20-14.
2010 Record: 1-0
Week Two: St. Louis Rams
Riding high on their week one win, the Raiders seem poised to run roughshod over the over-matched Rams.
I'm predicting Sam Bradford will be starting, however, he's going to be sorely tested by Nnamdi and Seymour, etc.
Prediction: It will be interesting to see Howie Long's son playing against his old team, and I'm sure we'll see plenty of Howie in between plays, but this one is going to be all Raiders, 27-6.
2010 Record: 2-0
Week Three: At Arizona
Week Three provides a real treat for NFL fans as the Raiders head south to face the Cardinals.
I'm sure Raiders fans remember the heat they took by not drafting Matt Leinart, and I'm sure he does too.
Finally able to say he's "The Man", Matt is surely hoping that he'll make the Raiders pay.
Prediction: The highlight of this game might prove to be Asomugha vs Fitzgerald, though I'm curious to see how well the Raiders cover Doucet, who will be mentioned for the Pro Bowl this year, I'm sure.
I think the difference will be the run game, which both sides should excel at this week.
Sadly, I don't think the Raiders are ready for a shootout, even though I predict the Cardinals' passing attack will only be average today.
The Raiders lose one they shouldn't, 35-31.
2010 Record: 2-1
Week Four: Houston Texans
Week Four puts the Raiders D to the test against one of the hottest passing teams of 2009.
Andre Johnson is among the best receivers in the NFL right now, and they have a new rookie running back that have people predicting rushing title.
The Raiders interior will regain some of it's pride after getting gashed by the Cardinals a week ago, but the key will be the offensive line hold off Mario Williams and crew.
Prediction: The Texans are here, folks, and I predict a 10-6 record for them with the possibility of a wild card. They're going to be too much for the Raiders this weekend, 21-17.
2010 Record: 2-2
Week Five: San Diego Chargers
Week Five begins the first of the Raiders AFC West games as the Chargers come to town.
I truly believe that the Chargers are going to take a tumble this year, as they have had to try to fulfill high expectations year in and year out.
Prediction: This one ends up easier than the experts would think, and rumors of a head coaching vacancy in San Diego start... Oakland wins this one in a laugher, 31-7.
2010 Record: 3-2
Week Six: At San Francisco
Week Six. Battle of the Bay. Regular Season—when it matters.
Mike Singletary has turned the 49ers into a force the NFL will have to respect in 2010.
The NFC West title is theirs for the taking, and the Raiders will be taken to the limit against their closest rival.
Crabtree is definitely going to want to show up Hayward-Bey, though Asomugha is going to make it a tough day for the young phenom.
Prediction: The 49ers are back. Even though Alex Smith may not have everyone's vote yet, they will, and he'll do enough with Vernon Davis and Gore and Crabtree that the Raiders won't have an answer.
This one's going to be a heartbreaker, 28-10.
2010 Record: 3-3
Week Seven: At Denver
Week Seven has Oakland headed towards one of their most difficult rivals, as they go into "Mile High" to face the Broncos.
I think we'll be seeing Brady Quinn in this one, as Orton is merely minding the fort till Quinn takes over and while Tebow learns.
The story here is Denver's defense and two of the NFL's best corners locked up with some of the most exciting young receivers no one's talking about.
Predicion: This game is going to be so close, I can't definitively lean one way or the other.
I'm giving the edge to the home team in this one. 21-10.
2010 Record: 3-4
Week Eight: Seattle Seahawks
The midway point of the season has old foes meeting once again as the Seahawks come to Oakland, a place that usually produced many sweet Oakland memories. Pete Carroll is rebuilding the Seahawks, although I think they are one year from the playoffs.
Prediction: The Seahawks are game, but the Hawks have no chance in the Black Hole. 17-10 Raiders.
2010 Record: 4-4
Week Nine: Kansas City Chiefs
Another hated foe at home, another Raiders win.
The Chiefs are a mess, and while they had arguably one of the best drafts, it's going to a little while before it translates to wins.
Prediction: In time, this is going to go back to being a fierce rivalry, but in 2010, it's going to be all Oakland. I think it's going to be huge 38-13.
Look for a QB change in KC after this one.
2010 Record: 5-4
Week 10: BYE WEEK!!!
The Raiders get a good bye at week 10.
Time to fine tune the machine and gear up for a run at the AFC West.
5-4 isn't bad, though Coach Cable is surely thinking the Raiders could be 7-2 at this point.
Schilens and Murphy aren't going to overlooked much at this point, but the Raiders run game is going to be near the bottom of the league at this point—a fact that will come back to haunt them later on.
Look for the Raiders to make a push at that position next year, as Michael Bush isn't going to be able to stay healthy.
Fargas should be on speed dial this bye week, if he isn't too angry at the Raiders to come back and help.
I pray he comes back.
Week 11: At Pittsburgh
This is it, The Big One. Stabler, Harris, Bradshaw, Tatum, and blood.
While the fury of the AFC teams that ruled the 70s has diminished, I think this one is going to remind people of those legendary games of yesteryear.
Al Davis can't let go of the past, people say, but who can forget or forgive the Immaculate Reception?
A sin against the Raiders they try to exact revenge for every chance they get.
Prediction: This game is going to be another close one, but I think the Raiders have the edge here, as the Steelers will be reeling and trying to recover after six weeks without Big Ben.
While I think they'll go 3-3 over that time, I think there are changes on the horizon in Pittsburgh. The Raiders earn this one, 28-27.
2010 Record: 6-4
Week 12: Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins and Raiders had some battles over the years, and the Dolphins were maybe the third best team of the glory years of the AFC; the 70s.
The arrival of Dan Marino changed the complexion of this series.
Since his retirement, though, it seems the Dolphins are trying to return to their elite running roots.
The Raiders run defense will be improved this year, but the arrival of Brandon Marshall and the wildcat are going to be tough to handle.
Prediction: The Dolphins and Raiders are both once-proud NFL franchises trying to reclaim past glory.
Chad Henne isn't Marino, but then again, Marino never had a receiver like Marshall, head-case or not.
Miami is good, but probably not good enough. 27-17, the Raiders win.
2010 Record: 7-4
Week 13: At San Diego
Week Thirteen is the first divisional rematch for the Raiders.
San Diego is still fading, but not going down without a fight.
Rivers is a top quarterback, and he'll remind the Raiders of this fact as this game is going to be Gates and Sproles all day.
Campbell's due for a meltdown as well, and I think this one is going to be ugly.
Prediction: I think the Chargers are going to be fired up and ready for this one, as they try to even their series with the Raiders and salvage their season.
Chargers run away with this one 30-10. Chargers move their record into a tie with Oakland for first in the division at 7-5.
2010 Record: 7-5
Week 14: At Jacksonille
The Raiders and Jaguars don't have a long history, and unfortunately the Raiders are 1-3 vs the Jags so far.
These Jaguars aren't those Jaguars, however, and even though they won't say it, the Jags are rebuilding right now.
They will be at the bottom of their division by now, and Jack Del Rio will be listing his house on the internet come Monday.
He might not make it past this week with a job.
Prediction: The Raiders will have no trouble covering the Jaguars receivers, and while no one completely stops MJD, the Raiders will get enough of a lead that the Jags won't be able to lean on him at the end. A late-rally falls shorts as the Raiders take care of business, 27-20.
2010 Record: 8-5
Week 15: Denver Broncos
Oakland thankfully goes home to welcome the Broncos in a must-win game to keep pace with the Chargers.
Denver's ready, and their offense is surely firing on all cylinders now.
Brady Quinn is looking better and better with their top seven run game in full swing.
McFadden is also starting to tear it up finally, and if this one was in Denver with the snow, I'd lean that way — but it's in Oakland, and the Raiders ready for this one.
Prediction: The defenses are the story here, and this one is going to get ugly.
Look for double digit penalties by Oakland, but a win nonetheless — 24-20.
2010 Record: 9-5
Week 16: Indianapolis Colts
Week 16 is the one game the Raiders saw when the schedule came out where they hoped the Colts would be undefeated at this point.
Anything to not face Peyton Manning. However, I truly believe the Colts will still be playing for home field advantage, and possibly still trying to hold off the Texans (who I predict will be 10-6 this year.)
Oakland rarely faces a Hall of Fame quarterback, and this is a true test of a championship-caliber team.
Prediction: The Colts need this one, and they're going to take it.
The Raiders keep it tight, even have the lead at halftime, but won't be able to keep pace in this one. 31-17.
2010 Record: 9-6
Week 17: At Kansas City
This is it Raiders fans - week 17.
The Raiders are right there, a win puts them in tiebreaker situations with the Chargers for the division crown.
Even if they lose the tiebreaker, they might get in with the wildcard, but first they have to win this Sunday against Kansas City.
Prediction: The loss to the Colts hurts, but was half-expected.
They are going to take the fight to Kansas City and take it hard.
The Chiefs hang around long, but it's not enough. The Raiders take a huge early lead and keep it, 35-14.
2010 Record: 10-6.
2010 Postseason, is Oakland there?
I believe the Oakland Raiders are going to end the 2010 season 10-6.
They will win the AFC West title, narrowly escaping a fast-rising Chargers team.
I think, however, that the Raiders will have to host a playoff game during Wildcard Weekend.
They will face the Dolphins, who were 9-7 - while the AFC North winner Ravens (10-6) host the wildcard Texans. (also 10-6)
A win against Miami puts the Raiders against the Colts, though sadly I don't think they'll be able to pull it off.
However, no one will look at the 2010 season as a letdown for the Raiders, and 2011 looks even better.
Time will tell, and I'm sure when I see some of the moves as May and June roll around and things may change - but it's April, and that's how I see it for the Silver and Black.
Just win, baby!