It seems that this time of year is a time of hope for all 31 teams that aren't the reigning Superbowl champs. Fans all over the country are thinking that this year's off-season moves and one extra season of experience for the players and everything else, is going to come together to result in a spectacular season.
This is particularly true for the fans of those NFL teams that haven't been doing so well. And since 2003, few, if any teams in the NFL have been as straight-out-bad as the Raiders.
Just last year for instance, the Raiders' offense was 31st in points, and 31st in yards. The saddest part: the Raiders' offense showed tremendous improvement last season.
Unfortunately, defense was the Raider's strength last season. Why is that unfortunate? Their defense was ranked 23rd in points, and 26th in yards. It is unfortunate when your strong point is only 6 spots away from being dead last.
So naturally, Raiders fans are just chalk-full of hope for the upcoming season. Unfortunately* that hope is ill-advised. Following are a list of reasons why.
*The use of the word "unfortunate" was pervasive on this page; few other words are as apt in describing the Raiders over the last 7 years.
It is not good when your team's owner gets significant positive press simply for NOT screwing up the team. For the first time in many years, Davis stepped back long enough for people who are more qualified to make some relatively sound football decisions for the Raiders.
However, he is still Al Davis (i.e. The Crypt Keeper), and it is only a matter of time before he does something to prove it (like fire his young promising coach for insisting Jamarcus "Hambone" Russel wasn't cut out to start in the NFL (i.e. Lane Kiffin)).
This is your big solution at Head Coach? A glorified assistant that was initially hired promoted on an interim basis; a stop-gap solution that was just left in place.
The only thing he will ever do that is noteworthy is knock out a few more Raiders assistant coaches.
Jason Campbell wasn't the answer in Washington. That's why long time great offensive HC Mike Shannahan Shipped him out cheap as soon as he got the reigns to the Redskins.
And Campbell is supposed to be the savior for the Raiders. Finally you unleashed your 100 million dollar waste of a QB, and you're wonderful solution was a guy that couldn't cut it on a 4-12 team. That's right, your "upgrade" at QB was a weak spot on another losing team.
So you traded your lazy, yet amazingly talented QB for a harder-working, yet far less talented QB. You got a different QB with a similar win percentage on a similar team.
Sorry, but this guy will probably beat you twice.
The Chargers are the cream of the AFC West (as a Bronco fan it pains me to write this). They are likely to be just as tough to beat this year as they were last year, though I suspect they will do no better than 11-5 this year.
These guys will probably beat you twice, too.
They had one of the better rushing attacks in the league last season, and with the addition of Dexter McCluster, they should be even more dangerous.
These guys will beat you twice as well. That's right, the Raiders will get swept by their entire division.
The media would have us think the Broncos took a step back this offseason. However, they have every single position better except for WR, and their receiving corps is still better than the majority of the teams in the league.