Oakland Raiders: 2010 Predictions
The Raiders have had an awesome offseason and are now very much a different team than they were last year.
With that said, Raider fans are very excited looking into the upcoming season.
Here are my 10 predictions for the Raiders in 2010.
Last year I made similar predictions and was correct on five out of 10.
The Raiders Will Make One More Significant Deal Before the Season Opener
Every year, it seems that Al Davis makes a big, yet questionable move:
Javon Walker, DeAngelo Hall, Randy Moss, Richard Seymour...the list is long.
If trading for a defender (Richard Seymour) without his knowledge or consent isn't questionable, then I don't know what is.
The Raiders will make one more (at least) semi-questionable move before the season starts.
Who knows what it could be, maybe a trade or signing an aging vet like Kevin Mawae or Terrell Owens?
The Oakland Raiders Will Sweep the Chiefs
Yes, I know the Chiefs are terrible, so this might not be that big of an accomplishment.
But games against division rivals are always fierce and can go either way.
This year the Raiders will win both games against the Chiefs as the Raiders running backs have their best games of the season.
Sebastian Janikowski to the Pro Bowl and the Record Books.
I made the exact same prediction last year, and though I feel Janikowski was snubbed in favor of Nate (the choker) Kaeding, I was wrong.
I also predicted Janikowski would kick a 63+ yard field goal for a place in the record book, and I was wrong again—he only kicked a 61-yarder.
This year I'm singing the same tune. Sebastian Janikowski will kick a 63+ yard field goal and make the Pro Bowl in 2010.
Zach Miller Will Not Make the Pro Bowl
Face it, the best players don't always make the Pro Bowl, and deserving players often get snubbed in favor of bigger names.
Next year, whether he deserves it or not, Zach Miller will not make the Pro Bowl.
He has to compete with Antonio Gates and Dallas Clark, both of whom can make the Pro Bowl over Miller based on name alone.
I predict a deserving Zach Miller will be snubbed from the Pro Bowl.
Micheal Bush Runs for 1000 Yards, McFadden Doesn't
A big debate in Raider Nation is who the better running back is, Darren McFadden or Micheal Bush?
For me, the answer is clear: hands down, Micheal Bush.
I predict one Raider running back will eclipse 1000 yards on the ground: Micheal Bush.
And for good measure, let's say 1,132 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Rolando McClain Leads the Raiders in Tackles
Rolando McClain is a rookie, so expecting him to lead the team in tackles may seem a little far-fetched.
But on second thought, over 90 percent of the time, the middle linebacker leads the team in tackles. So maybe this prediction isn't that far off.
Rolando McClain will lead the Raiders in tackles with, let's say, 134.
Breakout Player of the Year.... Stanford Routt
This is my boldest prediction of them all, and I already know what many of you are thinking.
Last year, Stanford Routt shut down the Eagles fleet-footed receivers playing outside in place of an injured Nnamdi Asomugha.
But while playing in the slot, he often struggled.
This year, Routt will find his way into the starting lineup and won't look back as he leads the Raiders defense in interceptions.
The Raiders New Defense Shocks the World
Last year, the Raiders defense struggled mightily, especially against the run. But they have done much to improve that.
This year, I predict the Raiders rank top 10 in passing defense, top 10 in sacks, and top 20 in rushing defense.
For reference, in 2009 the Raiders ranked seventh against the pass, 13th in sacks, and 29th against the run.
Thomas Howard Starts
Thomas Howard seems to be a forgotten and underestimated man among many Raider fans.
Last year, arguably, he was the best linebacker we had. And now out of nowhere, fans are calling for him to be replaced by someone who isn't even a natural linebacker and has less than a full season under his belt at the position.
I'm telling you that is not going to happen.
Thomas Howard will start at the weak outside linebacker spot Week One against the Titans.
The Raiders Finally End the Chargers Win Streak
Yes, in case you haven't heard, the Chargers currently hold the record for most consecutive wins over another team. That other team happens to be the Oakland Raiders, and the record stands strong at 13.
This year, the Raiders will finally end the streak, hopefully in their first matchup.