Dear Oakland Raiders Fans, Don't Get Your Hopes Up
I read your articles and I wonder what it is that makes you think the Oakland Raiders will be so good this season. If anything, they will be lucky to do better than they did last season.
The Raiders ranked 31st in the NFL last season in total offense with 4,258 yards.
They were 29th in the league in passing last year.
Their leading receiver was tight end Zach Miller, whose 805 receiving yards made him the eighth most productive tight end in the league. When you factor in wide receivers, he ranked 37th in the league in yards.
The No. 1 receiver on the Raiders depth chart, Darrius Heyward-Bey, had nine receptions for 124 yards in the 11 games he played in last season.
The wide receiver with the most yards for the Raiders last year, Louis Murphy, only had 521 receiving yards. That is fewer receiving yards than Ravens running back Ray Rice had, and only 18 more than Tennessee's running back Chris Johnson.
The Raiders' 1,701 rushing yards ranked 21st in the NFL.
Raiders leading rusher Michael Bush, who is currently listed as the second running back on the Raiders' depth chart, ran for a whopping 589 yards last season—meaning a few teams had two running backs with more yards than Bush.
Darren McFadden rushed for 357 yards and one touchdown in 12 games, and the Raiders expect him to be the team's leading rusher next season?
The Raiders did improve at the quarterback position with the acquisition of Jason Campbell, but after JaMarcus Russell, anyone is an upgrade.
Don't expect typical Jason Campbell numbers next season, Raider fans. The Redskins had something in the receiving corps that helped Campbell be successful that the Raiders lack—talent.
The Raiders brought in an offensive coordinator in Hue Jackson, who has failed to hold an offensive coordinator job for more than a season in his two previous attempts.
Now to the defense.
After giving up 5,791 total yards, the Raiders ranked 26th in the NFL in total defense.
The Raiders had the 29th-ranked rush defense in the NFL, giving up 2,488 yards on the ground.
The run defense will see some improvement with the addition of veteran defensive tackle John Henderson and rookie linebacker Rolando McClain, but two players can only do so much.
Pass defense is the only place where the Raiders should feel comfortable.
Led by one of the best corners in the game in Nnamdi Asomugha, the Raiders gave up only 3,303 yards in the air. That was the seventh-best in the NFL.
The Raiders got a good amount of talent in the draft with Rolando McClain, Lamarr Houston, and Jared Veldeheer, but as rookies, they will have a limited impact this season.
In an AFC West division that will likely see San Diego and Denver battling for the crown, most people have the Raiders finishing third, even fourth in the division, and not coming anywhere close to a postseason birth.
Now I ask: Why, Raider fans, are you so convinced that the Raiders will be the team you are expecting them to be this season?
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