Oakland Raiders: Preview and Prediction
The Oak land Raiders are comming off of a 5-11 season? Can they do better this year? Preview and Predictions to follow.
Last Years Record 5-11
Wins: Chiefs, Eagles, Bengals, Steelers, Broncos
Losses: Chargers (2x), Broncos, Texans, Giants, Jets, Chiefs, Cowboys, Redskins, Browns, Ravens
CB, California, Drafted #31, Eight years
Asomugha is one of the top corners in the league and has been one of the only bright spots on the Raiders over the past few years. He may not put up the numbers, (only 3 interceptions in the last 3 years) but that is mainly because he is never thrown at.
DE, Georgia, Drafted #6, 10 years
The Raiders acquired Seymour for a first round pick last year. At 6’6” 310 lbs. Seymour has the size to play defensive tackle and the quickness to play end, so obviously he is a hard guy to block. Seymour is one of those players that makes everyone around him better, he draws a lot of double teams and does a great job of getting in QB faces and in their passing lanes. For the Raiders to have a winning season, they are going to need Seymour to have a big year.
Biggest Offseason Addition
QB, Auburn, drafted #25, six years
You would have to go back to 2005, with QB Kerry Collins under center, to remember the last time the Raiders had a reliable QB. After giving up on former first overall pick JaMarcus Russell, the Raiders will now hope Jason Campbell can be the answer. Campbell has showed improvement every year as a pro, but was not the right fit in Washington. The Raiders will see if he can be the right fit for them.
Biggest Offseason loss
DE, North Carolina, Drafted #6, twelve years
Ellis was released to free up some cap room for the Raiders. His veteran presence and team leading 7 sacks will be missed. Ellis was bothered by knee injuries during the second half of the year but could have helped out this year.
Biggest Draft Steal
OT, Maryland, Drafted #106, Rookie
Campbell has all the physical attributes that you look for in a tackle, he is 6’6” 314 lbs, very strong, and a great athlete for his size. He has all the physical talents but needs to get better with fundamentals and technique.
Biggest Draft Mistake
Kirk Morrison Trade
Drafting Rolando McClain 8th overall in the draft seemed a bit odd at first because they had MLB Kirk Morrison. Morrison had started every game but one for the last five years for the Raiders, and had 115+ tackles every year. The Raiders promptly traded away Morrison for a 4th round pick. It does not make a lot of sense to me that you trade away the leader of your defense and a guy that is still young for only a 4th rounder. Plus, both Morrison and McClain are versatile enough to play outside linebacker, a position filled with question marks right now for the Raiders.
Regardless of what the Raiders did this off-season, they were not going to be able to become a playoff team; there are just too many holes on their team. I really like Rolando McClain but do not agree with trading away Morrison. Getting Campbell was a good pick up and they did a good job in the later rounds of the drafting guys with a lot of upside.
RB, Arkansas, Drafted #4, three years
Coming out of college McFadden was a guy that had similar talents as Adrian Peterson. Big, strong, fast and could make people miss in the open. Yet, so far he has disappointed. For the last two years injuries have killed him. If he has one full healthy year, McFadden could be a huge playmaker for the Raiders.
Name You Should Know
RB, Louisville, Drafted #100, three years
Bush probably would have been drafted top 15, but broke his leg in his first game of his senior year. Bush was able to make a comeback and has been a very good back for the Raiders. In his two years playing he has only gotten 218 carries but has averaged 4.6 yards.
TE, Arizona St., Drafted #38, four years
Miller receptions and yards have improved every year as a pro; he had 66 receptions and 805 yards last year. Miller has yet to have any stability at the QB position while with the Raiders, and now with Campbell as the starter Miller may be able to have a break out year.
There are so many question marks on the Raiders defense: How will Jason Campbell do? Who will he throw to other than Zach Miller? Can McFadden stay healthy? Can the O-line protect the QB (let up 49 sacks last year)?
The Raiders defense seems to also be filled with holes except at cornerback and the defensive tackle spot. The rest of their defense is either inexperienced or unproven.
Special Teams Outlook
Johnnie Lee Higgins has the ability to be a playmaker in special teams like he was in 2008, and they also have Speedster Yamon Figurs, and rookie Jacoby Ford. The kicking game is probably the most stable thing the Raiders have. Sebastian Janikowski has one of the best legs in the NFL and Shane Lechler is paid a ridiculous amount of money for a punter but may be worth it.
Projected 2010 Record
When you look at the Raiders roster there simply is not a handful of guys that you know that you can rely on to have good years. There team is a model of inconsistency. Every game they won last year was by 4 points or less, they were lucky to go 5-11. For them to have a great year, a lot of players would have to have breakout years, and that is very unlikely.