Last season, millions of NFL fans saw the emergence of Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden, WR Jacoby Ford, LB Rolando McClain, DL Tommy Kelly, DL Kamerion Wimbley, SS Mike Mitchell and QB Jason Campbell.
This was just a small group of talented Silver and Black players that performed well enough to get starter positions and punish opponents in 2010. Oakland's newest roster has the talent to take the Silver and Black to a Super Bowl in 2011.
How so? Well there was the historic beating of Denver 59-14, there's the perfect 6-0 record against the AFC West, and as of late is the addition of an elite coaching staff. Yes, Rod Woodson is an elite coach!
The Oakland Raiders had a legitimate shot at taking the AFC West to the playoffs but a few mistakes during the 2010 season cost the Raiders another Super Bowl trip. The Oakland Raiders were able to defeat their AFC West rivals with a perfect 6-0 but fell short of stopping both Jacksonville Jaguars and the Arizona Cardinals.
The dominance over the AFC West was a nice accomplishment for the Oakland Raiders. The dual wins over the San Diego Chargers was the last hump for the Silver and Black.
The San Diego Chargers had thrived when they used RB Ladanian Tomlinson. LT was a great RB, unfortunately had some big games against the Raiders, he exposed weaknesses and was even able to throw TDs on the Silver and Black. It was not pretty at all but those days are over. The San Diego Chargers are no where near to being the good team they used to be.
The Oakland Raiders were definitely in a slump, they had actually hit rock bottom to become the worst team in the AFC West. They could not stop the run nor could they score in the red zone.
The Oakland Raiders then signed the arm and spirit of a young quarterback named JaMarcus Russell in the hopes he would perform as he did at LSU. Yet,with no drive or heart Russell dragged to Raiders down into an abyss. Luckily, the Raiders released the cancer and Jason Campbell was signed.
But once a team like the Oakland Raiders hits bottom, there is only one way to go. Yes Raider Nation it is up. Honestly, how much more longer could the Oakland Raiders stay down when the team was legendary? It seemed pretty obvious that the team was lacking a consistent quarterback. QB Jason Campbell was that man.
The success of the Oakland Raiders now rested on the new players to protect the legendary tradition of being Raiders. That tradition is the be the best team in the NFL. To play with a "Commitment to Excellence." The Oakland Raiders were the best in the AFC West last season and have the record to prove it, 6-0. The next step for the Raiders is to take the playoffs and then get another Superbowl win.
The Oakland Raiders began drafting quality players, i.e Rolando McClain, Jacoby Ford, Darren McFadden and then the trade for Richard Seymour was huge. These moves were all pivotal in the teams rise to glory. The defense has made huge strides and the run game against the Raiders is almost impossible.
Adding quality players like the aforementioned has helped return the Oakland Raiders to competition. this is not the same team that gets defeated by the run. The Oakland Raiders have a superb secondary and the front line is improving.
Last season the Oakland Raider cold have easily been the AFC West representatives in the playoffs as they decimated the Kansas City Chiefs prior to their playoff appearance.
The Kansas City Chiefs crumbled in their very first week. The San Diego Chargers also choked in the playoffs when they had a chance at representing the AFC West prior.But what else is new? Only the Silver and Black has the determination to come out on top in playoff competition and it will show next season.
So long as RB Darren McFadden and Michael Bush remain healthy then the team will make a strong playoff appearance. McFadden keeps the line true and opens up huge play for Marcel Reece or even a speedster like Jacoby Ford.
The defense does look impressive. Big names like Richard Seymour alongside Tommy Kelly and Kamerion Wimbley will have opposing QBs worried fortheir lives and scrambling to save face. Kamerion Wimbley has really prospered in Oakland. He led the team in sacks with nine.
Wimbley has been welcome addition as have fellow Raiders, LB Rolando McClain, DB Mike Mitchell, DE Matt Shaughnessy and DE Trevor Scott. The Oakland Raiders have the personnel to get to the big game and win it.
QB Jason Campbell has really become the field leader that the Oakland Raiders needed. Campbell is a complete opposite from the former bust QB Jamarcus Russell. He has a strong arm, accuracy and will run should the need present itself. Jason Campbell is not only accurate,he knows the timed speeds of Louis Murphy and Jacoby Ford. This will surely hurt defenses next season.
WR Jacoby Ford is a hungry receiver and with his speed, ball hawking skills and great hands will be a key factor in the passing success of the Raiders. Last year Ford had two huge catches at the end of the Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs game.
Ford not only helped get the game in to overtime, he then made a second catch to get into field goal range and win the game. The Oakland Raiders won in OT and it great to see the Raiders winning again.
Overall, the Denver Broncos, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers will have a tough time defeating a team that has become younger and stronger. The Oakland Raiders are definitely improving and are a few errors short of reaching the playoffs.
Those mistakes should disappear and in all likelihood, the Raiders will once again have the talent to take the AFC West title next season. The AFC Title should always go to the best team and somehow, the Chiefs managed to take the title but choked when it mattered.
The Oakland Raiders have all the right personnel and their AFC West rivals are either rebuilding or have coaching issues. As for the Super Bowl, are the Raiders ready to once again take a title that rightfully belongs to them after a 20 year rebirth?
Yes, the team has the talent to win a Super Bowl. Even with the loss of its apex CB Nnamdi Asomugha, they have the coaching staff in place to improve the strategy and skills of the CBs that remain.
The Oakland Raiders will turn heads next season as the continue to pound away at the Super Bowl championship game. They proved that they can take the west and with a little more help from their receivers should be a true Silver and Black force.
Lastly, is of course, the coaching staff. Hue Jackson seems to know how to use the players strengths and get the wins that Raiders need. This is one reason why the Oakland Raiders can take the Super Bowl by storm.
The addition of Rod Woodson, Steve Wisnieksi and former coach Chuck Bresnahan bring in key elements. It brings the Raider family closer but above all, it sharpens the skills of the already elite players. The Oakland Raiders are the "Best in the West." 10-6 in 2011 Go Raiders!