Five Reasons the Oakland Raiders Will Win the AFC West in 2009

Simon BirminghamContributor IJanuary 2, 2009

OK, Ok, settle down, and when you can pick yourself off the floor and stop laughing long enough to read the rest of this, I will back up this preposterous claim with some hard cold facts that just might slow you San Diego fans down a little bit from calling the men in the funny white coats to come a take me away.

Have you gathered yourselves there, wearing those funny orange and blue No. 7 pajamas, what the heck are you laughing at, you are reason No. 1 of 5, Mr. Pat Bowlen, why the Raiders can win the division next year. Thank you for effectively eliminating the Broncos from any serious contention conversations for next year as well as removing the top Oakland nemesis and Raider killer off the schedule twice a year.

I don't think there is any team that was happier to see Mike Shanahan get removed from the AFC West more than the Silver & Black, in fact no matter who you hire, they can't be as bad as a guy who lived to beat the Raiders and Al Davis, thanks again!!

That brings us to reason No. 2, yes you guessed it, if I went after the Donkies, the Chiefs were next, although it's not really fair to pick on someone when they are, well, shall we just say...incapacitated???

Yes, we contributed one of the two wins of their lowly season, as did the Broncos, and oddly, both of those wins were on the road, but seriously I don't think the most optimistic of Kansas City's faithful who saw an 0-8 home team, anticipates a playoff run next year and who can blame them. Is Dorsey the next Jared Allen?.......ummmmmmm, big resounding no so far on that one, but that brings me to the tandem that is my next reason for the Raiders resurgence.

No. 3 Darren McFadden and Michael Bush bring not just a good or decent running game to the party, they bring a soul-crushing, game-controlling, QB-helping, big-play, explosive, and last but not least, DOMINANT type of running attack that is just now being unleashed on the league and we haven't seen anywhere near its full potential.

At the end of the year they finally started to get D-McTD the ball through the air with the short controlled passing game and he was outstanding in that role, and Bush, the more we see of him the better he gets and what an impressive young man with the great work ethics and mindset of a real professional in his approach.

If the Raiders find some offensive line and outside wideout help for Russell to go with the youngsters Higgins, Schillens and Miller, the running game will be unstoppable and Jamarcus Russell has displayed that he can lead this team and develop into an NFL QB worthy of the No. 1 overall pick.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!!! Calm down there, LT No. 2 (c'mon, you know who the real LT was!!!) don't get those powder blue and gold panties in a bunch screaming about how you own our defense, I mean how you used to own Rob Ryan's defensive schemes, but I don't think you will have that horse to kick around anymore if my hunch for reason No. 4 is correct.

Reason No. 4 is a stretch, but here goes nothing!!! Al Davis made it clear with MOST of his offseason spending that he believes that along with a balanced and explosive young offense, the Raiders need a smash mouth, intimidating and vicious defense that can control the line of scrimmage and feed off turnovers and big plays.

For the first time in Rob Ryan's tenure, I think Al believes he gave him the right players to do so and he failed to produce the defense needed to win crucial ballgames, and I believe that a new defensive coordinator will be brought in along with a new offensive coordinator and general manager.

However, we all know they will be brought in under Al's watchful eye and certainly hands-on directional approach. Still, it's not like this has never worked before for the Raiders and there is every reason to believe with the talent assembled and the way the team finished the season that an Atlanta, Miami and Baltimore type turnaround is not out of the question with the right personnel moves.

Just a dream but can you imagine bringing in Ray Lewis for a couple of years to mentor a guy like Rey Maualuga (I don't know if I spelled that right?) if we traded down and drafted the USC linebacker and teamed with Burgess, wow, what a dream, excuse me while I have moment............OK, back to reality!!!

Finally, in conclusion and the No. 5 reason on the Raiders road to the top is, those vaunted defending 8-8 AFC West, Norv Turner led injury-plagued and steroid-dealing Super Chargeless are passing us rapidly going the opposite direction, refusing to face the facts that they let the right Turner go and the wrong Turner stay.

Wear and tear on an NFL running back who has carried the load as much as LT No. 2 will catch up to them and normally, not slowly, it's more like BANG, there's the wall and although he will still be a top tier running back, San Diego will not be a top tier running team. Sproles is a decent changeup and alternative, but expect the NFL to adjust to him next year and he won't be as effective as he was this year.

Dude, LT No. 2, don't be so glum, nothing is set in stone, what's that you say???

Yeah I know, San Diego hasn't spent any money on a free agent, and probably never will, but there is always the twilight years backup role where you might sign somewhere and get the ring you deserve on another team, you know one that has actually WON a Super Bowl in the last 40+ years or so, but a cheap team who has only been there once in 42 years is probably not your best shot.

Anyways, chin up champ, your agent wants to talk to you about your options!!!

OK, there they are, my five reasons the Oakland Raiders WILL win the AFC West in 2009 and make the playoffs, go on, have at me now and tell me how loopy and wacky I am for stating such craziness, but please keep the name calling to a minimum, after the last six years my nerves are just a bit frayed and if you make me I will respond!!!