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How The West Will Be Won By The Oakland Raiders

Carl CockerhamSenior Analyst IMay 29, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 25: Richard Seymour #92 of the Oakland Raiders looks on against the New York Jets during an NFL game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 25, 2009 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The seven year funk is over!

Raider Nation will be a proud nation once again. It will probably come as a shock to those around the NFL but everything is in place. 

Not only did the Raiders have a good offseason but the pack has come back to us as well.

The Oakland Raider offseason was one that will put them back on top of the AFC West. The run defense was addressed as the Raiders picked up outstanding middle linebacker Roland McClain (1st round pick) and DT\DE Lamarr Houston (2nd round pick).  Oakland should now be much more stout against the run.

The offensive line was also addressed. Jared Veldheer and Bruce Campbell are are huge men that are also very athletic. This will make them a great fit for Tom Cable's zone blocking system. Darren McFadden and Michael Bush should now have some holes to run through and will have big years.

Zach Miller was one of the best tight ends in the game last year with Jamarcus Russell at quarterback. Look for his production to go up even more this year. Louis Murphy came on last year and showed promise. Chaz Schillens is recovering nicely from his foot injury. Darrius Heyward-Bey's hard work is paying off as he appeared to have a grasp of the offense in OTA's.

Jason Campbell, formerly of the Redskins is the straw that will stir the drink. His 3,618 yards passing with 20 touchdowns last year makes him an immediate upgrade. However, it goes much deeper than that. Despite a new offensive coordinator and injuries to the tight end and the offensive line, Campbell played well against the AFC West last year.

His 89-yard, 46.1 rating performance against the Kansas City Chiefs was his only bad game coming against the AFC West. He beat Denver with a 100.3 rating. Campbell posted a rating exceeding 100 against the Raiders in a win and a loss againt San Diego.

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The AFC West is not the toughest division in football as it was in years past. San Diego did the Raiders a favor in getting rid of Antonio Cromartie and LaDainian Thomlinson. It is not known what first round pick Ryan Mathews is yet.

The Chargers could have used that first round pick to get an offensive lineman but instead they drafted an unproven replacement for Thomlinson. It also remains to be seen what Sean Merriman can do in his second year after knee surgery.

There is no Larry Johnson in Kansas City to run over the Oakland defense anymore. They now have Thomas Jones but the offensive line of the Jets didn't come with him. Free safety Eric Berry was a good pick but that front seven is lacking. Matt Cassel has also yet to prove he is worth his salary without Randy Moss and Co. Kansas City's offensive line has questions as well.

Denver Bronco head coach Josh McDaniel wants to do it the Patirot way. That's hard to do minus the PatriotsJay Cutler and Brandon Marshall are gone now. This is very perplexing but the Raiders will take it. If first round quarterback Tim Tebow works out it won't be this year. Demarius Thomas looks like a good prospect at receiver but Marshall is a proven beast.

This is how the West will be won by the Raiders. The rest of the AFC West had just as questionable an offseason as the Raiders had a good one and this division was not very far apart to begin with. 

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