Breaking down the AFC West
The Oakland Raiders
Last season: 8-8
Offseason Losses: QB Jason Campbell, RB Michael Bush, WR Chaz Schilens, TE Kevin Boss, OT Stephon Heyer, G Bruce Campbell, C Samson Satele, DE/OLB Kamerion Wimbley, DE Trevor Scott, DE Jarvis Moss, DE Quentin Groves, DT John Henderson, ILB Darryl Blackstock, CB Stanford Routt, CB Chris Johnson, CB Lito Sheppard.
Veteran Additions: QB Matt Leinart, RB Mike Goodson, FB Owen Schmitt, G Mike Brisiel, DE Dave Tollefson, OLB Philip Wheeler, CB Shawntae Spencer, CB Ronald Bartell, CB Patrick Lee, HC Dennis Allen.
Round 3: Tony Bergstrom OT Utard
Round 4: Miles Burris OLB San Diego St.
Round 5: Jack Crowford DE Penn St.
Round 5: Juron Criner WR Arizona
Round 6: Christo Bilukidi DE Georgia St.
Round 7: Nathan Stupar OLB Penn St.
Sept. 10 San Diego Chargers (Mon.) 10:15 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Miami Dolphins 4:15 p.m.
Sept. 23 Pittsburgh Steelers 4:15 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Denver Broncos 4:05 p.m.
Oct. 7 BYE
Oct. 14 at Atlanta Falcons 1 p.m.
Oct. 21 Jacksonville Jaguars 4:15 p.m.
Oct. 28 at Kansas City Chiefs 4:05 p.m.
Nov. 4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:05 p.m.
Nov. 11 at Baltimore Ravens 1 p.m.
Nov. 18 New Orleans Saints 4:05 p.m.
Nov. 25 at Cincinnati Bengals 1 p.m.
Dec. 2 Cleveland Browns 4:15 p.m.
Dec. 6 Denver Broncos (Thurs.) 8:20 p.m.
Dec. 16 Kansas City Chiefs 4:15 p.m.
Dec. 23 at Carolina Panthers 1 p.m.
Dec. 30 at San Diego Chargers 4:15 p.m.
Analysis: Oakland was part of the three way tie between the Broncos and Chargers that could have won the division. Injuries and player transitions were a big reason the offense stumbled. The defense falling to 29th in the league didn’t help either. Predictably, they are firing their coach (again) and signed a really young replacement with little experience in Dennis Allen, who two years ago was a secondary coach and came from a team he coached to 20th in defense and 24th in scoring (which admittedly was a step forward), Outside of Juron Criner and Tony Bergstrom, their draft class is too small to expect any kind of immediate help there. Palmer is a big factor. If he improves, he could help them through a rough schedule that includes some horrible back-and-forth to the East Coast in the middle of the season. More likely, he will be the same Carson Palmer that we’ve seen for several years: Moments of brilliance in an overall mediocre show. Darren McFadden will be back, which should help, but expect some fallout as Michael Bush is out, and putting more carries on a clearly fragile McFadden will not bode well for his long term reliability next seasons. Running backs don’t get more durable the more they play. Also, every coach who was part of their vaunted running game is now gone. Their defensive line took a hit with Wimbley gone, and the rest of the unit is starting to show its age, so there may be some fallout there. I do think Oakland’s receivers are underrated and there is some fantasy value at the position, especially when you consider they’re going to be throwing a lot to keep up this year.
Prediction 5-11: I think this is a transition year for the Raiders (isn’t every year?). They’ve lost too many free agents the past two years and given up too many draft picks for players with ho-hum ability to see any short-term grown. The good news for them is Al Davis is gone and they will no longer just be drafting the fastest guy in underwear at every position, so there is some hope that things will turn around, but not for several years. With a hard schedule, too many new pieces, and not very reliable ones on the roster, I don’t expect much from the Raiders this season.
Last edited by Kaylore; 07-18-2012 at 08:08 PM..