NFL Season Preview: Oakland Raiders

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The NFL season has officially started, so it's time to finish the impassioned season previews from various writers, bloggers, diehard fans, cooks, TV personalities, and numerous other walks of life whom consider football the only sport worth watching. Clearly, these previews will be running until, oh, the first round of the wild card playoffs based on how quickly they've been coming in. Today: The Oakland Raiders. Your author is Jeff C. Jeff currently lives in Pasadena.When I saw Tawmmy Brady limp off the field yesterday, I couldn’t help but mull over what a bitch Karma is. He finally gets payback for that fucking Tuck Rule. Sure it took three Championships, a fat contract, a knocked up Bridget and a birth-controlled Gisele too late, but it was retribution nonetheless. Since the Snow Job, the Raiders have become the NFL’s model of ineptitude. Sure, they made the Super Bowl following year of 2002, and probably would have won if they had not faced the head coach who designed their playbook. The departure of Jon Gruden set this franchise back a full decade, as Vampire/Owner, Al Davis reverted back to his old ways of hiring yes-men with the likes of Bill Callahan, Norv Turner and Art Shell Vol. II. The second Shell regime was undoubtedly the worst football team in Raiders, if not NFL history. Bed & breakfast owner/ former small town red-state mayor Tom Walsh devised a scheme that consisted of two plays: Toss left with Lamont Jordan’s fat ass, and seven step drop with Aaron Brooks. Execute experience, my ass. Fast forward to the Lane Kiffin Era. A virtual unknown outside of USC, The Wunderkind Kiffin brings an NFL-Pedigree, an innovative mind and the fuck-it mentality to stand up to Davis, who insists upon running this franchise from the grave. Instead of deferring to Davis’ preference for a bombs away offense, Kiffin, along with OC Greg Knapp and O-line Guru, Tom Cable, employs a Zone-Blocking West Coast Hybrid System ala Denver Broncos/’98 Packers, that helped the Raiders ranked 6th in rushing in 2007. Although the Silver and Black only managed four wins last season, their play was much more encouraging considering the embarrassing efforts of their recent predecessors. In the offseason, Oakland added DeAngelo Hall, forming the NFL’s most prolific CB tandem with Nnamdi Asomugha, whom quarterbacks tested the least out of any CB in 2007. Joining them in the defensive backfield is the three-legged box stuffer, Gibril Wilson, who will undoubtedly help the Raiders improve upon their 31st ranked run defense. Michael Huff moves to his natural position at free safety, relieving Stuart Schwiegart, who repeatedly took bad angles and missed coverage assignments. The offense will continue to take steps in the right direction, with Jamarcus Russell settling in as a starter for the first full season. Russell (who is not 300lbs as reported by the esteemed SI writer/douchetard Don Banks) forms a dynamic SEC-duo with first round pick Darren McFadden, who will add an explosive dimension to the already potent rushing attack. A three-headed Monster of McFadden, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush may disappoint fantasy owners, but will certainly pound the rock and try to limit 3rd and long situations for the young quarterback. The offense will be extremely conservative for the beginning of the season, attempting to grind out the clock and keep their questionable run defense fresh. The biggest question mark is the receiving corps. Fresh off a Vegas beating and retirement rumors, former-pro bowler Javon Walker is the prototypical Al Davis boom-or-bust acquisition. If Walker cannot get motivated against Mike Shanahan and his former team tonight, then he might as well pay back his $11 Million-bonus and go suck on that Darrent Williams-stained shirt. Tight end Zach Miller will likely be Russell’s security blanket, with Miller hauling in eight receptions in the quarterback’s week 17 starting debut of 2007. Overall, as long as Al Davis remains patient with Kiffin, the Raiders will continue to move in the right direction with an 8-8 record as an optimistic possibility. The foundation is formed, the scheme is set, all the Raiders need is time to build upon Russell, McFadden and Miller. In a weak AFC-West, anything is possible.