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Preseason Power Rankings No. 32: Oakland Raiders

Mark Davis, Reggie McKenzie AP

Yes, the Raiders are bringing up the rear in PFT’s preseason rankings.

Now, let’s get to the silver linings.

The Raiders are better in July than they looked in April. General manager Reggie McKenzie did well to bolster the roster late in the spring after free agency’s first wave.

Another positive for Oakland? Division rivals Kansas City and San Diego have their flaws, too. Second place in the AFC West isn’t an impossible dream for the Raiders.

However, the 2013 Raiders face many challenges on the path to competitiveness. They have parted ways with some of their most proven and expensive talent, with quarterback Carson Palmer’s departure to Arizona the most notable move. Oakland lacks both starpower and depth, and its quarterback play is a big worry.

The 2013 Raiders are in throes of transition, and it’s impossible to project how the regular season will play out without looking ahead to next offseason. The looming question is whether the 2014 Raiders will be operating off the same blueprint they have now.

But first things first. Here’s a closer look at where Oakland stands entering training camp.

Strengths.

Running back Darren McFadden has rare talent, and he will be just 26 at the beginning of the 2013 season. However, he’s struggled to stay healthy, never playing more than 13 games in any of his first five NFL campaigns. McFadden shouldn’t be lacking for motivation; he’s a free agent at season’s end, and given the chilly reception veteran backs have received lately, he needs to do everything he can to prove he’s a featured runner.

McFadden isn’t the only standout in the Raiders’ backfield. Versatile fullback Marcel Reece was the club’s only Pro Bowler a season ago. Reece is a very good pass catcher who can step in at tailback, too. Like McFadden, he’s in a contract year.

Other building blocks on offense for Oakland include wideout Denarius Moore, left tackle Jared Veldheer and center Stefen Wisniewski.

The Raiders’ defense has some intriguing younger veterans, with defensive end Lamarr Houston and safety Tyvon Branch foremost among them. Also, safety Charles Woodson returns for another stint with Oakland. Ideally,Woodson will bring playmaking ability and leadership to a defense looking to bounce back after struggling a season ago.

Finally, the Raiders appear sound in the kicking game. Placekicker Sebastian Janikowski is one of the NFL’s best. Ex-Brown Josh Cribbs is an above-average returner and can help in kick coverage, too. Also. new punter Chris Kluwe is a solid replacement for Shane Lechler.

Weaknesses.

The Raiders may have the NFL’s most unsettled quarterback situation. Their most experienced passer, Matt Flynn, has two regular-season starts to his credit. The other options are third-year pro Terrelle Pryor (one NFL start) and rookies Tyler Wilson and Matt McGloin.

The Raiders’ pass rush also looms a worry. Oakland recorded a mere 25 sacks in 2013. With no star pass rusher, it’s going to take a team effort to create consistent pressure.

The Raiders’ ability to cope vs. the pass is a big concern even after adding Woodson and cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins in free agency and drafting corner D.J. Hayden in Round One. Porter and Hayden come with durability concerns, while Jenkins tailed off after a promising start to his career in Dallas. Woodson, meanwhile, will be 37 in October.

That said, at least the Raiders have some reasonably solid depth in the secondary. That’s not the case along the offensive and defensive lines.

Changes.

The Raiders’ decision to deal Palmer made sense. He wasn’t a long-term solution at quarterback, and the Raiders saved some money moving him. Nevertheless, the Raiders are clearly weaker without Palmer.

Palmer wasn’t the only notable name to depart Oakland. The club released wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey, safety Michael Huff, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly and linebacker Ronaldo McClain. Also, Lechler, defensive tackle Desmond Bryant, tight end Brandon Myers and linebacker Phillip Wheeler left in free agency. The Raiders also appear to have moved on from defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who remains unsigned.

Without much money to spend, and with the club in rebuilding mode, McKenzie waited until later in free agency to start his serious shopping. The defense got some much needed reinforcements, primarily younger veterans on shorter-term deals. In addition to Jenkins, Porter and Woodson, the Raiders signed defensive tackles Pat Sims and Vance Walker and linebackers Nick Roach and Kaluka Maiava.

The Raiders have changed offensive coordinators, with Greg Olson replacing Greg Knapp. Olson, who coached the Jaguars’ quarterbacks in 2012, has had stints as an offensive coordinator in Detroit, St. Louis and Tampa Bay. Oakland also added former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano as offensive line coach / assistant head coach. Sparano ran the Jets’ offense a season ago.

Camp battles.

Ideally, someone emerges to seize the Raiders’ quarterback job — runs away with the thing. The guess here is that Flynn will be the Week One starter; he has the most experience and is probably the safest bet to provide some semblance of stability early. Perhaps the more interesting topic to ponder is which quarterback will be starting come December. If Flynn doesn’t make a strong long-term case for the job and the Raiders fall out of contention, you have to wonder if someone else gets a look.

Another interesting position battle is at cornerback, where Porter and Jenkins are trying to recapture their best form and Hayden aims to make a successful comeback from a scary heart ailment.

Keep an eye on the Raiders’ linebacker situation, too. Oakland has a nice mix of veterans and youth here, with ex-Dolphin Kevin Burnett and rookie Sio Moore among those vying for playing time.

At punter, Kluwe’s experience and holding ability gives him an edge over strong-legged Marquette King, who has some upside.

Prospects. 

How the Raiders fare in September will be telling. Oakland play three 2012 playoff clubs in the first month of the season, with a Sept. 23 trip to Denver especially daunting. Also, opening the season at Indianapolis is no picnic, either.

With those road trips right off the bat, the Raiders need to make the most of home games against Jacksonville (Sept. 15) and Washington (Sept. 29). A loss to the Jaguars would be a big setback; this is Oakland’s most favorable home matchup at home all season. Beating Washington will be more difficult, but the Redskins are traveling cross-country, and if the Raiders are in top form, they can compete with Washington.

In short, the Raiders’ schedule in September, while far from easy, is not impossible for a decent team to manage. And should the Raiders get out of September with, say, a .500 record, they will enter the second quarter of their schedule with a chance to build a little more momentum. Three of the Raiders’ next four games after Washington are at home, and all three home games against teams that missed the postseason in 2012 (San Diego, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia). The lone road trip is at Kansas City, where Oakland won a season ago.

The Raiders need to sock away a few wins early, for their second-half schedule is daunting. From Nov. 10 through Dec. 8, the Raiders have just one home game, and they make road trips to the Giants, Texans, Cowboys and Jets. Oakland’s final three games are against AFC West competition, with the season finale vs. Denver.

Should the 2013 season end with the Raiders again missing the playoffs and earning a high draft pick, the focus will turn to the job statuses of McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen. The late Al Davis wasn’t known for his patience; will current owner Mark Davis take after his father, or will he allow the Raiders’ rebuilding to continue under the current leadership? As Brian McIntyre of Yahoo! Sports recently noted, the Raiders will have plenty of salary-cap room next offseason, which will allow them to be big players in free agency if they so choose.

Whether that’s a sound strategy or not is another issue for another time.

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74 Responses to “Preseason Power Rankings No. 32: Oakland Raiders”
  1. bornnraisedwhodat says: Jul 9, 2013 9:08 AM

    I usually hate power rankings but this was well done

  2. kcraiderdan says: Jul 9, 2013 9:10 AM

    I don’t see how the Raiders can be ranked lower than Jacksonville a this point. It seems the biggest question for the Raiders is at QB. While nobody knows quite yet what these QBs can do, we DO know that Jacksonville has a known bad QB in Blaine Gabbert. I’d rather go in with high hopes that your unknown QB can be good rather than going in hoping that your bad QB can suddenly become good even though evidence suggests differently.

    I do know that arguing over which team is “less pathetic” is sad and I hope my Raiders can find a way out of this mess.

    Win, Lose, or Tie, Raiders till I die!

  3. Patskrieg dot com says: Jul 9, 2013 9:11 AM

    32 might be a little high for the Raiders.

  4. hehateme2 says: Jul 9, 2013 9:16 AM

    32 sounds like the best spot for the hapless jets.

  5. 4grammarpolice says: Jul 9, 2013 9:22 AM

    The Raiders will go 7-9 this season, and then win three of the next five Super Bowls.

  6. packerbackernj says: Jul 9, 2013 9:23 AM

    Greg Olsen as offensive coordinator inspires little confidence in anyone. A couple decent seasons with Josh Freeman followed by a massive regression. Good luck, Oakland. You’ve been terrible for too long.

  7. nbooat says: Jul 9, 2013 9:26 AM

    Jokeland…Well it could be worse. You could be from Toronto trolling Bengals posts 24/7

  8. spellingcops says: Jul 9, 2013 9:29 AM

    I’m sure this article will be met with plenty of “hater” comments from clueless fans…

  9. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jul 9, 2013 9:34 AM

    Rick, first comment on a Raiders story and you reference the Pack? What is this obsession you have with the Packers? I’m starting to think you might secretly love them….

  10. Killachap says: Jul 9, 2013 9:38 AM

    I think the Raiders are pretty awful but the Jets have to be the worst team in the NFL with an ever worse QB situation. I think almost every team would take Flynn over Sanchez if given the opportunity and the media circus around the Jets is just awful. 32- Jets, 31- Jags, 30 – Raiders.

  11. pooflingingmonkey says: Jul 9, 2013 9:38 AM

    The Raiders should merge with the Browns and Jaguars to create the ultimate trifecta of failure.

  12. baconispigcandy says: Jul 9, 2013 9:41 AM

    Wow, good one patskrieg…how original…I don’t think that has ever been said before…you’re a genius! Idiot.

  13. fwippel says: Jul 9, 2013 9:43 AM

    Nice to see former Pro Football Weekly personnel (Mike Wilkening) finding a forum for their excellent work.

    Good analysis. Al Davis wouldn’t like the ranking, but it is going to take some time for this franchise to recover from his mismanagement over the past decade.

  14. nesportsfan0428 says: Jul 9, 2013 9:45 AM

    Good point on what the Raiders need, which is patience. They are down now, but are jettisoning their bad contracts/deals over the past few years. If this stability continues, who knows. If they clean house after a bad season (again), then they’re doomed to repeat.

  15. ajgreenhof says: Jul 9, 2013 9:46 AM

    I don’t think the Raiders can compete with KC. Maybe San Diego.

    Broncos
    Chiefs
    Chargers
    Raiders

  16. medtxpack says: Jul 9, 2013 9:46 AM

    my favorite part…

    “if the Raiders are in top form, they can compete with Washington.”

  17. autumnwind999 says: Jul 9, 2013 10:03 AM

    fwippel says:Jul 9, 2013 9:43 AM

    Nice to see former Pro Football Weekly personnel (Mike Wilkening) finding a forum for their excellent work.

    Good analysis. Al Davis wouldn’t like the ranking, but it is going to take some time for this franchise to recover from his mismanagement over the past decade.

    ——————————

    Al had some rough years late. No doubt. But the team was 8-8 the last two seasons he was here and on the rise. Carson Palmer was our first legit QB in a decade.

    The decision to fire Hue Jackson was disastrous and set this team back several years. Mark Davis and McKenzie have publicly stated that was on McKenzie while some beat reporters suggest it was really Mark Davis’ call. Either way, one or both of those guys really botched their first major decision. We paid for it last year and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

  18. raiderlyfe510 says: Jul 9, 2013 10:06 AM

    I guess that means that we have no shot at a BCS game.

  19. northernwisc says: Jul 9, 2013 10:16 AM

    I don’t know about this ranking. I look at the NFC and don’t see a team that you could argue will be worse than the Raiders but going to the AFC there are a handful of teams that haven’t done a thing in my opinion to improve themselves and actually may regress – Buffalo, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Tennessee. But the reality is who cares if your team is 32 or 28 – either way they still have a lot of work to do.

  20. jbaxt says: Jul 9, 2013 10:23 AM

    Wow, PFT actually got a ranking right, of course it’s pretty easy to pick the raiders as they haven’t been over .500 in 11 years? The only blessing for the lowly faiders is they get to play San Diego twice a year.

  21. honkeyt says: Jul 9, 2013 10:28 AM

    In 2011 the Raiders ranked 27th against the run and the pass. In 2012 they signed Spencer and Bartell to be starting corners. Both of those guys were hurt most of the year and so McKenzie had to find pieces to plug into place. Most of you who don’t know anyting about football don’t realize the Raiders ranked 20th against the pass and 18th against the run last year which is a big jump from the year before. As you can see the D got better under Tarver. I expect it to be even better this year with the secondary and LB upgrades. I know the D-Line is still in question but this defense will be better than last. One more thing you are over looking Phillip Adams, that kid can play and by week 6 he and Hayden will be the starting Corners in Oakland. IF Mcfadden stays healthy he will help ease the pressure on Matt Flynn to try and carry the entire buden on his shoulders. The Raiders have some promising recievers, they just need to stay healthy. I will give Oakland a ranking of 25, and that is fair at this point. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders win some big games this season…I won’t be.

  22. trollingforjustice says: Jul 9, 2013 10:29 AM

    It would be great to see the Raiders be competitive this year. Just not sure that Mcfaddens weak legs can hold up and Matt Flynn has alot to prove

  23. psj3809 says: Jul 9, 2013 10:34 AM

    Granted i’m a Raiders fan but i will try and be unbiased….

    Last year the zone blocking scheme didnt work at all, this year its back to the standard power blocking scheme, that should help the rushing attack no end.

    Defensively there are tons of changes, the d-line couldnt stop the run, the LB’s were awful and the Raiders lost their starting two CB’s in Week 1 last year.

    The d-line will need work, however the LB’s are an upgrade over last year. The secondary is also an upgrade as Oakland look to have 3 decent CB’s on paper and two good safeties. Defensively it cant get worse than last year

    But it all comes down to McFadden, hes in a contract year so that normally means no injuries and a huge year ! If McFadden gets 1100 yards or more then it wont matter whos at QB.

    Flynn who really knows how good/bad he is, i watched the Lions/Packers game and he was great, then last year got beaten out by a rookie (a great one though). But thats the huge wildcard.

    IF McFadden stays healthy the Raiders should be okay, IF Flynn can have a decent year again the Raiders should be alright.

    There is talent here, this isnt one of those awful 4-12 type teams. But again its mostly down to Flynn/McFadden to stay healthy and play well

  24. hiflew says: Jul 9, 2013 10:45 AM

    1st place in the AFC West isn’t an impossible dream. Sure it’s very improbable, but one Peyton Manning injury, Matt Flynn blossoming, and a lotta luck here and there and you have a 10-6 division winning Raiders team.

  25. citizenstrange says: Jul 9, 2013 10:48 AM

    And yet they will beat the Steelers on October 27th. That’s just how good Roethlisberger is.

  26. schmitty2 says: Jul 9, 2013 10:49 AM

    Also. new punter Chris Kluwe is a solid replacement for Shane Lechler

    Are you serious?

  27. jagster32 says: Jul 9, 2013 10:52 AM

    kcraiderdan wants to talk QB’s and say jaguars should be 32, well dan, if you remember correctly, blaine gabbert was tearing the raiders up half the game last year until he got knocked out of the game… that was also the game that injured MJD’s foot, he was knocked out 1st play of the game. chad henne came in with no reps and ended up costing the jaguars that lead gabbert had them…. analystics also show blaine gabbert is among the top 3rd when having at least 2.6 seconds in the pocket, a big reason luke joeckel was drafted to be RT, the side where everyone rushed jacksonville from. too early to say luke will help but being a jaguar fan i can tell you that the o-line just got 50 times better with him at RT than whimper

  28. jrs45 says: Jul 9, 2013 10:56 AM

    I actually had the raiders at 33 lol!

  29. xpensivewinos says: Jul 9, 2013 11:15 AM

    Based on this ranking, Mark Davis will be firing someone!

  30. granadafan says: Jul 9, 2013 11:26 AM

    Nice analysis and breakdown of the units and strengths/ weaknesses. Spot on. As a Niners fan and also a former season ticket holder of the Raiders, I’d love to see the Silver and Black rise back to relevance.

  31. r8rsfan says: Jul 9, 2013 11:40 AM

    Can’t really put together a factual argument to dispute this ranking. It hurts the pride, but until there are some wins this is what you get.

  32. tdk24 says: Jul 9, 2013 11:44 AM

    We still need a proven wideout. That can make any QB look good.

  33. kenstabler says: Jul 9, 2013 11:48 AM

    I like the ranking, you can only go up from here. The Raiders will surprise this year if they can find a QB out of these four guys. If they can’t, then they will be #32. I’m sure Dennis Allen will use these rankings to motivate the team. There are a lot of talented players on this team, if they can just stay healthy.

  34. FinFan68 says: Jul 9, 2013 11:53 AM

    Bottom 3: Raiders, Jets, Jaguars. The actual order doesn’t really make a difference. Top 3 are probably Denver, Atlanta and either SF or Seattle

  35. kcraiderdan says: Jul 9, 2013 11:53 AM

    jagster32 –

    I am aware of that fact. Blaine Gabbert was tearing it up against 1 Starter (T. Branch) and 5 subs in the secondary (Joselio Hanson, Michael Huff at corner, Pat Lee, Matt Giordano, and Brandian Ross). He was tearing it up against a defense that was ranked 20th in yards passing and only had 27 sacks (ranked 27th). Your “analystics” may have hen-pecked a stat that shows your QB in the top 3 when he gets more than 2.6 seconds to throw, but those same “analysts” said that Jamarcus Russell had the physical attributes to put him in the hall-of-fame. I’m not going to set here and play the “Who sucks more” game with you, but let’s be honest. You can’t use stats like that to win an argument. I live in KC where the Royals broadcasters have been killing us with stats like, “Mike Moustakas is hitting .387 on Sunday day games when the wind blows more than 20MPH from East to West.” Give me a break and admit that your QB stinks. Our QB may stink too, we just don’t know yet. That’s why I’d rather go with a possibly-good over a definitely-not.

    Brian Fantana: They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.

  36. markmae122 says: Jul 9, 2013 12:03 PM

    The Raiders will actually be a decent team this next year winning possibly up to 7 games. My analysis of this comes from the defense. We got rid of head cases like Rolando and Tommy Kelly and replaced them with solid high effort players like Roach and Sims. With the addition of Porter, Hayden,Woodson, and Jenkins, we now have a competent secondary and a potential superstar at CB in Hayden. Before Knapp messed up our line, we had a dominant downhill running attack which I expect to get better due to the experience of Wiz, adding Brisel, and the big man we drafted to play RT, Watson. The thing you will see next year is the Raiders keeping games close with their power running game and their defensive scheme. What the Raiders will do is play to stop the run, run zone and wait for the other teams to make mistakes, and generate pressure on the QB on 3rd and long. This type of play keeps games close and to win, the high effort guys out will the opposing team. Do not be suprised if the Raiders defense is top 15 this year.

  37. tinbender2000 says: Jul 9, 2013 12:26 PM

    I Matey, batten down the hatches, stormy seas ahead. Arghhhh.

    Raiders always, no matter what.

  38. youarejealousof6rings says: Jul 9, 2013 12:29 PM

    #1 – Pittsburgh Steelers
    #2-32 – Doesn’t matter

  39. efriedo says: Jul 9, 2013 12:31 PM

    4grammarpolice says: Jul 9, 2013 9:22 AM

    “The Raiders will go 7-9 this season, and then win three of the next five Super Bowls.”

    ______________________

    DUDE! I like your style. Positive thinking. Highly unlikely, but good positive thinking!

  40. 52lightsxout52 says: Jul 9, 2013 12:36 PM

    “…With the first pick in the in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Oakland Raiders select:…Jadaveon Clowney, Defensive End, South Carolina…”

  41. hitdog042 says: Jul 9, 2013 12:37 PM

    Hiflew says

    1st place in the AFC West isn’t an impossible dream. Sure it’s very improbable, but one Peyton Manning injury, Matt Flynn blossoming, and a lotta luck here and there and you have a 10-6 division winning Raiders team.

    Funniest post ever.

  42. hitdog042 says: Jul 9, 2013 12:38 PM

    Pittsburgh fans have to have the lowest iq in the NFL.

  43. terrybenjamin7 says: Jul 9, 2013 12:47 PM

    My only issue with with rankings and these talking heads that say we lost all this talent: Palmer,Heyward-Bey, McClain, Kelly, and all the other guys the Raiders chose not to sign, those same rankings writers and the talking heads were blasting them as reaches in the draft, draft busts, penalty machines, and how much they sucked while they were with the Raiders now all of a sudden they are talent that hurt the Raiders to lose. As a Raider they said Palmer was washed up turnover machine that the Raiders set themselves back a few years by trading so much for a past his prime QB now he’s the answer in Az and by losing him the Raiders are now unsettled at QB. DHB was a hard worker, good in practice but couldnt catch a cold and it goes on with the other guys not resigned. If they take their biased decisions out of their writing they would see that this Raider team is much improved over last years squad…with the QB being the only area with a ? I agree with being okay with being 32 out of 32 offseason rankings because there is only one way to go, which is up.

  44. Patskrieg dot com says: Jul 9, 2013 1:26 PM

    “baconispigcandy says:
    Jul 9, 2013 9:41 AM
    Wow, good one patskrieg…how original…I don’t think that has ever been said before…you’re a genius! Idiot.”

    Wow. I thought it was a little hackneyed but if you think I’m a genius…

  45. joemac1114 says: Jul 9, 2013 1:30 PM

    Wow that high up the list. I think Alabama and LSU are ahead of the Raiders.

  46. tsizzlesucks says: Jul 9, 2013 1:31 PM

    Can’t believe they’re rated that high! I had them at 34…behind Ohio State and LSU.

  47. oaklegend says: Jul 9, 2013 1:42 PM

    No complaints. We’ll have to earn respect… what’s the problem with that?

  48. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Jul 9, 2013 1:52 PM

    Someone take away the guy from Pittsburgh’s crack pipe!
    Of course, #1 is the COLTS!!!!
    #2 The Bucs
    #3 – 31 who cares
    and #32 the Jets!

  49. zoxitic says: Jul 9, 2013 1:52 PM

    Just come in last baby.

  50. malachiofcourse says: Jul 9, 2013 2:02 PM

    as a broncos fan i’m worried about them getting jadaveon clowney in the draft. so go raiders(?)!

  51. caseyinkc says: Jul 9, 2013 2:16 PM

    Where’s all the raiders fans calling chiefs #32 now? The faiders are ranked exactly where they should be… at the bottom

  52. crise40g says: Jul 9, 2013 2:18 PM

    Better to under promise and over deliver than the other way around. Only one way to go is up.

    Love all the haters.

    Win, lose, or tie…Raiders til I die.

  53. u4iadman says: Jul 9, 2013 2:37 PM

    Painful, but love my Raids.
    At least we know they are on the right corrective path after years of questionable management.
    Booting Herrera (PR) and Trask (biz) was sign enough for me that this organization can become relevant again.
    Head coach, I dont know.
    QB, same.
    But at least dead weight is gone!

  54. kerbyjr1 says: Jul 9, 2013 2:39 PM

    Bottom line my raiders are good as the qb if they get good qb play they will win.

  55. rexryanstoecheese says: Jul 9, 2013 2:52 PM

    Only 31 more of these to go! someone kill me…

  56. elway6532 says: Jul 9, 2013 2:56 PM

    As an avid Broncos fan, I beg you to bring back Jamarcus Russell!

    No team is routinely loaded with unfulfilled talent as often as the Faiders. If there was a pro bowl for over-drafted players that could run the fastest in a straight line with no pads on, the Raiders would own it.

    What about that crappy tight end they used to have who couldn’t catch a beach ball? He was awesome.

    I loved when Romanowski went to the Raiders. Perfect fit.

    The only thing I didn’t like about he Faiders was the way Jerry Porter used to suck all year long until he faced Chump Bailey, at which time he would explode for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns, but only if the Faiders had no chance of making it to the postseason.

    The Faiders suck and I hope they suck for a long time. Chicken legs McFadden aint gonna help either.

    I miss Al Davis. I would pay for another one of his crack pot “new conferences” where he goes off the deep end about some stupid minutia from a local sports writer’s article from six months earlier.

    What is it about California that makes people this weird?

  57. silverandblackfan77 says: Jul 9, 2013 3:01 PM

    Patience is the key this year if we go 7-9,8-8 thats a successful year and finding who the QB will be whoever that is be it Flynn or Wilson

  58. txraiderfan says: Jul 9, 2013 3:26 PM

    The firing of Greg Krapp alone should put them in the high 20’s

  59. bradyhater says: Jul 9, 2013 3:45 PM

    I don’t think I’d want everyone to know that my team hired a guy who ran the jets offense last year.

  60. thetwilightsown says: Jul 9, 2013 3:55 PM

    Autumnwind… take another good look at the Hue Jackson era and tell me that guy dominated anything at all.
    The only thing positive that happened under him was a very good running game… statistically. Nothing else. Our passing game was garbage stat bloated; our trick plays were eventually sniffed out and the team was so undisciplined that we set an all time record for ineptitude by way of penalties.
    Look again: you’ll see we never dominated a single game under Hue save for the hapless Jets slaughter, and most of our running yardage came in garbage time (especially toward the end of the season) when we were way behind and out of games. Seriously: take another look.

    Hue isn’t the head coach anywhere for a reason and his absence certainly isn’t the reason we were so gawdawful last year. The only real mistake McKenzie has made was allowing Knapp anywhere near the building, but unlike the past 3 decades, we now have someone in charge who can admit their mistakes and take immediate, appropriate measures… which we did. Olson will be fine as OC, and DA will surprise this year as a coach with a future – we just need patience. It’s one thing for the mediots to blast on the Raiders and forget all our hurdles, but from a fellow Raider National? Say it ain’t so! Give ‘em a minute… they’re actually building something.

  61. jimmyjames65 says: Jul 9, 2013 7:34 PM

    And yet they will beat the Steelers on October 27th. That’s just how good Roethlisberger is. I think the Steelers will lose that game. Just an honest opinion.

  62. raiderfan77 says: Jul 10, 2013 12:49 PM

    Honestly, this seems about right. The Raiders will be dreadful this year. Looking at 1-15 or so, certainly in the running for #1 draft pick in 2014.

    However, anyone who’s been paying attention knows they’ve been draining the swamp for 2 years and the rebuilding starts in earnest next year, when they’re not paying $50 Million in people that aren’t on the team and never should have signed huge contracts in the first place. All that goes off the books next year. A couple of reasonable drafts and off-seasons go by (probably a new coach after this year) and they can be back to respectability. But it’s a long process. Either they will be patient and lay the foundation for a good team in a few years or they will revert back to the types of draft/free agent mistakes that led them to this point.

  63. mikeanthonymirabella says: Jul 10, 2013 12:51 PM

    Lets start with whomever does the scheduling because the Raiders are set up to fail with 4 of their first 5 games against teams that made the playoffs this year, which is also 2013. Topping that is the later part of the schedule, having only one home game which I think is from middle or late October until December. So much for strength of schedule and you wonder why Raider fans think there is a conspircy. All that being said, Denver should have basically the same type schedule and are on quarterback injury away from not being in the play-offs so in the long run, I kind of like our division because once Manning goes down, I feel we have a good shot at first or second in our division and so to look at it my way, we run the wild cat on 50 per cent of our plays with Terrell Pryor and Macfadden and will lead the conference if not the league in rushing by seasons end providing Macfadden plays more than 10 or more games. Thank you and good nite.

  64. raiderseliminatedfromplayoffsalready says: Jul 10, 2013 3:32 PM

    Where is JoeToronto? Oh huh that’s right…MIA as usual. Fake fan.

    jbaxt says:
    Jul 9, 2013 10:23 AM
    Wow, PFT actually got a ranking right, of course it’s pretty easy to pick the raiders as they haven’t been over .500 in 11 years? The only blessing for the lowly faiders is they get to play San Diego twice.
    -————————————————————————–
    Dude, you do know that the Chargers swept the Raiders last year, right?!! And from 2004-2011 won 13 straight against them. Ahhh research!! Gotta love it.

  65. autumnwind999 says: Jul 10, 2013 10:33 PM

    thetwilightsown,
    You practically make my case for me in saying the Raiders weren’t special in any particular area under Hue, yet they still managed to be a .500 team while he was here while they’ve had double-digit losses each year before Hue’s arrival and since the horrendous decision to fire him after a hugely successful year as OC and commendable year as a rookie HC keeping the team together and within a play or two of the postseason despite Al’s passing, the loss of his starting QB and best player (DMC) just 6 games into that season. That tells you a little something about the guy who is probably as brilliant a play caller as I’ve ever seen.

    Look at the fact the offense went from 31st in the league immediately prior to Hue’s arrival to top 10 in the NFL in Hue’s first year despite the fact he was juggling between Grads and Campbell that entire year. Ridiculous.

    Sorry brah, but I can see you’re just another fan blinded by your own blind hope that McKenzie is some kind of idiot-savant who will lead this team to greatness. The guy took over a team that was 16-16the two prior years, led them to 4-12 and now has them considered to be one of the worst teams in the league heading into year 2 with expectations of another sub-5 win season. It’s amazing the amount of slack Raiders fans have cut this guy. Amazing. In a head coach-QB driven league he’s taken us from Hue and Carson to Dennis Allen + Matt Flynn? Laughable.

  66. raiderhater66 says: Jul 11, 2013 1:10 PM

    32 is about right.
    Too bad it’s not like English soccer where they drop the bottom teams down into the next lower league and let other teams move up.
    The Raiders are a minor league team in a minor league city without a fanbase that can financially support a major league franchise.

  67. lechlerfan says: Jul 12, 2013 12:56 AM

    I love Marcel and I love the Raiders, but I’m really disappointed in the new Pro Bowl policy. Marcel is mentioned in this article as a “Pro-Bowler,” but only because Vonta Leach went to the Super Bowl and, therefore, vacated an AFC fullback Pro Bowl spot.

    Am I the only one bothered by this, in terms of the history of the game? How many guys are going to see their Pro Bowl nods inflated because the Pro Bowl has been moved to the week before the Super Bowl? Long term? Many. Many many.

    It’s a small gripe, but it’s the off-season, which is the perfect time for small gripes.

  68. lechlerfan says: Jul 12, 2013 1:00 AM

    Oh no. Is autumnwind999 serious? Please no. Please tell me he is smarter than that. No. Oh no.

  69. jimeejohnson says: Jul 12, 2013 12:11 PM

    “What is it about California that makes people this weird?”

    What is it about people who don’t live in California being jealous of the Golden State?

  70. Derek Walker says: Jul 12, 2013 1:37 PM

    Careful what you wish for elway6532. As terrible a bust as Jamarcus Russell was…he had a winning record (3-2) against your pathetic donkeys. And “Chicken legs McFadden”?…he eats your worthless defense up on a regular basis. Your team may be on top now but Peyton (chokes in big games) Manning is not going to be around forever. Enjoy it while you can.

  71. justaraiderfan says: Jul 15, 2013 2:15 PM

    I can’t argue about these rankings. Maybe, just maybe J’ville could be lower but, not even the
    J-E-T-S could be lower. I like would Davis & McKenzie are doing but, they won’t see the fruits of their labor until next year (lots of $ under the cap).

    With the 1st pick in the 2014 draft the Oakland Raiders select…..

  72. beaverdam21 says: Jul 15, 2013 10:23 PM

    As a die hard Raider fan I salute Tinbender’s comment as my favorite Raider post of all time!

  73. vipod4ever says: Jul 16, 2013 2:06 PM

    “2012 Preseason Power Rankings No. 31: Indianapolis Colts”….so much for the so called experts!

    The Vikings and Skins were also at the bottom.

    Yes, the Colts had “Luck” and a lot of regular luck, the Skins had RG3, and the Vikings had the recovery of all recoveries from A.Peterson, but it goes to show that for writers this is the silly season. Make news, create a buzz when none is there.

    Think about this…we get 1,500 yards from DMC, a QB emerges from the 3 as a legit starter, our Defence is top 10…not a stretch considering the teams I mentioned above and their respective situations going into 2012.

    So, I’ll take #32 with all the salt it comes with…and then simply spit it out!

  74. vipod4ever says: Jul 16, 2013 2:12 PM

    elway6532….LOL….Cali weird?

    Weird and messed up would if we had two executives who face DUI charges, and one of them was head of player personnel….no, no, that’s weird coming from the land of milk,honey, and donkeys.

    Careful where you throw those stones, one of them might shatter Elway’s teeth.

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