Out west, things have changed. The Denver Broncos have a new stud at quarterback, the Tebow days are over and the Raiders have a new coach. Having a new coach is something the Raiders have gotten used to of late. The revolving door of coaches continued after last season let’s see if Dennis Allen sticks around for a while.
The Raiders traded a big chunk of the team to get QB Carson Palmer last season. In what for many was questionable when it was done and is questionable today. His health issues were questioned. However, even though he was thrown to the lions as soon as he arrived, he did not perform all that bad. Look for him to step up his game and play much better if he stays away from injury.
Darren McFadden is the key to this season for the Raiders on offense and for many seasons to come. His loss last season made a good team bad. Helping him will be Denarius Moore at wide out and the game breaker Jacoby Ford. The line will be a patchwork of players with the exception of Stefen Wisniewski. A rookie on the line will be Tony Bergstrom. Mike Brisiel was a pickup from Houston and could be a big plus.
Defensively the Raiders have issues. They lost a number of players during the offseason. Rolando McClain has developed well but could be out for six months for a legal issue. Without Kamerion Wimbley, the Raiders will look to Lamar Houston for pass rushing. Richard Seymour should help, but he is getting old and will have to be rested. Ronald Bartell and Shawntae Spencer will be at the corners with the loss of Stanford Routt.
One intangible in the Raiders favor is they have the best placekicking and punting tandem in all of football. Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler can change games with just one kick of the ball.
If McFadden stays healthy, the team will have a chance at a wildcard. Without him, the team is ordinary at best.
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