For the first time since 1970, the Oakland Raiders will be playing on Thanksgiving Day.
It has been four years since the Raiders and Cowboys have met in the regular season. The last installment was a thrilling 19-13 Raider victory that ended with a dramatic, fourth and goal, stop by the Warren Sapp led defense.
It was common place for the Cowboys to train in Oxnard, California, and to scrimmage the Raiders in the preseason. Even though little was on the line in those meetings, they have always been highly contested and would occasionally feature brawls between the two sides.
The Raiders will also host AFC West divisional rivals the San Diego Chargers on the second half of the Monday Night opener on September 14th which is a celebration of the AFL’s 50th anniversary.
Last year, the Raiders suffered an embarrassing defeat on the Monday Night opener to the Denver Broncos as Jay Cutler and Eddie Royal picked on DeAngelo Hall like he was a one armed kid playing tetherball. MeAngelo was exposed as a fraud in man-to-man coverage that night and would ultimately be cut loose.
The message is clear. Like it or not, Raider Haters, but the Oakland franchise still can move the meter as evidenced by the NFL’s selection of two Raider games in primetime on big money nights for the league.
Laugh up the last six years all you want. I’m going to call wins in both of these games now. The Raiders are 6-3 all-time against the Cowgirls and I’m predicting a 7th win. 2009 will be the end of the “Chargers reign of mediocrity”, the warning shot will be fired on opening night.