Dec 22, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (93) and defensive end Lamarr Houston (99) react on the field in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Five Reasons to Watch the Raiders in Week 17

Raider Nation spent their 2012 football season watching the silver and black regress rather then build. A once potent offense lead by the potential filled Darren McFadden faltered in it’s first season under a new head coach. The hopes for a new defense in the bay crumbled to the ground as Shawntae Spencer and Ron Bartell proved to be ineffective defending the pass. One year ago Raider Nation was preparing for the playoffs. Present day tells a different story. The story of a squad hoping to seal a fifth win against another broken team.

Despite the sick feeling of watching rival teams like the Broncos prepare for the playoffs Raider Nation does have reason to watch the final game of the season. The Raiders and Chargers are currently two scrappy teams with nothing left in 2012. Two rival teams with nothing to lose never makes for a boring game.


5) Raiders vs. Chargers Rivalry – The San Diego Chargers end the 2012 season on Sunday along with the era of Norv Turner. Coaching changes can often be brutal on players who have developed trusting relationships with their coach. Expect to see Norv Turner loyalists going out with a bang on Sunday as the Chargers wont roll over to an Oakland team who is all too familiar with coaching changes. On the other side the Raiders have played with a frustrated attitude all season. Players like Tommy Kelly and Lamarr Houston have no problem with going Roadhouse on some blue jerseys. Two frustrated teams will clash on Sunday.

4) Who will Replace Seymour? – Richard Seymour hasn’t always been the best lineman in Oakland. However, he was a leader on the defensive side of the ball who never lacked the emotion a defensive player needs. The young Lamarr Houston has shown himself on occasion the same being said for Tommy Kelly. However, one of these men will have to step up and show themselves to be next seasons leader. There will be no better time to showcase their talents then on Sunday in final game of the season. That is if they can keep level heads.

3) The Unknowns – Other than Terrel Pryor’s debut on offense, what other young player will showcase their talents. Surely Dennis Allen will be game planning a pre-season type game testing not only Pryor, but an array of both offensive and defensive competitors looking for the next hidden gem like a game of Bejewled. Perhaps Taiwan Jones will step up and deliver a much anticipated performance.

2) Big plays – With nothing to lose fans can expect both teams to rely on a little trickery. With oakland’s arsenal of versatile players such as Marcel Reese, Terrel Pryor, Darren McFadden, Taiwan Jones, and Denarius Moore there is no reason not to trust a flea flicker here or there. This hopelessness matched with ability could lead to some exciting football.

1) Of course Terrel Pryor’s Debut – Being a Michigan native I have watched Terrel Pryor awe crowds since he was a Buckeye being booed in the Big House. On Sunday I hope to hear the same boos reverberate in the stands of San Diego. However, after watching Pryor throughout the pre-season all I saw was a waste of talent. Sitting an athlete as gifted as Pryor on the bench in hopes of being an elite signal caller is a joke. Pryor lacks the ability to accurately throw the ball down the field. Placing Pryor at tight end would not only fill seats in Oakland, but also allow him to showcase his God given ability to play the game. Sadly I believe Sunday will show the world just how tight end-like Pryor really is. With any luck I will be wrong and Pryor will relive his pre-season clinic he put on against Detroit. Regardless of the end result Raider Nation should be ready for a game worth watching!

Aug. 17, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback (6) Terrelle Pryor against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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