2014 Oakland Raiders Preview, “This is the year”.
Recently I wrote about how the 2014 Raiders will do on paper, fantasy wise, you can read that here:
Now let’s take a look, game-by-game at what I expect to happen on the field in 2014.
NEW ADDITIONS: Attitude, DEs LaMarr Woodley (Steelers), and Justin Tuck(Giants), G Kevin Boothe(Giants), OT Austin Howard(Jets), DL Antonio Smith(Texans), T Donald Penn(Buccaneers), WR James Jones(Packers), RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Jags), and QB Matt Schaub (Texans). The team’s top draft picks; LB Khalil Mack-1st, massive linemen OG Gabe Jackson-3rd, and DT Justin Ellis-4th are expected to make an immediate impact as well.
LOSSES: QB Pryor (Seahawks), LT Veldheer (Cardinals), DT Houston (Bears), RB Jennings (Giants).
HC Dennis Allen is back for his third season, and so is GM Reggie McKenzie. “We’re gonna be the ones doing the pushing around”, McKenzie pledged. With that in mind and salary cap money to burn (finally!), he signed some big name veterans with chips on their shoulder to be the foundation. Mr. Davis called the off-season “phenomenal”. Even the outspoken Tim Brown is pleased that the team is “getting back to the Raider way of doing things”
“Obviously nobody’s happy with the way last season ended. We’ll see what happens this year. This year is the year, there are no more excuses.” – Mark Davis in exclusive interview with Jerry McDonald. Read it here: http://www.ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders/2014/07/21/qa-with-raiders-owner-mark-davis/
Despite finishing 4-12, and having the league’s toughest schedule, this is the year Raider Nation, maybe not the year to win the Super Bowl, but the year to see “progress”. As Davis puts it,”Progress is something you can feel, you can see it in the games. I haven’t seen it yet. And this is the year to see it. It really is.”
This guy Mike Wilkening over at PFT has the Raiders ranked 32nd in the league, I can’t get over that. I offered a bet to him, or any other hater on the forum. no reply. See full article here: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/07/07/preseason-power-rankings-no-32-oakland-raiders-2/#comment-3497464
But it’s been soo long since the team had success, can anybody really blame the uneducated haters? Do Raider fans even know what progress feels like anymore? sure we know all about self-destruction, and how that feels, but progress? not so much. Some fans out there think progress for the Raiders is converting on third and long. What does progress mean to you? what does it feel like it? 6 wins? play-offs? I know what you haters are thinking:
Curiously I simulated several seasons of “Madden” on my PS3 to remind me what it may feel like to see progress from a Raider team. Didn’t happen. After several sleepless nights, some herbal medicine, and some shock therapy I was finally able to release the demons of the past 14 seasons. Then and only then was I able to open my mind and envision a realistic…..ok optimistic, progressive season for the team. I suggest you all do the same, lest you get caught off guard by the winning. I mean you don’t wanna start crying at your hoodie’s crib when the Raiders beat the Bronc-hoes now do ya?
So this is how it will go down. You won’t even have to watch the games after reading this….on second thought, maybe y’all better watch the games. Ok get comfortable.
Schedule: Rank: #1 – Toughest
Winning% of Teams Played: 57.8% – First
Out Of Division Opponents; NFC WEST, AFC EAST, @ BROWNS, Vs. BILLS
Games against opponents who made the play-offs in 2013: 9!
Week 1: @ J-E-T-S. Geno Smith will probably be the starter, and the Raiders will probably win. A measure of revenge for last season’s 37-27 loss in NY. Raiders WIN! Record: 1-0
Week 2: The Riaaaaaaadas home opener Vs Houston Texans. We are 1-0, and “Raider Nation” will be echoing through the Black Hole!
Matt Schaub plays his old team, and you know he had this game hi-lited since the schedule came out. There’s NO WAY a Raider team of progress loses this game. Therefore Raiders WIN! Record: 2-0
Week 3 : The Raiders, feeling good, travel to Foxborough to play @ PATRIOTS. The team is in a tough spot here, it’s the Patriots home opener, and the Raids will be leaving for London, England immediately after the game to play the Dolphins the next week. N.E plays the Chiefs in Kansas City on MNF the following week, but they won’t look past the Raiders here. Raiders LOSE. You didn’t think they were gonna win every game did ya? I said herbal medicine, not herb. Record 2-1
Week 4: Conceivably the team could be 3-1 heading into their Week 5 bye with a win Vs DOLPHINS in London, England. The Raiders effectively get screwed out of a home game here as they are the designated home team. The Dolphins 2012, 35-13 thrashing of the Raiders was hard to erase from my mind…still Raiders WIN! Record 3-1.
Week 5: Bye
Week 6: Vs CHARGERS. First division game for both teams. They split LY with each winning their home game, the trend continues here. Raiders WIN! Record 4-1.
Week 7: Vs CARDINALS. The return of Carson Palmer. Raiders play their first game against the brutal NFC WEST Division. I think the Raiders, coming off a big home win vs a division rival, may have the team feeling a little too good at this point. It’s their first NFC game, and the first time the team faces an élite defense. Raiders LOSE, Record 4-2.
Week 8: @ BROWNS. Unless Johnny Football can catch his own passes, the Raiders should come out on top in this one. WR Greg Little makes his return to Cleveland after being released earlier in the year. If he’s still on the team, you may want to stream him into your fantasy line-up for this one (only if you are short a WR of course), as he has already stated he’s circled this date on his calendar. Raiders WIN! Record 5-2, but the Seahawks loom on the horizon like a cloud of killer bees.
Week 9: @ SEAHAWKS. The Revenge of Cable Guy, medication alert! Raiders will surely have an eye on their upcoming division/home game against the Bronc-hoes next week. Hear me out, at this point the Raiders are possibly embroiled in a battle for first place in the division plus they have 2 more division games immediately after the Broncos against the Chargers and Chiefs. Seahags could slap us with a 50 burger if we’re not careful. The Raiders are improving but they are not ready for this game, in this spot, at this time. Pete Carroll won’t call off the dogs in this one. Keep your meds handy. Raiders LOSE. Record 5-3.
Week 10: Vs Broncos. The Broncos come into this one-off a big away game at N.E. that had possible home field implications even this early in the season. If they lost that game they will be in a foul mood, and that doesn’t bode well for the Raiders. However for the sake of argument and hope of a Raider upset let’s say the Broncos beat N.E. the week before, and are feeling pretty damn good coming into town to play the Raiders, who just got pummelled by the Seahawks. Everybody in the NFL is going to expect the same result here in this game, except of course those of us in the Raider Nation, and who read this post. Nope, we all will be sitting at home doing this:
Reggie built this team for this game, they are going to manhandle the Denver offensive line, pound the rock, and keep that guy who plays QB for the Broncos off the field. By the time they realize what’s happening it’s too late. Raiders WIN! Record 6-3
By now the buzz around the NFL will be, the Raidaaaaaas are BACK!
Week 11: @ CHARGERS. Last week’s win over Denver not withstanding, the Raiders are still learning how to deal with success, and BTW the Chargers aren’t too shabby. They will be looking for revenge and trying to stay relevent within the division, and play-off picture. Bolts pull it out. Raiders LOSE. Record 6-4.
Week 12: Another division game this time Vs the disappointing KC Chiefs. Their O-line is messed up, and by now everybody knows they are a one trick pony. Stop Charles, beat the Chiefs. The theme for this week is PAYBACK! K.C. beat the Raiders twice LY by a total of 80-38. You think we forgot about that Chiefs?! hardly! what’s that they say about paybacks? It’s a bitch! and you’ll be ours on this day! Raiders WIN! Record 7-4.
Week 13: @ RAMS. This game worries me, it’s the ole handling success, and consistently bringing your “A” game thing again. After the orgasmic like victory over the Chiefs, and 3 monumental games back-to back-to back against division rivals what will they have left in the tank for this one? I’m hoping something, but I’m thinking nothing. This is clearly a let-down situation. A handicapper’s dream. The Raiders may go into this one as road favorites, but I have a feeling they come out not too happy. Jeff Fisher will have his troops ready. Raiders Lose. Record 7-5
Week 14: Vs 49ers. 49ers coming off a Thanksgiving night game at home Vs the Seahawks. They have 10 days to prepare for the Raids, meanwhile the Raiders have a colossal rematch on tap with the Chiefs in Kansas City. not a good combo. Raiders LOSE. Record 7-6
Week 15: @ CHIEFS. KC gets double payback surprise. Call it play-off envy. When we stroll into Arrowhead, it should go something like this:
Raiders WIN! Record 8-6.
Week 16: The Raiders end the regular season in Denver against the Broncos, this could be a battle for first place. What’s that? we got another game Vs BILLS first? aw mannnn. For those of you not familiar, this is what handicappers call a, “Oreo, trap,or sandwich game”. It happens when a team beats a division rival in very important game ( that’s one side of the Oreo ), then plays a team it surely thinks it can beat the next week, and follows that up with another monster divisional game (the other side of the Oreo), and what we have in the middle, the cream, that’s the Buffalo Bills. Statistics show that teams in this situation have a far greater chance of losing the game outright then they normally would, even as heavy favorites. Are you getting that sick feeling in your stomach Nation? flashbacks of bad memories perhaps?
At least we have home field, and the Black Hole on our side, and that’s enough. Raiders WIN! Record 9-6
Week 17: This is the scene. Broncoville, last game of the season. With first place on the line, and possibly even a play-off berth at stake the division leaders clash. Being at home, with revenge on his mind, first place within his grasp, and his Super Bowl window closing Peyton will not, repeat will NOT allow the Broncos to lose this game… or will he? nawww. Raiders LOSE, but still make the playoffs.
Yep, 9-7, and back in the play-offs. Now that’s what I call progress!
The Raidaaaaaaas are back baby!
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