Oakland Raiders Week 7 Primer: Home trip to San Diego

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Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck (91) talks with teammates before the start of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Roster Moves

There have been some changes made the Raider roster during the bye week. After waiving rookie safety Keenan Lambert, the Raiders placed him back on the practice squad. In a corresponding roster move, they signed kick returner Walt Powell.

Not knowing much about Powell I went back and watched some of his tape. He has a long video on YouTube that is a draft packet for potential teams. A significant portion of this is kick returns and he shows to have significant burst and more importantly a feel for the position.

Kick returns have been an issue for the Raiders all season. They thought they had solved the issue with the drafting of Dubose, but his early Achilles injury has left the team wanting. Walter Powell could absolutely be an answer for the Raiders and he has a firm understanding of why the Raiders have signed him. More importantly for most fans, this should take TJ Carrie and Amari Cooper out of harms way and out of special teams duty.

The next roster move made by the Raiders was to place Justin Tuck on injured reserve and to resign Taylor Mays. Adding Mays is to ensure stability on special teams more than anything. Mays may not be an ideal safety, but his presence on special teams is pretty good. He has shown be a consistent contributor for the moment. Missing Justin Tuck obviously does not help the Raiders, but his contributions are needed more in terms of his leadership than his actual play.

The biggest issue with Tuck this season was his poor pash rushing from inside. He has a tendency to use swim moves to get himself to a spot, but he almost always interferes with the rusher next to him. He has hampered the ability of the Raiders to create a pass rush in many circumstances. All in all his loss should be minimal on the field and his leadership will be omnipresent.

Wrap Up

The Raiders have an opportunity again in this game to truly put down ownership on this season. In a weakened AFC there is a chance for a playoff spot if they can win these sorts of games. More than that, the Raiders have a chance to show the culture has truly changed.

Recently the team has begun to garner favorable press clippings, but there is still a wave of skepticism within Raider Nation. Some of this is rational. After thirteen years of what can be aptly described as beaten spouse syndrome, it is hard to believe things have changed when one has heard it time after time. It is time for results.

Prediction: Chargers 23- Raiders 27

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