As Sunday approaches, so will the end of the 2009 Regular Season. Many Teams are strong as always, and Young Teams are getting stronger, leaving a lot of questions for fans and Teams that will play again in August. One of those teams being our Oakland Raiders, who have already gotten to be a spoiler to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinatti Bengals of the AFC North, as well as the Denver Broncos of the West. I am using the "spoiler" term to put these losses as notes, to those who say the Raiders are weak.

This would have been an amazingly different Season if somehow, the Louis Murphey Touchdown in the first half was ruled in our favor. In two other circumstances he has also been robbed from his exclusive class of Rookie WR's to become key contributors to an Offense. With that in mind also note the fact it also reflected on JaMarcus' stat line. If we could have played our best Defense on San Diego's final drive, this season would be reversed from top to bottom.

The Oakland Raiders were dominant in all phases of the game, and if that level of play was consistant this season, (hopefully next season it will be) the AFC would be completely re-arranged, but we instead played the upper-tier teams on their level and beat them. Which the Oakland Raiders have created their stir in their Conference, most certainly ruining the chances for a few other clubs and their hopes for a playoff bid.

By their win over the Philidelphia Eagles it held up the NFC East Division Title until week seventeen, and by beating the Bengals in week 11 the Raiders have made an impact in that division, as well as the whole AFC playoff scenario that is still being calculated, LOL! The reason to look for an upset in Oakland's final 2009 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Reason for me campaigning for Russell to start is there is no reason not to, at least to get more game footage to work with this offseason. I think the lesson is learned, now we need him to feel positive going into his third offseason, so he wants to work hard to take this team into the playoffs next year.

Against Denver Russell showed that he can handle the pressure of coming into a game with a deficit, and leading the team to victory. That is reason enough to prove that if the Receivers make the catches he can do amazing things. His strongest chemistry is with Chaz Schilens, who makes clutch catches, and helps convert on third downs. Needing to play a verticle passing game to beat Baltimore, Russell is Oakland's best option at QB for this game. His accuracy is better with the deeper passes, and with the blazing speed of Oakland's wideouts, why not take advantage of the deep ball? It is a fact that the deep ball is easier to catch, and is an easier route to run. It also lowers the coverage reads that Russell would have to read, allowing him to focus on just corners and safeties. The deep game mixed with screen passes, will basically take the linebackers out of the game.

We will see if Oakland can ruin a few teams chances of reaching the postseason by taking down the Ravens. I expect it to be a physical and defensive display of how football is supposed to be played, so it will be under 40 total points, and I think Oakland stays on top with 5 Field Goals by Sebastian Janikowski. The final: 22 -17

I am beginning to sense another Head Coaching change brewing in Oakland, which will once again slow down the progress, as well as the development for this young squad. The Oakland Raiders are again among the laughing stock of the NFL, it is a tough fact to face. Just like owner Bud Allen of Tennessee did, it's your turn to show them who's the Boss Al. Stand up and throw out your two fists. " _.-,'-,'-,-. __ .-.-.'-'-,_ ''

Tom Cable has been the most un-readable coach among the 32 total Head Coaches in the NFL this far into the season. What messages are you trying to relay to the young franchise Quarterback, JaMarcus Russell? When you make the horrid mistake again pulling the plug on JaMarcus, who is a player that comes alive at times late in the game. He is one many will consider to be a "clutch" player. He won the Manning Award in 2006 at LSU, one of four QB awards each year in collegiate football, for his leadership, and poise.

I know Cable is aware that he severly hindered the teams chance to sweep the AFC West Chiefs, for the first time since 2001. A Feat we have only done twice in Twenty five years. This is usually considered to be a bad time to pull your starting QB, when at the end of the Third Quarter your only down by 3 points. Cable instead gives Bruce Gradkowski his second chance to finish a game, instead of pulling Russell to the side and telling him, "This ONE is ours!"

The facts simply do not add up, Russell was clearly the best option at Quarterback to finish this one. The previous week he remained in the game trailing San Diego by more than three points at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Somehow, last Sunday JaMarcus Russell was Tom Cable's excuse as to why he wasn't producing on offense. Why is it never brought to point, the Formations rarely confuse a defense, the plays called just seem awkward. What is Tom Cable doing? With all of the offensive weapons or some of last seasons stars like Johnnie Lee Higgins, who was a huge factor with 22 Catches for 366 yards and 4 TDs a year ago. Higgins is an explosive player when and if he is on the field.

The Coach is the who is deserving of the "furious four down fingers." Isn't he the same guy that pushed Jeff Garcia out by stating, "JaMarcus is our QB, and he is going to play if he is available?" HE was going to start all 16 games if possible ahead of Garcia, but now gives up his starting role to Garcia's former back-up here in Oakland, as well as in Tampa Bay.

For the most part on Sunday, Russell was hitting his receivers in the chest, many of his (by statistical seperation) "incompletions," were what many consider to be "dropped." The key note is that none were intercepted. That shows that he is playing smart football, and when your fellow offensive playmakers, aren't producing, this becomes the game plan. Again his stat Line, rarely portrays his ability to make the big plays, what "would be"highlights in any of the first 9 weeks. Just for J Russ Lets' add in the "should've been caught. Some perfectly placed passes are ones that bounce from palms to turf. But worse than the drops, is the overall play from his WRs.


1. Play bad coached football.
2. Watch from the sideline.
3. Get named as an early Draft Bust.

The QB I see, is as furious with the playbook, as the ones who surround him that can't make a play. Maybe some vocal Flames thrown in his face could fire him up, maybe just a 'lil bit, right?... They were never heard. Instead the coach who "believes in him" yanks him from a game, to purposely destroy his and his teamates' desire to win.

My questions to Cable are, why wouldn't you wait until all the starters have made it back to give him a fair chance to proove himself? Why don't you factor in the drops on catchable passes, to see where his true completion percentage stands with the rest of the QB's? How is DHB still starting, but Russell on the bench? Why not take more chances down field? Is there any correlation between his low completion percentage and the fact that he has thrown less attempts than anybody else in the league? Why don't you bench the people around him, who aren't performing?

My point as to why taking JaMarcus Russell out that early was a huge mistake, is that he plays his best ball at the end of games. His percentage of pass completions are significantly higher at later points in the game, and if you are only down by three with one quarter left. How would JaMarcus Russell help? Just his fourth quarter stat-line alone, is quite remarkable to say the least. In the 7 fourth quarters he has played in, he completed 22 of 47 passes, for 298 yards, one TD and one INT. J Russ is one of the top QB's in the league on Fourth and long, completed 4/7 (58%) for a gain of 86 yards.

How is Brady Quinn doing, the player whom was the other option at QB in the 2007 NFL Draft?

He has stats that would make a ballerina cry, he has completed 59 of 108 passes, for a net gain of 508 yards for one TD and 5 INT's, worse than that of fellow 07 draftee JaMarcus Russell.

For instance, on the many 3rd down and long situations J Russ faces, he is 11 of 14 (79%) for 134 yards, an average of nearly 10 yards per completion, these aren't even close to what his numbers would reflect if more of his passes were caught. That's where I am coming into to show you the reality of JaMarcus Russell's "bad accuracy," as the problem to the Raiders recent woes. Not only were they dropping balls, but when they have made great catches most are overturn for almost any reason. Louis Murphey has made a few good catches, that were initially ruled as catches. The Touchdown pass in the endzone, would've been in his first NFL game, right before the black hole, that would've been a memorable moment in the climb back to the top.

That would bring his third and deep situations to a staggering 13 of 14 passes completed, plus the 35 more yards and a TD.

If he had some WR's who actually caught balls for a living, JaMarcus Russell would have one of the highest Passer Ratings. If we were to count-in the drops, that were catchable which on average is a staggering 7 per game. 7 multiplied by 9 for the number of games, is 63 drops to add to his 96 completions, bringing the total to 159. So he really should be the owner to the highest completion percentage in the League, which would be nearly 78 percent, ten percent higher percentage than that of Peyton Manning. So I can see the frustration Russell is dealing with. He should be the praise of the team and the candidate for most improved player, and in the running for NFL's MVP award.

Another fact is JaMarcus has a few INT's that were his fault, one young QB, who actually has a turnover problem would be, Matthew Stafford, who has thrown 5 TDs and 12 INTs, while starting for the Lions. How about the "Sensational Sanchez," known as Mark Sanchez by most, is being hidden behind a 54 percent completion percentage that doesn't matter, 10 INTs compared to 8 TDs, is able to show every skeptic that we can ball again as soon as this team clicks, which will show up late this season to make some noise in the dominant division.

JaMarcus, I am on your side, this was the wrong reason, or timing to be pulled. I thought you displayed a veteren's type of ball protection, who was playing to win the field position battle at stake. Why was he pulled when the Raiders had just got the crowd fired up after recovering a Chiefs fumble around mid-field. This was his moment to shine, but it's the coaches didn't let him try!

If Oakland get's something working against the Bengals, who will not be as tough and physical as they started the season. The upcoming week is a must win, and J. Russell is the only guy at the end of games.

In Sunday's loss to a New York Jets team that was on a mid-season slide, the Oakland Raiders began searching for a scapegoat. Halfway through the first half the Raiders found themselves trailing 21-0. In an attempt to blame JaMarcus Russell, head coach Tom Cable pulled him from the game, replacing him with Bruce Gradkowski. Yes, Russell was struggling early, with two Interceptions, one a pumpfake which he lossed control of, and the other was in the endzone for Darius Heyward Bey, who fell to the ground rather than making any sort of play on the ball. The second clearly wasn't Russell's fault. The coaching staff had words with Russell, who was steaming with his own poor production, which ended up resulting in him sitting out for the remainder.

Aside from the two interceptions JaMarcus had played fairly well, and was still able to march the team up the field. The decision to pull him will only slow down his learning, because he was still our best chance to win the game. If he wasn't pulled from the game against the New York Giants at the half, down 35-7, why pull him when we are only down by 21 points? Especially when you are working on building his confidence, it makes no sense to show him that you do not think he can bring you out of the hole. His history has a lot of victories in come from behind fashion, that's when he performs at his best. It was the most inconsistant coaching decision I've seen from Cable and his staff.

There was no bigger hoax call than the phantom defensive holding on 3rd and 5, where the Raiders defensive pressure caused Mark Sanchez to make an errant throw immediately after the snap, while Gerrard Warren slammed Sanchez to the ground. This would've forced the punt, but the flag gave them a first down, and eventually led to the third TD of the half. Albeit, it was Russell's INT that led to this Touchdown, but the defense has the chance to get the ball back, and allow the offense to cut the lead in half, and gets fooled by a fake punt. So why not bench the whole first string? Don't place the blame on one guy.

It was a combination of mistakes by several players why they were in an early hole. In a way to make a point rather than searching for a scapegoat, Cable should have sat down all the players that cost the team in any way. The first play fumble should have placed, RT Khalif Barnes on the bench for the remainder of the afternoon. Aside from not blocking Calvin Pace, he tried to trip him, which warrented the second flag against Oakland in two plays.

Oakland's defense was almost able to keep the Jets out of the endzone early, but Thomas Jones pushed through and scored from one yard out on fourth and goal. It is a tough task to ask your defense to keep any team out of the endzone, especially when they start the drive on the four yard line. So this defensive stand will leave all eleven starters on the field.
The second offensive drive starts at the Oakland 18 yard line. The first play, JaMarcus completes a pass to Tight End Zach Miller, for a gain of eight. On second down, Michael Bush runs for a loss of two, which brings up third down and four. The offense was unable to convert for a first down, due to a Louis Murphy dropped pass. So the Raiders send out Shane Lechler to boot the ball deep giving the Jets their second possession of the game.
The Oakland Raiders were able to put some pressure on Sanchez during the second stand, which stalled the Jets offensively. They put a small drive together, yet yielded only one first down, and minimal yardage.

The Raiders' third drive began from their own 13 yard line. The first play was a run to the right side with Michael Bush, gaining four yards. On second and six the Raiders were successful with a delayed screen to Gary Russell which actually lost yardage, bringing up another mid-range third down. The next play was the first, third-down conversion, and first-down of the afternoon. The play showed JaMarcus Russell very poised, make his reads, and fire the ball to todd Watkins, who reeled in the catch. An uproar began to a play we are bound to see occur a lot more in the near future, JaMarcus Russel hits a wide-open Darius Heyward-Bey for 26 yards and another first down. That drive when JaMarcus Russell did something that overshadowed the previous play, when he pulled his big mistake for the afternoon and threw his first interception. David Harris was the only player in the area, and returned it to the four yard line.

Another Jets Drive starts just four yards away from the endzone, the best thing to Rookie Mark Sanchez. His stats up to this point were non-existant, but there was his one rush for 3 yards and a Touchdown. Mark Sanchez had thrown one pass, for 9 yards, but at that moment he was the "better" quarterback. Compare his stat line to JaMarcus Russel's after four drives; Russell had completed 6 of his 11 passes, for sixty-one yards, of which he added another twenty-plus yard gain on a toss to Tony Stewart. My point is That Russell was playing a better game, yes he had three turnovers, but why pull your franchise QB when the Stalwart Rookie from the University of Southern California has yet to attempt to pass the ball more than one time. The Jets were afraid to throw the ball around, because Sanchez is very faulty. Obvious to the play calling, the NY Jets ran the ball 54 times against the Raiders, and only passed if Rex Ryan felt lucky. If a team runs 54 plays, for a gain of 316 yards, and allow Sanchez to only eclipse Russell's pass attempts by four, with JaMarcus only playing the first and half of the second quarter, tells the story behind "Off his Mark Sanchez's" credibility in running the Jets Offense.

Which ever way the news gets to you, the message I got out of this game, is that maybe the Raiders are missing their injured skill players, or all but one of our starting offensive line? Maybe Tom Cable gives JaMarcus Russell to much freedom, should he be more like Rex Ryan, and portray a trust issue between himself and his young Quarterback? Darren McFadden needs to get back out on the field to help his young sidekick make the offense's rhythm finally get a chance to remain steady. For many of you Raiders fans, you have lost your faith in Russell, but he isn't going anywhere. Stop booing him, as he trots onto the field in hopes to score US a touchdown. He is only 24 years old, and will get better, just let him develop. We have six straight losing seasons, looking to be on our seventh, so why not just enjoy in the bask of watching him bloom before us all, soon it will happen, J Russ will begin to ball!

P.S. Even with some horrible stats, we will still let J Russ throw, Sanchez will sadly show how much he has been cast-off by the coaching staff in New York.

Another local blackout, made it necessary for many Raiders fans to listen to Greg Pappa, and Tom Flores via radio broadcasts. Oakland had the combination of good play calling and decent execution on offense, which helped our defense stay off the field enough to seal the deal at the end of the game. Against the Philidelphia Eagles, the Raiders' defense was able to stop the second most powerful offense in NFL on their final drive, something that they are rarely able to accomplish.

I witnessed a few changes in the plays called by the Raiders coaches. It was very apparent in the schemes our defense was in would change throughout the battle. Instead of the expected blitzes that Oakland usually can't disguise well, on Sunday they finally mixed up the times and quantity of defender's blitzing. That is how the defensive front showed up more often on the stat sheet this week. By masking the blitz well, it was able to limit the double teams on Richard Seymour and Gerard Warren that we are used to witnessing.

The big play, which was undoubtedly the play of the day, was an eighty-six yard Touchdown reception by Zach Miller from JaMarcus Russell. JaMarcus Russell finished the day completing 17 of 28 passes for 224 yards, which translates to nearly sixty-one percent completion percentage, plus his 1 TD and 2 INT's one of which is not really his fault. Zach Miller was the leading receiver, being Russell's favorite target, finished with 6 catches, which allowed him to rumble for 139 yards and a score. The Raiders had two major contributors running the ball, Justin Fargas ran it 23 times for 87 yards and Michael Bush had 6 carries for 22 yards. But there was no bigger play than Gary Russell's final catch, to move the chains for the last time, so Oakland can take a knee until the clock hit triple zero.

Once you add in the fact that Oakland was finally able to sustain drives and get ahead early. Both are things that this franchise was in dire needs of in order to have any hopes of winning. When Oakland can get a lead it allows them to open up the playbook, both offensively and defensively.

On defense, having a lead will make blitzing a more exercisable option. That is how the Raiders can force opponents to throw passes in a hurry, which doesn't give them enough time to read the coverage. Therefore, there will be a lot more chances for the Defensive Backs to cut off routes and intercepting passes.

Offensively, the balance in playcalling can be shifted to favor the run, which is the Raiders strength. But only if the defense is on its heels, which is when they can get a decent passing game going early, stretching the field. Throwing the ball deep is always good early in a game, whether or not it is completed, it makes the defense hesitate to bring the safety up closer to the line. It also gives the play-action a better affect because the defense will not play every down as if we are running. That is the biggest advantage a young offense can have.

There is no doubting that JaMarcus Russell is hurt by not having Chaz Schilens on the field, that was his second sure-handed receiver, next to Zach Miller. His lost confidence in Darius Heyward-Bey is shown in the way Russell has thrown it his way less, and less each week. Louis Murphey has made some big catches, and will continue to make an impact this season, but he still isn't as clutch as Chaz, who will be returning to the line-up next week.

The next game is against the New York Jets, who are on a three-game losing streak. The Jets will field their rookie QB Mark Sanchez who has played horrible as of late. Sanchez will now have to face a defense that can exploit his weakness, which is throwing under pressure. He will already be under pressure from Jets fans, being that he has completed only 48 percent of his passes in his last four games, whats worse is he yielded the lowest QB Rating of 8.2 last week against the Bills. A QB who was looking explosive through his first three weeks has hit his rookie slump, throwing 1 TD and 8 INT's the last three weeks.

There is no doubt this game will be televised, but I will be a part of the crowd come Sunday, I was at last years Raiders-Jets game, which was our second win of the year. That game had to go all 60 minutes, and several minutes into the Overtime to decide a winner, the Oakland Raiders merged Victorious giving Tom Cable his first win as Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders. Sunday the crowd will put pressure on Sanchez, to match the pressure from our defense.

This year might get worse real quick with this schedule proving to be a tough road ahead, especially the next few weeks. Few understand the constant criticism which follows the Raiders everywhere and every year. Now it has seemingly become a single person that faces the heat of the mainstream media. But is he the only one to blame?

It looks as though Tom Cable has a different idea of how to use JaMarcus Russell. We should definately change the whole playbook during the bye week soon to come. It is obvious that having no rushing attack absolutely kills the passing game. Cable is Running the ball on 2nd and 10, down by 28 points. This ironic play-calling makes the clock continue to click, and when you have ZERO points, thats the last thing you want to do.

With the rest of the season about to be a long practice, why not use every game from here on out to make JaMarcus the Quarterback we need. They might as well let him throw the ball every-down. No matter what the score is, nor the down and distance, show him that there is faith in his abilities. Once the Raiders get behind by more than twenty points, they need to run a shotgun spread offense to allow Russell to make quick reads, and move the ball. Losing games isn't bad in a rebuilding season if the new players can form some chemistry. Russell will not improve by running the ball twice, and throwing on third downs.

I know this is a rough way to be a fan, and at times it is just plain miserable. The hardest thing to watch is when your team is losing big, and they continue to thing that a big run is going to change anything. As a Raiders fan, the criticism no longer gets under our skin, what gets us furious is how we do not TRY to utilize our teams talent.
For example, why not throw more deep balls, rather than running the dive two consecutive plays? At least let the youngsters have a chance at making a big play to give thier confidence a boost. This is a way to score early and sporatically through-out the game. The Rookie wide-outs we put on the field are faster than most corners aound the league, so have Louis Murphy running streaks on first downs, seeing how the defense usually KNOWS Oakland plans to run the ball.

The more Chances that Russell and Louis Murphy and Darius Heyward-Bey get to make the big play, the more times they will make it happen. The timing is the factor on the deep ball, and if Russell can perfect it, the Raiders will have the ability to score at any moment. With a group of young receivers that are quick, the passing game is going to be a huge factor in how and when this team improves.

This Sunday will bring week 3 of the NFL Season to fans all across the world, except for those of us in or around the San Francisco Bay Area. Due to the ineptitude of California's crippled economy, which has nearly 12% unemployed, those of us who had season tickets last year, or mini-plans had to pass on them this year. Meaning the Oakland Raiders region which covers from San Jose to Sacramento will be blacked-out. This is now forcing the true fans to scramble to find tickets for another home game against AFC West Division rivals the Denver Broncos.

The last meeting between these two teams came during JaMarcus' good stretch of games towards the end of last season. This game however, will decide who will be atop of the AFC West, as we approach the seasons first quarter mark next week. For the fans that are going to be at the game, this is the moment for our young team to step-up. We need the Coliseum to literally be shaking due to unimaginable decibal levels. Whether or not the building is filled to its capacity at kick-off, it needs to be the loudest battle-field come Sunday afternoon.

Raiders Key's to Victory:

  1. Run the ball steady, open up the day with five or more straight run plays, and hopefully someone gets rolling.

  2. Stick with the run, through all four quarters. Just as a reminder to thier defense to think twice before rushing in.

  3. Play-action passes, but only when and if they might "bite" on the fake.

  4. Let JaMarcus figure his problem out on his own, because no-matter ho many errant passes that wind up incomplete, its better than the other possible outcomes to the play; Interceptions, Sacks, or Fumbles.

  5. The Defensive front needs to not get held so much (LOL!) and apply more pressure on Kyle Orton this week.

  6. Shift our blitzing packages to key third downs, rather than blitzing sporadically on rushing situations.

  7. Last, but certainly not least, we need to make sure to have the middle of the field covered. Especially late in the fourth quarter.

I am having these visions of Kyle Orton getting harrassed constantly through-out the day. Which will get the crowd to emulate the echoing footsteps that Orton hears pounding against his ear-drums, mixed amongst a loud RAI....DERS chant. Allowing Greg Ellis and Richard Seymour to take turns pulverising the Broncos new sad excuse of a quarterback.

My note to JaMarcus, "There is only One meaningful Statistic that comes away from each game, and it isn't a number !"

The Closing Minutes in Monday Night's second good game was just heartbreaking. Again the Oakland Raiders were unable to seal the deal, after a stellar and almost dominant defensive performance. The San Diego Chargers showed what their Veteren Leadership can do when it matters the most, especially against the Raiders, who as of late are a victim to the fourth quarter.

Most of these late game losses that we have fell accustomed to in the past few years, were the result of poor play calling, and devious penalties or turnovers. This game actually left a bad taste in our mouths, leaving a large percentage of the Raider Nation speechless. If there are any who are talking, their voices are hoarse from all the cheering for once, instead of swearing about the Referee and the usual bad Calls. But I believe I have found the reasoning for why us in the Raider Nation should be turning to the "silent treatment."

My main reason is I noticed some early developing hatred towards JaMarcus Russell, which has circulated into the Coliseum with some "fans" that attend the games. His naysayers are most often made up of "Witless Republicans," usually the same moronic people that are driven to vote based on televised propaganda we can smell from quite some distance.

I am asking for the foundation of a new role of support to be built by the fans for our Nation's Troops. Standing behind this young squad is what is needed the most. This will enable this young, but talanted team thrive.

Yes I am aware that JaMarcus has started his NFL Career a little bit shaky, but we should be treating him like we believe that he is our Tom Brady, in the franchise player we are being told he is. We pay to go watch him, if you doubt him, and his obvious progression, then simply stay home. We have no room for haters to be wearing our own colors. Let's say the Chargers were not able to pull it off at the end, Russell has some puppy dog critics who would've said some off the wall statement about his accuracy. But when it was 4th and 15, with the Raiders trailing by four, did he look inaccurate? How about the dropped ball (TD) by Louis Murphy in the endzone at the end of the first half?

If JaMarcus Russell would have thrown a few more key completions to keep the offense on the field early on, this would've quickly became a huge beat-down. But I am not really trying to say if but rather when, as in:

"When JaMarcus gets his timing issue under some control, this team is going to light up scoreboards."

Why would any of you so called Raiders fans make jokes out of a 23 year old Quarterback whom left the game with a hurt knee, only to have him come back just three plays later, and throw what would've been a game winning touchdown. Many of us that have trusted his every decision, have noticed his desire, and will to win for the Oakland Raiders.

So let's leave all the drama to ESPN and their professionals to say what every Hater wants to hear. It will also keep the Media away while JaMarcus Russell smooth out this glitch with his WR's. There is going to be a point when these young guys turn to Russell as the Leader, and I feel that's how the fans need to treat him.

Looking at the relatively few "Raiders Fans," who say Russell actually is garbage, please go give your Randy Moss jersey to the Goodwill. We know your kind of football knowledge, you see to always talk all of that Corporate media jargon you hear on sports channels that have a strong East Coast Bias!

To our true fans, just keep on smiling, you saw a glimpse of the Raiders' future, and its coming real soon!

The Oakland Raiders are going to again start the year playing a divisional rival at home on Monday Night Football. On Monday September 14th, Alemeda County Colliseum will be where the Raiders play host to the San Diego Chargers.
This will be another great chance to start the regular season, for the simple fact that the AFC West is suppose to be weak. Mostly due to the fact that so much change usually does not help teams get better. Improvement isn't expected from neither the Denver Broncos, nor the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chargers appear to be our only competition. Although both the Broncos and Chiefs won their opener. For that reason, Monday Nights battle will now display who will be the team to beat in the West.
I have been viewing this weeks game as our game of the year, the matchup that will determine whether or not the Raiders can hang with the teams that are proven winners. The reasons that I expect Oakland to show their upper hand in this week's spotlight match-up is the speed of Oaklands wideouts. Rookie Wide Receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy will give us a lot of options, plus Johnnie Lee Higgins to change up the pace in our Aerial Assault. We have yet to showcase Heyward-Bey in the four pre-season games, so we would be able to hide his talent, at least until Monday Night. Somewhat like the Broncos Eddie Royal in last years opener. Once we witness the chemistry between Quarterback JaMarcus Russell and these young receivers, it will be a shimmery glimpse into the future of the offense.
Another plus to Oakland for the advantage with our defensive backs, against the Chargers wide receivers. Nnamdi Asomuogah, and Chris Johnson are a young tandem to be reckoned with. If the defensive front can provide a decent rush attack to seriously reduce the amount of time that Phillip Rivers has to get rid of the ball, giving the Raiders a lot more opportunities to make big plays.
The next reason that I see the Oakland Raiders having more chances to walk away with a "W," is the combination of Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas, and Michael Bush. They are one of the best three man running corps in the league. If Oakland can get McFadden in the right place at the right time, there is no limit to the impact he will have on this game. Yeah the Chargers do have a real game-changer of there own with LeDanian Tomlinson, but he will not see as many touches as his counterpart Darren Sproiles. I will still label the past prime "LT," as a single player that almost always kills the Raiders.
Many see San Diego being the "Power-house " in the AFC, but I would be one who says that the only "Power-house" would be the team that represented the Conference in last year's Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers. I would Like to see the Chargers try to play with our un-matched passing game, and Stern Running attack. If they keep the score close, I believe the Chargers have a better chance to win. I am waiting to witness our high-scoring offense that is bound to show up soon. Hopefully Monday Night Football is the primetime stage Tom Cable is waiting for to unleash his full stable of talent.

Greate picture from the Raiders website of their locker room for the first day of training camp.

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Posted by Oh_Zee | 1:16 PM | 1 comments »