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.