ALAMEDA, CA - JANUARY 30: New Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen (R) speaks to reporters as Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie (L) looks on during a press conference on January 30, 2012 in Alameda, California. Dennis Allen was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing Hue Jackson who was fired after one season. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The Oakland Raiders Monday Night Football game will be a game of firsts in many ways.
The Oakland Raiders will open their 2012 campaign on Monday Night Football when they take on the San Diego Chargers at the Oakland Coliseum. There is no doubt that the theme of this game is one of firsts. The first season opener without Al Davis presiding over the team. The first time Darren McFadden and Carson Palmer will play as teammates in the regular season. The first time that Dennis Allen will lead an NFL team in a regular season game. But most importantly, the first time that Raiders fans and people all over the country will see the results of Reggie McKenzie's overhaul of the team.
While the Raiders have played in four pre-season games under the Dennis Allen regime, no one really knows what the Raiders will look like. Their offense should not be hard to figure out since Greg Knapp has been an offensive coordinator before and will likely be running much of the same offense that was ran by the Houston Texans last season. With that being said, Knapp has not had any where near as many athletic freaks on his offense as he does this year, and that will enable him to do things he was not able to do in the past.
On defense, however, no one really knows what to expect. The pre-season did not reveal a lot since the Raiders, just like every other NFL team, did their best not to show too much of their schemes to future opponents. We saw a number of players trying out different positions and saw a wide variety of formations but there is no way of telling what was real and what was a smoke screen. The Monday Night Football opener will be the first opportunity for fans and opponents alike to see what the Raiders will look like this season.