Ahhhhh...Exhale...Football season is finally here. I have waited for seven years to finally enjoy a season. That's right, I have been holding my breath ever since Rich Gannon went down in 2003. I, and the rest of Raider Nation, have been holding our collective breaths for way too long...Inhale...Exhale...Inhale...Raiders!!!!
That's right Raider Nation, it is time to get the spikes, silver and black make-up and Championship Banners out of the closet, Raider Football is Back in Black baby!!! (Seriously, every Raider fan needs to click on the Back in Black link while they read this, because we are BACK) ((Here's a little Bon Scott for those Ol' Schollers))
With the fat cut from the roster...cough...cough...Jaminkus...this year's team looks to do a ton of damage in the AFC West and the first game of the season is against a foe that is stout in the area that the Oakland Raiders struggle in the most, running the ball down your throat.
Week 1 will see the Oakland Raiders travel to Tennessee to tangle with Chris Johnson (The other Chris Johnson) and the Titans.
This represents the high water mark for the season. If the defense can contain Chris Johnson then the foundation will be laid and the off-season goal of improving the run defense will be proven a success. If Oakland can win this game then the rest of the League will be on notice, because the passing defense has not been an issue and I don't think that many teams will be comfortable passing on Nnamdi and the rest of the boys.
Week 2 has set the Raiders up against, the current doormat of the NFL, the St. Louis Rams.
If Week one turns into a debacle then look for Stephen Jackson to be the pill that is tough to swallow in Week two, but even, with that said, this is a game that the Raiders should win, which makes it a must win.
The Rams are terrible. Period.
Week 3 sends the Raiders to Arizona to take on the Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals.
This will match up the best receiver in the game against the best corner. But, once again, if the run defense is porous, then it will be "Poor Us" as the game will feature Beanie Wells against the Michael Huff.
Without Kurt Warner the Cardinals look like a very beatable team.
At this point, the Raiders could/should be 3-0.
Week 4 brings on the team that we all think is in our Division since we play them every year, the Houston Texans.
Once again, this is a very winnable game. I know that when people see the Raiders on their schedule they are thinking the same thing, winnable game, but, at this point the team could be 4-0 or 1-3, this is what has me uber-excited.
The Texans are difficult to judge, they can be World Beaters at times and then look lost at others as they seem to be set on spin cycle at 8-8 every year.
Week 5 finally sends in the biggest opponent of the season, the San Diego Chargers.
The Road to the AFC West Championship definitely rolls through San Diego. To say that the Raiders have been inept against the Chargers would be an understatement, in fact, I cannot remember that last time that Oakland took San Diego down. I know that it wasn't when JaMinkus through a pick to end last season's opener, or that game in San Diego when the ref overturned a would be game losing fumble for San Diego, or that game when...Nevermind...It's been WAY TOO LONG.
If the Raiders win this game, they will win the Division. There it is, I said it, the Division will be won or lost in Week 5. Then again we all feel, as fans, that our teams can start 5-0 and win the Super Bowl...Right?