Tag Archives: Oakland Raiders

2012 Preview: Oakland Raiders

The 2012 Oakland Raiders will start this season in a very different manner: with no Al Davis.  Davis was indeed the face for the Raiders for nearly a half century, and he loved the Raiders and wanted nothing but the best for his team.  So now that Davis is gone, who will be the new face of the franchise?  Who will be the life force to get this team back to it’s winning ways?  The Raiders have been so close in recent years to winning the division and being a playoff team.  Just last year, Oakland was 8-8:  the same overall record, the same conference record of  6-6, and the same division record of 3-3 as the eventual division winner, the Denver Tebows, er Broncos.  It’s been the same thing the last few year: they get close, but they can’t quite make that leap to above average.  It does seem that they do have their quarterback.  It also seems that they do have their running back.  They do have a good defense, but what else do they have?  Oh yeah, they have a great kicker, who can win those close games for the Raiders.  But do you Raiders fans really want to hear about their kicker?  Of course not.  They want what Al wanted:  they wanna Just Win Baby!!

Fantasy Football Studs:   There are one or two true studs who have emerged in Oakland.  Darren McFadden has top 10 fantasy player ability.  He’s big, strong, and fast.  He has become one of the most exciting players in the league and he is an every week starter.  But I do have a big concern about Run DMc……he’s as brittle as a toothpick.  McFadden has yet to play an entire season since being drafted in 2008.  Last year, he started out strong, and then BOOM: he was out after 7 games.  He’s a stud, but draft with a contingency plan.  The other stud is of course, kicker Sebastian Janikowski.  I don’t talk a lot about kickers.  That’s the one position in Fantasy that really doesn’t need to be drafted, but the one definitely deserves a draft pick.  He can kick a 60 yard field goal with the ease of a hot knife through butter.  The defense is also a decent pick.  Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly can still get after QBs.  I haven’t mentioned Carson Palmer because he’s not a stud, but he can be considered a sleeper because he’s had the entire off season to get familiar with the Raider system and get comfortable with his receivers.  His top receiver should be Darrius Heyward-Bey, who should also be considered a sleeper.

Area of Strength:   Now this team is mostly mediocre, but it does have strength: the kicking game.   When you have a kicker like Sebastian Janikowski that can change the outcome of a game with just one swift swing of his leg, he deserves to be mentioned as a strength.  His longest kick last season was 63 yards.  He was 7 of 10 on kicks 50 or more yards, and he had an overall average of 89%.  If the defense keeps them close and Palmer doesn’t make any big mistakes, the Raiders will win more games this season off Janikowski’s foot.  Also, you can’t forget about his ability to put kickoffs through the end zone, controlling the opponent’s field position and their return game.  This guy is a very valuable piece of the Raider’s success.

Area of Weakness: This team has a few deficiencies, but the biggest weakness has to be the receivers.  There hasn’t been a consistent wide out since Jerry Rice and Tim Brown.  It doesn’t mean that they don’t have any talented receivers, but Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore don’t scare anybody.  These are speedy receivers, along with Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphy, who haven’t had any consistent quarterback play.  But you can’t put all the blame on the Raider QBs.  Wide receivers have to run precise routes and gain some separation from the defenders.  The Raider organization hasn’t had a big time receiver in quite a while.  The last time the Raiders had a 1000 yard receiver was Randy Moss in 2005.  2005!!!!!!!  Dreadful!  Maybe this is the year that someone can break the drought.  But until then, this is a weak squad.

2012 Marquee Matchups:   In addition to divisional games, the Raiders have some great challenges on their schedule.  Week 3 they face the Steelers.  Right after their bye week the Raiders head to Atlanta and we should see lots of running that day.  Week 10 that run game will be put to the test in Baltimore.  Week 16 we’ll see if the Raiders can contain Cam for Christmas when they visit Carolina. 

All Things Oakland Raiders: There are several ways to keep up with the 2012 Oakland Raiders.  Here are a few…

Blogs:  Silver and Black Pride http://www.silverandblackpride.com/ and  Just Blog Baby http://justblogbaby.com/ 

Apps: Raiders Fans for iPhone (by Webscouts)

Fan Clubs:   The official fan club for the Oakland Raiders can be found on www.raiders.com under fan zone. 

She Said: Football and a Fight on Thursday Night

We have an exciting Thursday Night planned! There are 2 football games tonight that are pretty exciting to us.  At 8pm, the Virginia Tech Hokies will be at Bobby Dodd Stadium to take on the  Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Starting at 8:20, Thursday Night Football returns to the NFL Network  with an AFC West showdown between the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers.

Before all of this action, we will be attending the Capital Food Fight, benefiting DC Central Kitchen in Washington, DC.  The Capital Food Fight will feature prominent chefs in a culinary battle while 67 top DC restaurants serve their signature dishes. The host of the 2011 Capital Food Fight is Anthony Bourdain (of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations”).  Celebrity Judges include: Ted Allen (host of Food Network‘s “Chopped”); Joan Nathan (James Beard Award winning cookbook author); and Ming Tsai (chef/owner of Blue Ginger and host/producer of “Simply Ming”).  The proceeds of this event benefit DC Central Kitchen (a non-profit that feeds thousands of people in additional to providing culinary training to once homeless and hungry adults). Continue reading

We Are Learning..Week 5

We all heard about the death of iconic NFL owner:  Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis.  It’s only fitting that as HUGE fans of the NFL that we show respect for a man who left a huge mark on the game.  While we personally did not agree with many of his decisions (and we weren’t the only ones), we certainly love the fact that Al Davis was brazen enough to walk to the beat of his own drum.  As African-Americans, it’s also great to see what he contributed to the game in terms of diversity.  Here’s to you Al Davis for bringing mystique and BOLDNESS to the NFL, along with that vertical passing game. This quote of Al Davis really sums up his belief in the vertical passing game: “When we came out of the huddle, we didn’t want first downs and move the chains. We wanted touchdowns-the quick strike.  We were going to take what we wanted and that was Raider’s Football”  Raiders Football was Al Davis.  R.I.P. Continue reading

The Raaaiders!

I personally hope this year is a great year for Jason Campbell. Hopefully all the adversity he has been through will be worth him being a rockstar at QB this year for Oakland. I’m not a Raiders fan, but the NFL seems right when Oakland is in the mix of things. They have some of the best fans. I digress…last year Campbell showed some promise. After taking over as starting QB from Bruce Gradkowski, Campbell played 13 games. The Stats: 2387 passing yards, and 8 ints. The major downside: He was sacked 33 times. Sadly (and I say this as a Redskins lover) my man Jason is used to it. His entire career has consisted of no protection and many times smacking into the turf. Oakland didn’t have a single draft in the first round. However, in the 2nd round the Raiders did address a huge need on the Oline and drafted Center-Stefen Wisniewski out of Penn State. He is expected to be a starter and to be great. In fact, Wisniewski was rated one of the top O linemen in the draft. Good for him-and better for Jason.

Al Davis has always loved fast speedy receivers. He actually has two of the fastest WRs in the NFL. Unfortunately, neither are names Jerry Rice or Tim Brown. Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy underperformed for the Raiders all season long. Blame could go the erratic coaching decisions at QB or the effective running game, but I tend the think that the WR s are just not that good. Murphy had 41 receptions, 609 yards, and 2 TDs/ Heyward-Bey had just 26 receptions, 366 yards, and 1 TD. These are your starters, Al Davis? Folks, all I can say is stay away. There is one bright spot in the WR corp in Oakland: Jacoby Ford, who was a surprised many in the Fantasy Football world. In his rookie season, Ford had 7 total TDs: 2 receiving, 2 rushing, and 3 in the return game, including a 101 yard kickoff return. I like Ford as a sleeper this season, who kind of reminds me of DeSean Jackson in Philly. I don’t think that he’s worthy of a Fantasy draft pick, but keep your on him when you look at the Waiver Wire. I do think that the Raiders have one of the best TEs in the AFC in Zach Miller. Miller led all Raider receivers with 60 catches, 608 yards, and 5 TDs. He’s a big target who gets open a lot, especially in the red zone. If you can’t get your hands on Gates or Findlay, Z. Miller can be a good choice for any Fantasy team.
Oakland had a very good year last season defensively. They were ranked 10th overall, and 5th against the run. The front seven will remain pretty much the same this season, with Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, and Kamerion Wimbley all returning. However, the secondary has gotten a face lift, with the departure of Nnamdi Asomugha, and the arrival of CB Stanford Routt (who’s that). The secondary was the weak link last year, ranking 16th against the pass, so they may be even more vulnerable with the loss of Asomugha. The Raiders do generate a good number of sacks so they may be worth a look come draft time. Their return game is set with Jacoby Ford returning kicks. Punt returns will be shared by Johnny Lee Higgins and Nick Miller. At kicker, Sebastian Janikowski is one of the leagues best and most consistent, but the question will be if he will have enough kicking opportunities. The Raiders Defense/Special Teams should be able to generate some points for your Fantasy team. In the end, that’s all anyone cares about.

Darren McFadden was finally healthy for most of an NFL season and look what happened in 2010. He lived up to the hype and ran the ball well. In his 3rd year in the league McFadden rushed for 1157 yards and had 7 rushing TDs. He’s great out the backfield. Jason could use all the weapons he can get! Finally avoiding the label of just another Okland draft bust, McFadden has pulled it together. Maybe all he needed was a change at QB…
The other RB, Michael Bush had a solid season as well 655 yards, and 8 TDs. The run is what’s needed in Oakland to keep decision making pressure off of Jason Campbell.

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