I’m just going to come out and say it…the Oakland Raiders are going to win the AFC West.
I’m sure you’re thinking that I am just a “crazy Raiders fan who always claims they’re going to win”, but that isn’t the case…I’m not crazy. I am speaking as a totally unbiased fan of the NFL. I will show you. Let’s go through the facts.
New coach and general manager: As soon as GM Reggie McKenzie was hired, he decided to get rid of what he thought was the Raiders biggest downfall. He started with firing Hue Jackson and hiring a coach he knew would make a difference for the team, Dennis Allen. Allen will instill discipline, hard work, and motivation into these athletes. The Raiders are known for beating themselves with the amount of penalties they receive, and this is going to change with the new leadership; which brings me to my next point.
Cleaner defense: Now that the team is going to be led by a new coaching staff, new defense techniques can be introduced to this Raiders team. The Raiders defense has always been a problem when it comes to winning games. Whether it’s confusion on the field, or jumping off sides 30 times in one game, something has always held them back. But because there are new faces, there are going to be positive changes to the defense.
Darrius Heyward-Bey: Do not be surprised when Heyward-Bey shows out this season. He is consistently improving as the years go on; last season he almost had 1,000 receiving yards. QB Carson Palmer and Heyward-Bey worked together all last season and they will be working together during training camp. This allows the two to get into a good rhythm and to be able to connect all season. Be prepared for a breakout season for Heyward-Bey.
The “other” teams: Yes, Denver has Peyton Manning, and San Diego has Philip Rivers, but a QB does not and will not make a team. Last season all three of these teams went 8-8, but because Denver won more divisional games, they were able to move on to the playoffs. The Chargers have always been an “iffy” team. They’ll do good against the teams that don’t matter, when it comes to the games that count, they choke. Peyton Manning is leading Denver in a rebuilding year, which would have been a winning year if they had not gotten rid of Tebow (but that’s another story). Notice I haven’t mentioned anything about Kansas City, but they don’t pose as a threat to anybody in this division.
With everything said, I think slash know that the Raiders are going to win the AFC West. It’s about time new ideas are expressed within this franchise, and with new ideas are new winning outcomes.