Week in Review: Blakes Breakdown of the AFC West

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4th Oakland Raiders – 5-11

Oakland hasn’t been very good for a long time, and they have some good pieces in place on this team to build upon for the future. Darren McFadden is one of the best RB’s in the league when he is healthy. However he has had a really hard time staying that way since he has been in the NFL, including missing 10 games this past year. They are also without Michael Bush to carry the load when McFadden is hurt. They did sign Mike Goodson, but he isn’t Bush. They have 2 good young WR’s in Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore. Both have shown the ability to be big time WR’s. They also have Jacoby Ford, who if healthy, will give them great speed and big play ability on offense. They don’t really have a pass catching TE to speak of. They have some good pieces on their O-line too. Jared Veldheer and Stefen Wisniewski were both outstanding at their LT and C positions. However the other positions aren’t as strong. The biggest problem I see on the offense is Carson Palmer. While showing some flashes last year, he continued to throw far to many interceptions (16) and while still having a strong arm, it isn’t what it once was. When pressured he is afraid to take a hit and makes mistakes.

The defense is in disarray. The continued to lose starters off their defense without really replacing them with talent. The Raiders lost Kamerion Wimbley at DE who was their best pass rusher. They also lost DE Trevor Scott and DT John Henderson all on the D-line. They didn’t really sign anyone to replace any of them either. In the defensive backfield they lost their best CB Stanford Routt as well. They signed Shawntae Spencer who couldn’t even play in San Fransisco and Ronald Bartell who missed 15 games last year with a neck injury. On top of all that Rolando McClain was sentenced to 180 days in jail and will surely be looking at a suspension. 4th round rookie Miles Burris may have to step in if McClain can’t play. They still have Richard Seymour and Lamarr Houston on the line, but Seymour will be 33 this year and it’s unknown if Houston can get pressure without teams keying on Wimbley on the other side. The strongest positions on this defense are the safety positions. Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch are very good players, but can they make up for the lack of pass rush and lack of talent at the CB position?

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