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2013 Oakland Raiders Predictions

2013 Oakland Raiders Predictions
The Oakland Raiders didn’t finish in last place in the AFC West last year. That’s a good thing considering and a step up for coach Dennis Allen. Now they need to take another step up but there are still many concerns about whether this team can’t take that jump with new quarterback Matt Flynn. Here is a preview of the Oakland Raiders from the AFC West.

The Raiders ranked 18th in total offense last year (344 yards per game) and 28th in rushing (88.8 yards per game). Flynn has never really had a shot to start at quarterback after stints with Seattle and Green Bay. Oakland traded away Carson Palmer and acquired Flynn from Seattle. He’ll run the West Coast offense, which he suits since it requires accuracy in the short-passing game. He doesn’t have a big arm so there are limitations. The receivers are mediocre as Denarius Moore is the closest they have to a number one. Jacoby Ford is trying to return from foot surgery that cost him all of the 2012 season. Free agent Cribbs will add depth at receiver and on returns. At running back, Darren McFadden is an elite back when healthy. He has great speed and decent power. Jennings can help as more of a downhill runner. The offensive line is hoping that left tackle Jared Veldheer can use his strength to knock defenders off the ball. At right tackle, Khalif Barnes will be challenged by second-year pro Menelik Watson. The guards are young and talented led by RG Mike Brisiel.

The Raiders’ defense was average last year, ranking 18th overall (354.5) and 20th against the pass (235.9). The front four will be a big question as defensive end Lamarr Houston is the only returning starter from last year. He lead the Raiders’ linemen in tackles, sacks and tackles for loss. Jason Hunter returns as the other end, who was just a situational player last year. Pat Sims and Vance Walker will eat space up front as defensive takcles but not much more. At linebacker, the Raiders brought in Nick Roach from Chicago to start on the strong side. He’s solid in pass coverage but isn’t much of a pass rusher. Oakland forced just eight fumbles last season and WLB Kevin Burnett should be able to help in that category. He takes over in the middle for Kaluka Maiava. Third-round pick Sio Moore could also see the field this year. Charles Woodson returns to Oakland as as free safety after playing most of his career at cornerback. Porter moves from Denver to Oakland, where was a disappointment. He’s a solid player but will give up some big plays as a number one corner. Mike Jenkins, the former Dallas Cowboys corner, will man the other side. Both players will be pushed by first-round pick D.J. Hayden, an athletic player who has a strong work ethic.

Special Teams:
The Raiders have one of the best kickers in the game in Sebastian Janikowski, who has one of the strongest legs ever. He has recorded touchbacks on more than half of his kickoffs. Punter Chris Kluwe comes over from the Vikings and will be challenged by Marquette King. On returns, Cribbs can handle kick return duties.

The Raiders will struggle again this year but it’s anybody’s guess how Flynn will play. He’s never started before so this is a big risk for the Raiders.

2013 Regular Season Schedule:
Date vs. Last Meeting ATS
09/08/13 @IND L 26-31 12/26/10 L/O
09/15/13 JAC W 26-23 x 10/21/12 L/O
09/23/13 @DEN L 13-26 12/06/12 L/U
09/29/13 WAS L 13-34 12/13/09 L/O
10/06/13 SD L 21-24 12/30/12 L/O
10/13/13 @KC W 15-0 12/16/12 W/U
10/27/13 PIT W 34-31 09/23/12 W/O
11/03/13 PHI W 13-9 10/18/09 W/U
11/10/13 @NYG L 7-44 10/11/09 W/O
11/17/13 @HOU W 25-20 10/09/11 L/U
11/24/13 TEN L 13-38 09/12/10 W/O
11/28/13 @DAL L 7-24 11/26/09 W/U
12/08/13 @NYJ W 34-24 09/25/11 W/O
12/15/13 KC W 15-0 12/16/12 W/U
12/22/13 @SD L 21-24 12/30/12 L/O
12/29/13 DEN L 13-26 12/06/12 L/U


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