Schedule, 3 Things to Watch, Recharged for Draft

As most of you have read, the below is a our 2008 schedule. Check out my take.

Week 1 : Sept. 8 (Mon.) Denver Broncos 7:15 p.m. – As I stated before, Al Davis’ spending spree could pay off big time with Monday Night game against the hated rivals. A big win makes it a success, a big loss wont change the general public’s mind about our team being weak. Understandable, this would be a loss against a weak team.

Week 2: Sept. 14 at Kansas City Chiefs 10 a.m. – Going to Arrowhead is never easy, but we won there last year. We’ve improved; they haven’t. We should win this game, doing it is much harder, but we should win this game.

Week 3: Sept. 21 at Buffalo Bills 10 a.m. – NFL Schedule makers could have made us go to Buffalo in mid winter, but instead we get late Sept. Possible cold weather game at the most favorable time possible. NFL was nice to us here, and I truly believe the NFL knows that the league is always better off when the Raiders are good.

Week 4: Sept. 28 San Diego Chargers 1:05 p.m. – The first BIG test. If we are 3-0 or 2-1 coming into this game, this is going to be the huge test as to how far we have come. If we are 1-2 or 0-3 this could be Kiffin’s last game if he doesn’t win it. Huge game for the team either way, and headed into the bye with positive morale and momentum is important.

Week 5: Oct. 5 Bye – We always get an early bye, but the week 5 bye isn’t so bad.

Week 6: Oct. 12 at New Orleans Saints 10 a.m. – After a bye week we head to Louisiana at the best time of year. Its usually cooled off by this time and we should be able to compete at a high level here, besides the SD game all winnable so far.

Week 7: Oct. 19 New York Jets 1:15 p.m. – Another team, another beatable team. Even if we aren’t the strongest team next season, the schedule is favorable for us to be in a lot of games, and hopefully win more of them than we did last year. I always love when the Jets fans come to Oakland. They might wear more beer than most fans of other teams because they can’t keep their mouths shut. J-E-T-S Spells wet, bruised mommas boys.

Week 8 Oct. 26 at Baltimore Ravens 10 a.m. – The Ryan story line is always played up, this might be a good time for Rob and Lane to work together to dismantle Rex. Another winnable game…catch a theme.

Week 9: Nov. 2 Atlanta Falcons 1:15 p.m. – A Poor team at a great time of year. Atlanta’s heat has also cooled, so far we have all the cold teams early and the hot times middle late. This is important, we don’t have many weather extremes this far. Hall faces old team, I don’t think he will care much.

Week 10: Nov. 9 Carolina Panthers 1:05 p.m. – Its tough to know what to expect from Carolina, but consider how thy have played we should have a chance. Might be a make or break weak, he record before heading into weeks 12-15 might be important with the division rivals and NE coming up. Hall and Steve Smith angle is played up, and will remind us of what Hall can do to hurt a team, if we having a losing season, this is where the trade looks bad, if we are winning, it will be yet another example of Al Davis turning around a “troubled” player.

Week 11: Nov. 16 at Miami Dolphins 10 a.m. – Everyone sees Miami as an easy win, but expect a fight from the fish. Miami will be wanted revenge from last year and they will play much better this seaon under the new leadership group. We need to win the ones we should, so winning this one is important, depending on our record up to this point.

Week 12: Nov. 23 at Denver Broncos 1:05 p.m. – Okay, it could have been later, overall we don’t go to Denver in the heart of winter. That means a better chance at a win and hopefully another W.

Week 13: Nov. 30 Kansas City Chiefs 1:15 p.m. – KC at home should be a game we win, but its KC and the season is winding down. If the team is still playing for something at this point we are in good shape, the biggest test comes in the next two weeks.

Week 14 Dec. 4 (Thurs.) at San Diego Chargers 5:15 p.m. – Another Prime Time game, no repeats of the past, PLEASE. It would be awesome to be relevant in the playoffs again, so if we are by this point, it becomes a HUGE matchup and one in which we will have to play perfectly to win. Watch the refs in this one.

Week 15 Dec. 14 New England Patriots 1:15 p.m. – Some guy comes back to Oakland. Ew, that is the story line everyone else is going to give you, but still on our minds is the snow job and the local product Tom Brady changing his story about the call. That win kicked off their reign, this one kicks off ours, even if we aren’t headed to the playoffs.

Week 16 Dec. 21 Houston Texans 1:05 p.m. – Improved team and after we face a gauntlet of tough matchups. I never want us to lose a game, but if I were predicting a loss, this is the place to do it. Hopefully it isn’t a loss that hurts us more than a normal loss would.

Week 17 Dec. 28 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 a.m. – Gruden, Kiffin and Kiffin, blah blah blah I want this game to mean something. Its either going to mean a lot to one or both teams, or mean nothing to either one and get so little air play even the local stations consider dropping it for Dukes of Hazzard reruns.

Three Things to Watch
1. Sophomores (Russell, Bush, Kiffin) will be interesting storylines this season and how they do could determine how well we do.
2. Injuries – We have a solid starting core now, but they are injury prone and we don’t have much depth, so how healthy we are should play a large role in our win total.
3. Can we stop the run? As always chances are that we are going to face plenty of top RB. If I was the defensive staff, I’d have a dartboard with Tomlinson’s jersey pinned onto it. That is one guy we HAVE to learn how to at least contain. Still headed into the season, stopping the run has to be the biggest question mark the fans have.

2008 NFL Draft

After taking some time off of blogging, mostly due to lack of real substance. I am ready to start some draft talk again. No real news has come out, except that with which we already knew. Chris Long, Ghoslton, McFadden our our targets and that Jake Long is more highly coveted in the NFL than previously thought. I think the media is downplaying the role a DT has, and that playing Dorsey anywhere but the 3 technique spot is basically a waste of a top pick and limits the kind of impact he could have. Not to mention just the amount of money we have invested in DT even if we release Warren. I still have to think it is Gholtson…all signs point to him, but that is my concern, the Raiders don’t usually telegraph their pick. I like McFadden too, and there is always a chance.

Overall, I am getting excited about the Draft. Stay tuned for my blog in which I will spell out exactly how to have a great draft, regardless of who we pick.

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