In 2012, the Oakland Raiders proved to be substandard on both sides of the ball. In 2013, this team might have gotten better on defense, but it will be a challenge to improve on offense.
Best Offseason Move:
The Raiders know that the version of Charles Woodson they’ll be getting this season isn’t as imposing as the former one. Yet, Woodson’s return to Oakland has to be seen as a big boost to the secondary and to a defense that gave way in the second half of the 2012 campaign. Oakland’s defense was shredded by the likes of New Orleans and Tampa Bay last season. As the year wore on and the weather got colder, the Raiders displayed less resilience on the defensive side of the ball. This was a problem that was not confined to the secondary, but in a pass-happy league such as the NFL, the lack of a good secondary is exposed immediately, and the results are profound in such a scenario. Linebackers can blow tackles and turn four-yard runs into 12-yard runs. That kind of deficiency enables teams to drive the ball more consistently and move the chains in various situations. On the other hand, when defensive backs and safeties fail to do their jobs, 50- and 60-yard touchdown passes light up the skies. That’s when a defense gets embarrassed. Having Woodson back in central California after a productive (Super Bowl-winning) tour of duty with the Green Bay Packers can only help the Raiders’ back line of defense. You can find fault with a lot of the Raiders’ moves in the offseason that just came and went, but this is certainly not one of them.
Worst Offseason Move:
Football betting fans watched the Raiders trade for Matt Flynn – another former Packer – and appoint him as their new starting quarterback, although Flynn had already moved to the Seattle Seahawks before the Raiders snatched him up. Flynn was originally supposed to begin life as an NFL starting quarterback in Seattle with the Seahawks, but a fellow named Russell Wilson beat him out in the 2012 preseason and never let go of the job. Flynn’s pronounced lack of meaningful playing time in Seattle was and is (and should be seen as) an indication that he is not a top-shelf signal caller in the league. Since the Raiders have had such sustained difficulty in landing a dependable quarterback, the organization really needed to aim a lot higher than Flynn. Was this truly the best quarterback on the market for the Raiders, the best field general they could get to replace Carson Palmer? This is just one reason why the Raiders remain in big trouble as the 2013 season approaches.
How They’ll Finish In The Division:
The Raiders just don’t have many answers to the most pressing questions that face them. This is a team being reassembled for the future. The head coach, second-year man Dennis Allen, does not seem to have much of any control over his situation. NFL betting handicappers should expect a season with at least 10 losses.
Super Bowl Odds: +11000