I don't want to get into the debacle that was last night and I'm not talking about a meaningless preseason effort. I'm referring to those imbeciles who give us true long-time Raiders fans a bad name. That probably will be dissected by every media outlet for the next couple of days and won't be fair to the team itself in the process as usual. I want to look ahead to the upcoming season by breaking down what we've done in the past four seasons and this most recent off-season and gauge how far we've come. Also it should give us an idea of which direction the Raiders will navigate to in the years ahead. I have been very critical of my team recently but believe it or not I think this team may finally be ready to take the next step.
Back in 2007, at the start of the season we were getting carved up by Jon Kitna and the Lions receiving corp which included a guy we past on that year in Lane Kiffin's first game of his obviously forgettable career in the NFL as a head coach. Meanwhile a purple drank-swigging fat boy was holding the team hostage for $32 million guaranteed and personal perks. That year we went 4-12 including 0-4 against the NFC North. We would improve by one game the following season while transitioning to the Tom Cable era. That season concluded with two outstanding efforts (including our only victory against the Houston Texans) in our regular season finales that seemed to look as though our team was growing into a bonified solid program.
Unfortunately we stayed in neutral at 5-11 until this past season in which we finally dumped the fat boy and upgraded with a seasoned, under-valued true NFL quarterback who at first looked like a deer in the headlights but at season's end seemed to finally have taken the reigns of Coach Jackson's complicated playbook with full force. Now after the shortened off-season we have lost a few pieces to franchise with bird fetishes and are not as talented as we were at this time a year ago but we seem to have an identity as a franchise for the first time since our team was being scolded as the dumbest team in America by it's Jon Gruden wannbe head coach. This team may end up at a push which would mean another 8-8 season considering the Bolts look like they may be improved by their team not holding out for the first half of the season now and also with two of the toughest divisions on the schedule this year in the AFC East and the NFC North. For all his arrogance with his building a bully quote, I think Coach Jackson gets it. Looking at the schedule I can see us possibly flirting with a playoff qualifier at an over under of 10 wins. 9-7 might be more realistic with a playoff clincher depending on our conference record. Let me know what your predictions are for this year are in the comments.