Thought I'd provide a distraction from the debacle we just witnessed with a little bit of good news :)
Two years ago in the 2012 season, our Raiders went 8-8. This year, the prevailing wisdom says we've lost too many good players since then, w/o replacing them.
So I thought I'd take a moment to think about this claim, breaking down the key players (either starters or guys who played a lot) we've lost since that team, and who we've picked up, and whether or not these changes are an overall upgrade, or downgrade.
I've rated them by position, and assigned a value between -4 and +4 per player. Here's what I come up with:
Nobody --> T. Jones (huge upgrade) + 4
Campbell --> Palmer (good upgrade) + 3
Chaz, Murphy, Higgins --> Moore, Streater, Criner (good upgrade) +9
J. Henderson --> Tollefson (decent upgrade due to Henderson's age) + 2
Boller, Grads --> Leinart, Pryor (decent upgrade) +4
Wimbley, Groves, T. Howard, R. Brown, B. Davis --> Wheeler, Curry, Burriss, Kilgore, Ihenacho (small upgrade) +5
N. Miller --> McCann (even) 0
Cable, Hubris, Marshall --> Allen, Knapp, Tarver (huge ? marks here, but lets hope this is at least even)
Satele, Walker, Gallery, M. Henderson --> Lil' Wiz, Brisiel, Bergstrom, Barksdale (small downgrade) -4
Eugene --> Giordano (small downgrade due to Eugene being ST stud) -1
Zach Miller, Myers --> Myers, Gordon (huge downgrade) -4 (since only one player changed)
Nnamdi, Routt --> Bartell, Spencer (huge downgrade) -8
Bush --> Goodson or Miller (huge downgrade) -4
Cartwright --> Nobody (huge downgrade) -4
Upgrades: 27 pts
Downgrades: 25 pts
There you have it ... damn close to even, and if anything, I think we're better now.
My assessment is that the mediot's (that's for you, PR :)) claims that the Raiders have just lost too many good players w/o replacing them rings a bit hollow. Overall I think the quality of this team matches up well with our 8-8 2010 team, and I predict a similar finish. Due to the (overall mediocre) quality of the the rest of the West, I think this season will stay exciting right up to the final 2 weeks, with the Raiders in the hunt the whole year.