The fine folks at Scouts Inc. usually do a fine job of scouting and analyses. They avoid lazy generalization, in favor of informed and educated opinions. I may have to rethink that opinion. They released previews and predictions for every AFC team. They have the Raiders pegged for 7-9.
It's not the projected record that has rattled my eye patch—given the Raiders defensive performance in the preseason a 7-9 prediction certainly isn't surprising—but their breakdown of the team. Check it out after the jump, and check out their full AFC breakdown here (if you are an ESPN Insider.)
2011 Projected Record: 7-9
Campbell came into his own late last season, combining his mobility and strong arm with solid game management. Now he'll go vertical more often with emerging WRs Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey. OC Al Saunders has a huge playbook, yet Jackson will call the plays. How will that work?
A 6-0 division record couldn't save Tom Cable's job -- or his zone blocking scheme. Jackson will implement a straight-ahead attack. With McFadden coming off a breakout season in which he finally showed patience to match his physical gifts, the new scheme should still be effective between the tackles.
Here's an interesting combo of philosophies. The Raiders love tight man coverage, trusting their corners to play one-on-one. Yet they don't blitz often, preferring to let the front four pressure in a one-gap scheme.
This unit must improve from 29th in the NFL. The only two game breakers are Seymour and McClain. Otherwise, the Raiders' gap discipline is poor, resulting in too many big runs.
Where do you start with this? Emerging wide receiver Louis Murphy and DHB? Um, not the first two that come to mind. What about Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore?
Implement a straight-ahead blocking attack? That was pretty well implemented last season, and it was that scheme that led to most of McFadden's big runs.
Here is their assessment of the Raiders pass defense. "Raiders man coverage insert typical BS here. Raiders don't blitz often insert fart noises here."
The only two game breakers are Seymour and McClain? Huh? The defensive line was solid last year against the run, and the Raiders run stuff percentage reflects it. McClain has some improving to do before he is the game breaker in run D that Kelly, Henderson, Shaughnessy or even Houston are.
So, welcome to the thoughtless, lazy and regurgitated mass media Scouts Inc..