Well, we've got just about all the information we are going to get on the Oakland Raiders before they begin their 2011 season. This will be the third time we've done this poll leading up to the season. It will be interesting to see how the preseason altered our prognostications.
The last poll, taken on August 16th, had 72 percent of us picking nine or 10 wins. I was leaning towards nine wins on that poll. I am not now. And, as is typical with the Raiders, my heart and my head stand in conflict.
My head saw the preseason and the serious holes in the defense and says this is a six or seven win team. My heart says the defense will be bolstered by the return of Chris Johnson, and give a full game to play the defensive line will dominate. That tells me this is a nine or 10 win team. Jump over for more....
I like what I saw out of the offense from this team in preseason, and that was without their best player, Darren McFadden. They struggled in the redzone, but I am a lot more confident they can figure that with greater aptitude than they can solve the defensive puzzle.
So, for this poll, I am splitting the difference between my heart and my head and calling for eight wins. And I'll add that if the Raiders dominate the Broncos, my heart was right. If they struggle against the Broncos, than my head was right.
Maybe we'll try this poll following that game, too.