The autumn wind is creeping up on us once again and along with that comes hopes for a big season for the silver and black.
Back in late April at the conclusion of the draft I gave my record prediction for the Raiders. While I saw a slightly improved roster and better scheme fits I projected us at a modest 7-10.
My reasons for such an underwhelming record were the lack of improvement on the interior defensive line and our inexperienced and thin group of Linebackers.
After allowing our best run defender Andrew Billings to walk in free agency the Raiders failed to replace him with a proven run stopper and even passed on the best defensive tackle in the draft in favor of EDGE rusher Tyree Wilson. While Wilson should be a huge help off the edge it doesn’t fill the need for a dominant force on the interior.
As far as the linebacker room is concerned we have a very unproven group. Robert Spillane was brought over from Pittsburgh after taking a starting job from Myles Jack. Spillane is however a small band aid on a large, gaping wound at linebacker although has shown to be a liability in coverage despite a strong performance in training camp.
Next in line is Divine Deablo who has shown flashes of greatness but has yet to put it all together and missed half of the 2022 season.
The rest of the room is rounded out by rookies, UDFAs, and glorified special teamers.
While the Raiders boast a lot of young talent throughout the roster it is unrealistic to belive all these young players will take enough of a step by the season opener to lead this defense to a anything higher than a 25 defense.
So maybe all this pre season hype doesn’t end up being warranted and the Raiders miss the playoffs again, but isn’t that why we play the game? Perhaps despite all the signs pointing to another silver and black let down the Raiders can catch lightening in a bottle and shock us all.