After witnessing the Oakland Raiders come together in the preseason, it’d be difficult to say that every home game will be televised locally. The Raiders defense was virtually a mirror to the defense of last season, and the offense still has questions yet to be announced.
Veteran defensive end Lamarr Houston and strong safety Tyvon Branch are the only two defensive starters who were victims of last year’s disaster. Considering general manager Reggie McKenzie replenished the Raiders defense, there were high hopes that there would be significant improvements. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The inability to stop the run, rush the passer, and cover were major issues once again.
As far as the offense goes, it is the quarterback position that is most concerning. Throughout training camp and preseason, there was an ongoing quarterback competition between Matt Flynn and former Ohio State Buckeye Terrelle Pryor. Flynn held the crown throughout most of the offseason, until he began to shoot himself in the foot with awful play. While Flynn was having trouble at the position, the youngster Pryor was playing respectable football and seemed to give the team a crucial spark every time he entered the game. After plenty impressive playmaking from Pryor, whether he would use his speed or his arm, along with great intangibles that was unquestionably unmatched, he snatched the crown from the unclaimed king.
Head coach Dennis Allen announced Thursday after the preseason game in Seattle that he does know the starter, but he’s not going to reveal quite yet.
Watching and analyzing Oakland throughout the offseason heavily increased my anticipation of another losing season. Struggling this season for Oakland is inevitable, and as die hard as Oakland’s fanbase is, if the Raiders consistently fail to compete, there will be games that will not sell out or even make 85 percent capacity — which leads to blackouts.
Examining the schedule, there are a few games that I believe can potentially become blacked out. The first one is the home game on October 27th, against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I would say there’s a blackout alert on November 3rd against the Philadelphia Eagles, and finally the third one I believe has the highest chance of getting blacked out would be the last game of the season on December 29th against the Denver Broncos.
I wish the Raiders a successful season and hope none of the games blackout. Oakland’s fan base is amazingly loyal and deserves a winning team, although I do not see it happening this year.