Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) is pursued by Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Geno Hayes (55) and Paul Posiuszny (51)at Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jaguars 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe The 2013 Oakland Raiders Are Better Than We Thought?

Don’t look now, but the Oakland Raiders in 2013 are 1-1.

You read it right. Not 0-2, or 0-1-1.

Is this reality?

Thankfully yes. The same Raiders that purged their roster in the offseason and lost Jared Veldheer in the preseason nearly beat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 and dismantled the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2. The team predicted by many to be an NFL doormat (by “experts” like myself) may now be a legitimate gridiron obstacle.

No chemistry? No problem apparently. The Raiders opened 2013 with nine new starters on defense, but you couldn’t tell by performance. Oakland is fifth in the league in total yards allowed (261 per contest, helped by their 32:18 time of possession) and is tied for the NFL lead in sacks (9). But they aren’t doing it alone.

Head coach Dennis Allen and his staff have done a marvelous job of late putting players in a position to exploit their skills. Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver has installed exotic and agressive blitz calls absent a year ago, and his offensive counterpart Greg Olsen has reestablished the running gameplan.

Speaking of which, Oakland is tops in the NFL in rushing yards! The Raiders sit at 198.5 per game, which is 17 more than the second-place Philadelphia Eagles. Darren McFadden seems to have juice left, and credit goes to Terrelle Pryor, who has defenses on edge with his speed and throwing arm. The quarterback has breathed life into his franchise.

A month ago, the Raiders’ season hopes were on a feeding tube. Now we ask, can they sustain this competitiveness?

That’s primarily up to Pryor’s development and the health of the defense, which recently lost Tyvon Branch for possibly the year. But it’s fair to say this Silver and Black squad is better than the 3-13 team we (or just I) imagined.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Darren McFadden Jared Veldheer Oakland Raiders Terrelle Pryor

  • disqus_l6u0E2NqD5

    GO RDRZ.

    • Rui Thomas


      • disqus_l6u0E2NqD5

        BIG TIME!
        GO RDRZ

  • MartyCalderon

    I may not like Allen as a HC, but he is one master mind on defense. I think that’s made the difference. Allen has got this defense into shape and Woodson is clearly the leader of this team.

  • Chuy Bustillos

    And the Band wagoners are boarding ship, next stop playoff predictions… Shout out to the diehard fans that have been here the whole time…. Deuces to all my brothers and sisters…. We who bleed Silver and Black one love…

  • Chris Schroeder

    It’s ok Rui…. We except your apology. An expert Is only as good as the subject he claims to be an expert in. My advice to you would be to get educated about the players the Raiders have and the coaching staff they have before jumping on board with the biased media clowns who don’t really know dick about anything. All I’ve been seeing from several sports writers since the off season such as yourself, no offense. All I’ve been reading Is article after article claiming the Raiders will be the worst team in the NFL. I’m over here scratching my head wondering how they came to that conclusion because I did my homework on every individual player they have. And they have a plethora of talent and are far from the least talented team in the NFL. I just wish you media heads would do the same before making that assumption and ultimately end up looking foolish in the end.