Dec 27, 2013; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson at press conference at Oakland Raiders Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Is Charles Woodson Right About The Oakland Raiders Making The Playoffs?


The Oakland Raiders are coming off of their second straight 4-12 season during the tenure of general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen. The are set to begin year three of their rebuild, which is the most important, as they finally escaped the salary cap hell they were put in by the previous regime. With roughly $60 million to spend in free cap space, the Raiders were extremely busy in free agency.

The Raiders struck out on several of the big free agents early on in the free agency period. They also lost their own top two free agents in Jared Veldheer and Lamarr Houston. After the rough start, they were able to make a strong push late and were able to bring in several proven players.

Offensively, they signed running back Maurice Jones-Drew and wide receiver James Jones to give the Raiders two more offensive weapons. They also traded a late round pick to the Houston Texans for veteran quarterback Matt Schaub. The addition of Schaub gives them a steady hand at the quarterback position that they have not had in quite awhile.

Defensively, the team looked to improve their pass rush and the secondary. The front-seven got an infusion to their pass rush with the addition of some of the most prolific pass rushers in the recent history. They added defensive ends Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley to give them an edge rushing presence they have not had since Derrick Burgess was terrorizing opposing quarterbacks in the early 2000′s. In the secondary, the stole the starting corner backs from their cross bay rivals in Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers. Brown gives them a solid coverage corner on the outside and Rogers gives them versatility to play outside and in the slot.

The moves to bring in the veteran talent has given the roster a major talent boost and a set of players with a championship pedigree. This should help to create a culture built on success instead of failure that McKenzie is trying to implement. These roster moves have a lot of fans and people around the organization excited about the upcoming season, especially returning safety Charles Woodson.

In a recent interview with Bay Area radio station, 95.7 The Game, Woodson was asked if the roster moves made during free agency were enough to make the Raiders a playoff team.

“No doubt about it, I don’t see why not,” Woodson said. “I ain’t looking four or five years down the road. I fully expect to be in the playoffs this year.”

Woodson was highly optimistic about the Raiders chances to turn it around in a single season. He was not alone in his assumption. Fullback Marcel Reece believes they will not only make the playoffs, but be the team that takes the division.

 

Another player decided to throw his hat in the ring and predict instant success for the Raiders. Newly signed running back Jones-Drew believes the Raiders are in “win-now” mode and thinks they have what it takes to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.

Talk is cheap when the new roster has not even taken a practice snap, but do the Raiders have a realistic shot at making the playoffs?

The new roster has a shot to be much better than the previous seasons, if they are able to come together. Talent is important in the NFL, but team chemistry is equally important. The infamous Philadelphia Eagles “Dream-Team” is evidence that you just can’t bring in a bunch big name players and find instant success. So, being able to gel quickly is highly important to the Raiders’ chances at making noise this season.

The offense has the most weapons at their disposal since the Raiders were among the league’s elite offenses. They finally added a quarterback that would be able to take advantage of the weapons at hand. The biggest piece is the improvement of the offensive line, which has being horrid the last few years. This should lead to the offense being more balanced than in previous years, which should make it more difficult for opposing defenses to defend.

The defense has also received a major face lift, as well. The linebacker core was a solid unit last season, but the defensive line and secondary were major weak links. The Raiders defensive front is gearing to a fierce pass rush, which has been a major key for the most successful teams in the NFL. The new found pass rush, along with the improved secondary should be enough to prevent the Raiders from giving up the numerous big plays.

The biggest hurdle to the Raiders playoff hopes is their schedule. The Raiders are slated to play the toughest schedule in the NFL, as their 16 opponents combined for a 148-108 record. The schedule includes games against the NFL’s best division the NFC West and a strong AFC East. The Raiders would need at least 9 to 10 wins to secure at least a wild card position.

The Raiders simply do not look like a 10 win team, especially with their absolutely brutal schedule. While many players believe the Raiders have the look of a playoff team, the facts point to a team that will be on the outside looking in.

Tags: Charles Woodson Featured Marcel Reece Maurice Jones-Drew Oakland Raiders Popular

  • Don

    Any given Sunday. Watch out for the Raiduuhs!

  • Redd_Melendez

    Is he saying Denver, SD, and KC don’t have tough schedules too?

  • KloverJane

    Well believe me when I say this but, if we can’t right the ship, with this group, then we’re sunk. There’s no way we’re not above .500 all year. Now depending on if we draft the right guys, will ultimately determine if we make the playoffs. So, in summary they’re right in saying that the team is playoff bound.
    Play with heart and let’s kick a$$! The autumn winds calling.

  • jose garcia

    I belive we can I been a raiders fan since 2009 and I believed the moves that Reggie McKenzie has made are solid players and there I belive in them and I believed that we can be a playoff team I would love for them to have new uniforms and and new stadium and it will and will be was off the best team in the NFL and it will problaly take this year or next but will grow as a Nation raider nation baby

    • Angel

      Huh???? Dude. Just say go Raiders er somethin…

  • Angel

    We fans get crap because our players are optimistic?? I like the positives the new guys are bringin. We are loyal. Why is it new to these haters every year? Since birth, go Raiders!!

  • gary Adkins

    Agree with CWOOD if the injury bug doesn’t bite to hard

  • Jaime Olguin

    As long as the team stays positive and the younger players buy in, and we get that deep rotation that is
    needed so bad and injuries are few and can over come them, and Matt fines his mojo, we will be a team
    that will get the respect back, and I do have faith that Reggie& Dennis will put together a great draft with
    the players that can start right away and contribute, and I see the veterans playing at a high level just because
    of the media labeling them as has’beins putting a big chip on their shoulder, when you tell players that they
    can’t win or their to old you light a fire under their ass and they become these unstopable monsters, and that’s
    What I hope that the media and also BSPN will do for us this year I’m counting on them to do that for us nothing
    but pure negativity. GO RAIDERS!!!!!!

  • kicka^^

    When u are a true faithfull raider u dont talk shit about your own team u have faith and hope that they will tuern it around, iv been a raider fan since the 70′s and got to watch them practice , where i used to live before they re located, iv met Matt Millen, lester hayes and cliff branch ,teams will have good years and bad years , I never jump on band wagons or off them my raiders will always be my number one team , reggie and dennis is doing a great job rebuilding this team… i always have faith and go raiders.:}