Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Draft Day Thread

I'm getting this started early, as my availability on Thursday will be limited...

My theme for this draft is: expect the unexpected. 

You can draft the best player available, or you can target a specific need. But needs are aplenty on this roster, so its likely that we can kill two birds with one stone. 

We need playmakers in the skill positions, and WR Amari Cooper is said to be a temptation, though Leonard Williams looms large at DT. 

A lot of people think that Williams will be there, and that the Raiders will sprint to the podium to pick him. But that presumes that the Raiders will sit tight at #4, without trading their slot for other picks. And it also presumes that if that's the case, we know what the Raiders are thinking. 

But we don't know if they'll sit tight, and we don't know what we're thinking, which makes me want to expect the unexpected.

What's your take?  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Schedule Time

I'm recovering from my extended spring break from Raider Take and coming out of hibernation just in time for the 2015 schedule announcement.

Yes, we knew who our opponents would be. But the order of those games and where they are played is mighty important, and now we know how they all fit together. 

At first glance, I think this is one of our more favorable schedules in recent years. 

For example, in 2014, the Raiders played two games on the East Coast and one game in London within the first four weeks. Brutal. 

This year, we have some tough matchups against the Bengals and Ravens to open the season, but both are at home. Then we get two beatable teams in the Browns and Bears on the road. With one home win out of those first two games, we could be in a position to establish some real momentum in the first quarter of the season.

Then we get the Broncos at home, the Chargers on the road, and the lowly Jets at home. The Steelers might prove to be tough on the road the following week, but then there is some real potential to make progress against the Vikings, Lions and Titans over the following three games. At that point we'll be 11 games into the season.

If the Raiders can get their you-know-what together this year and play hard, capable and competitive football, I see some opportunities to exploit this schedule and position the team for an intriguing run on the home stretch of the season.

Those are some big ifs, but at least the schedule is fair, if not favorable, this year, which means we're already off to a good start.

What say you?