Oakland was poised to make the playoffs last season before dropping four of their last five, just like the Cowboys, and missing out on the postseason. The final loss came to the Chargers, which then allowed the Broncos to make the playoffs.
This season can be different for the Raiders. Carson Palmer will begin the season as the starting quarterback, while Darren McFadden will begin healthy after a foot injury prematurely ended his season last year.
It will be tougher for McFadden as he is now the main back, with Michael Bush now in Chicago. “Run DMC” has been injured many times throughout his career, and his health is crucial to the success of the Raiders this season.
It is a new era without Al Davis in Oakland. This may be either a good or bad thing for the Raiders, but time must pass before judgement can be handed down.
San Diego Chargers
San Diego comes into every season with high expectations and never seems to live up to them. Norv Turner’s job also always seems to be on the line, but it is tough to blame the performance, or lack thereof, of the Chargers solely on Turner.
Last season was a roller coaster ride for the Chargers, as they got off to a great start going 4-1. They then lost their next six before winning four of their last five. They finished 8-8, which resulted in them losing a tiebreaker for the AFC West, but they surely could have finished with a better record.
Winning close games will be key for San Diego this season. During their six-game losing streak last season they lost two games in overtime, and only one by more than a touchdown. One of the overtime games was against the Chiefs, when Phillip Rivers fumbled a snap that would have set up an easy game-winning field goal.
There are some new faces in San Diego this season on offense. Ronnie Brown will be featured at running back, while Ryan Mathews recovers from injury, and rookie receiver Malcolm Floyd will be seen throughout the game. Maybe this fresh start will result in a better season for the Chargers in 2012.
This game, on paper, is extremely evenly matched. Both teams finished with identical records last season, and split their season series 1-1. It is even, but I will give the edge to San Diego in this game.
Chargers 31 | Raiders 20
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
- Chargers-Raiders Date: Monday, September 10
- Chargers-Raiders Kickoff Time: 10:15 PM
- Chargers-Raiders TV Network: ESPN
- Chargers-Raiders Point Spread: Raiders -1
- Chargers-Raiders Over-Under Odds: 47