If you bet on the NFL, then you already know that some of the teams in the AFC West have made
significant changes to their rosters and their coaching staffs. The Denver Broncos made a huge upgrade at quarterback when it signed free agent Peyton Manning. The Kansas City Chiefs improved its coaching staff, and its overall prospects for winning, when it made Romeo Crennel the permanent head coach. The Chargers are still considered to be one of the top teams in the AFC. So where does that leave the Raiders?
The online football betting world was not surprised when the Raiders took controversial rookie quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the 2011 supplemental draft. The betting experts were also not surprised when Pryor insisted that he would be the starting Raiders quarterback in 2012. But what the team did do that surprised people is stand by its real starting quarterback Carson Palmer by forcing Pryor to compete with Matt Leinart for the backup job. Now the only question is whether or not Palmer still has what it takes to win football games.
The bookmaker betting software kept the odds low on the Raiders for most of the 2011 season because of the injury to running back Darren McFadden. No matter who is under center, the Raiders need McFadden running the ball to be successful. But McFadden has shown the past couple of seasons that he may not be durable enough to carry the load on a regular basis. This is not something that the Raiders needed to see.
Carson Palmer pouted in Cincinnati until the Raiders decided to give him a shot when Raiders quarterbacks started dropping like flies. The jury is still out on whether or not Palmer can lead a team to a playoff berth. The fact that the Raiders' offense is lacking deep receivers and good tight ends probably does not help Palmer's cause at all.
A 5dimes.com review of the Raiders' 2011 defense shows that the loss of cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was significant. The Raiders defense was ranked 29th overall in 2011 and 27th against the pass. The Raiders defense not only bent in 2011, it broke on a regular basis. The Raiders have a long list of defensive backs on its roster, but none of them have the ability to play the shutdown corner position like Asomugha did. The Raiders also did not draft any promising defensive prospects that could help the team out in a couple of years. Oakland is basically going into 2012 with the same defense that could not stop anyone in 2011.
The Silver and Black will not be scaring anyone in 2012. Even if Carson Palmer finds his touch again, he really has no one to throw the ball to. If the Oakland offense builds up a lead, the defense will not be able to hold it. The 2012 season will be a long one for the crazed fans of the Raiders.
Read more about the Oakland Raiders and its chances for success in 2012.