I'd just like to take this opportunity for some minor boasting, mixed with some admittance of luck. Back in June, I wrote a piece called "Rating the Raiders: Emerging from the Black Hole", in which I predicted that the Raiders would at least go 8-8, missing the playoffs but showing huge improvement.

They certainly did so, but in a rather peculiar fashion. Rather than beating the teams I figured to be pushovers for them, they went 6-0 in their division; demolishing the Chargers and Broncos and defeating the division champion Chiefs twice each. The Raiders went 8-8 winning 6 games in their division and missed the playoffs. What a world right?

The point is, the Raiders improved immensely this season. Their passing defense was notable as always, going from the #7 spot in '09 to the #2 spot in 2010. The rushing defense improved minimally, from 30th to 29th. However, the Raiders truly shined in rushing this year, as Darren McFadden had his breakout season helping Oakland to reach 155.5 yards rushing per game and the #2 overall rushing attack. When your running offense and passing defense are that good, teams sort of find themselves in a bind. When forced to run competing with a superior attack, and unable to out-throw, some teams will just fold in.

As stated in June, this is at least partially due to the improvement to the Raider's air attack with the dumping of the Purple Drank. Though it was downright ugly at times, and yes I was more than a little wrong about which recievers would be impact players (Sorry Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy), the passing game improved enough with Campbell and Gradkowski to give the runners some breathing room. They will definitely need to look for a more permanent solution in this area, or hope one of those two improves enough to lead legitimately. However, having two middle talent QB's with room for improvement is certianly better than having a 300 pound, lazy, charisma-less blob.

In fact, the worst thing the Raiders did in 2010/2011 was fire Tom Cable. The guy was on the cusp of bringing the team out of the darkness. Yes he had a few losing seasons, but building a team takes time. Sadly of course, the bane of the Raiders-Al Davis-swooped in and took that man away. A team just about to resurface to relevance does not need a turbulent coaching change. Hopefully for them, all will go smoothly. If the Raiders have any luck, the new coach will keep order, and Raider nation will have a chance again in 2011. They have the tools, the drive, and the youth. With the right leadership, the Silver and Black could be around for the 2012 playoffs.