As the Raiders finish up organized team activities this week and enter mandatory mini-camp on June 17th, fans in Raider Nation have to be itching for some football. In the interest of creating some thought provoking fun. How about I propose some questions to ponder and maybe bet with either your friend or enemy for the upcoming 2014 season.
Will Charles Woodson play in over or under 900 snaps this season?
The seemingly ageless wonder is entering his 17th season in the NFL. According to profootballfocus.com he played in 1098 snaps in 2014 which even by his high standards was remarkable. The free safety for the Raiders has averaged 14.87 games a season in his illustrious career yet he is only two seasons removed from a injury plagued 2012 in which he played in only seven games.
His time on the field is truly admirable considering the versatility his position commands. Even though he has surpassed 900 snaps four times in the last five years it is tough to think that at his age he can do it again. If I were a betting man I would take the under on 900 snaps in 2014. However, his attitude in camp and excitement with the defensive additions may possibly give him a boost to reach his totals of 2013.
Will Matt Schaub be in the top half of the NFL in QB Rating?
Matt Schaub went through an excruciating season in Houston last year. He was heckled from the stands and even his front lawn down in Texas. His QB rating ranked 33rd in the NFL at 73, according to NFL.com. Yet, thankfully for Raiders fans his career stats as a starter make 2013 look more like a fluke than a trend.
Since he started multiple games in 2007 with Houston (11) Schaub has only dipped below a QB Rating of 87.2 once which was last season’s forgettable year. A rating of 87.2 last season would have placed him at 17th in the league. From 2008 to 2012 he average a rating of 94.1 which would have ranked 9th last season. I am betting he rebounds and not only is in the top half but even makes a move back into the top ten in QB Rating.
Will the Raiders defense record over or under 40 sacks this year?
Now it is easy for fans to be reading this and yelling at me through their monitors. “What kind of question is that? Of course they will! Have you seen the additions?” But before you rage and post an angry comment look at the team totals in the NFL last year and more importantly the Raiders totals of the previous five seasons.
According to both the team site and NFL.com Only 15 teams made it over 40 sacks last year and the Raiders have only gone over that number once in the past five seasons (2010 they recorded 47). However the additions will help them surpass the formidable 40 sack line. Even with Lamarr Houston gone the additions of Lamarr Woodley, Justin Tuck and last but not least Khalil Mack will create a terrifying pass rush for the opposition. I am taking the over and by quite a few. I predict 45 sacks for the Silver and Black this year.
The Raiders have a million reasons to be optimistic going into 2014 after a tough year. Excitement is in the air and maybe dumb bets, speculation and irrelevant conversations can fill the void of the summer NFL season. So bet away and maybe both fans and the Raiders can come out winners by the end of the year.
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