NFL Predictions for 2010 Season: Oakland Raiders To Take AFC West?

Many people would have read this headline in the past and immediately sent Bleacher Report a letter about heresy on their website.

But in the 2010 NFL season, there’s a different smell in the Bay Area.

And no, it’s not due to BP.

The Oakland Raiders opened training camp to a feeling of confidence for the first time in quite some time. Under head coach and fat Bruce Willis impersonator Tom Cable, the Black Hole may finally have something to love.

Other than the gorgeous dance team.

In the past eight years, the Raiders have not won more than five games in any season, making the AFC West cellar their home. To twist the knife even further, Oakland has only seen the playoffs three times since 1995.

So why the confidence?

The easiest place to start is at quarterback. Last season, the three-headed monster of JaMarcus Russell, Bruce Gradkowski, and Charlie Frye combined for only 10 touchdowns through the air, with an average QB rating of 65.3.

Enter Jason Campbell.

The former Redskins signal caller alone threw for more yards last season than the entire Raiders team and doubled their touchdown output.

For Raiders fans who have watched a different opening day starter nearly every season since Rich Gannon left, they must like the look of their future.

Some people see Campbell as a middle-of-the-road quarterback, but he certainly has upside. He’s improved his QB rating and passing yards every season in the NFL, and that was on a team that gave him the same protection as a broken condom.

Yes, I realize the Raiders were just as bad up front. But a lot has changed this offseason.

First, Robert Gallery returns healthy to left guard, which is critical to stopping sacks. He and his fellow linemen last year were unaccustomed to offensive line coach Jim Michalczik’s scheme, but with ...

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