Oakland Raiders: Why the Silver and Black Will Win AFC West in 2012

Even though Peyton Manning is with the Denver Broncos, the Oakland Raiders will get back to the postseason for the time since 2003. 

The Broncos are not the only team who will be better for the 2012 season. The Kansas City Chiefs will have Jamal Charles healthy again, and they acquired Peyton Hillis in the offseason to share the load.

Although the San Diego Chargers lost Vincent Jackson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Phillip Rivers won't be throwing another 20 interceptions anytime soon. Ryan Mathews will resume his role as the feature back with Mike Tolbert in Carolina.   

The AFC West will be better and even more competitive this year. That may be hard to do, considering three teams finished 8-8, and the Chiefs were only one game back. 

The Raiders will be better as well, even though the didn't have a first-round draft pick or a major free-agent pickup. This year has promise because Carson Palmer will have a full offseason to learn the offense and Darren McFadden is healthy again.


Darren McFadden

That's right, RunDMC is ready to go, and after running for 600 yards in his first six games last year, there are high expectations. Interestingly enough, it's McFadden is who setting the goals.

According to the Oakland Tribune via ESPN, McFadden has set a goal of 1,800 yards, the same amount he set a year before.

I was hoping to get to 1,800 rushing yards, but it didn't work out that way...I will keep pushing for it this year and hopefully get to those goals. 

More pressure will be on No. 20 to perform with Michael Bush in Chicago. All the carries and the added spotlight will fall on McFadden.

With his ability to also catch the ball out of the backfield, it's safe to say that much of the Raiders' offense will go through McFadden this year.


Carson Palmer


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