Despite a truly miserable 2012 campaign, Darren McFadden probably holds the keys to this pile of salary-cap rubble having a chance in the AFC West. The Oakland Raiders are hovering around +2000 division title odds, lowest in the NFL outside of the Arizona Cardinals at +3300 in the NFC West and the Jacksonville Jaguars at +2500 in the AFC South.
I hate to sound like a psychotically enamored fantasy owner, but there’s just so much talent, strength and blazing speed that an extrapolation of McFadden’s 2011 performance pre-injury is Oakland’s only shot at a division title. And that might be the biggest “if” on the planet Earth, I admit, but that’s the chance they have at taking first.
General manager Reggie McKenzie‘s done all he can to pull this team from salary cap ruin for 2014 while getting good value from cheap additions during the current offseason, and it’s very commendable. But it’s the exorbitantly paid, highly drafted skill players from the Al Davis years that would need to make the difference for this team to the shock the world and take the AFC West.
Obviously, the 150-to-1 Raiders Super Bowl odds are ludicrous to even consider, but the 5.5 regular season win total is actually somewhat enticing. Essentially swapping out Carson Palmer for Matt Flynn could very well turn out to be a wash or better, given Palmer’s penchant for turnovers and turning it on a bit too late in games, while frugal additions like Kaluka Maiava could improve this roster in the immediate future.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is merely for the purpose of generating analytical discussion of the NFL.