Going 8-8 may not seem like a major accomplishment to most, but when you have had 7 straight years of double digit losses like the Raiders, it was a huge step. Not to mention a 6-0 divisional record that is definitely something to be proud of.
New Head Coach, Hue Jackson helped elevate the Raiders offense to that of a top ten unit and the 2nd ranked rushing offense in the league – 2008 1st round choice, Darren McFadden, (4th overall) finally lived up to the selection.
Similarly, Oakland did a nice job in last years draft coming up with three starters in LB Rolando McClain, DT Lamarr Houston and OT Jared Veldheer. If the Raiders are going to build on that momentum, they are going to have to do it without a 1st round selection. They gave up what became the 17th overall pick in this years draft to New England for Richard Seymour.
If Nnamdi Asomugha leaves via free agency, as may Safety Michael Huff, they may look to shore up the secondary with their 2nd day picks.
The Raiders have to head east (historically tough for West Coast teams) when they take on the AFC East in 2011but get a break in playing New England and the Jets at home. They will also have to face both of last years NFC Championship game representatives, Green Bay and Chicago.