On the Chop Talk podcast a few weeks ago, SB Nation's Oakland Raiders blogger said the AFC West is about the Raiders, San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos. Here in Kansas City, we'd replace the Raiders with the Chiefs, and it sounds like others may think the same as us.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com ran down the Raiders and where their defense stands heading into the 2012 season. It sure seems like the Raiders got worse.
From Nnamdi Asomugha and Stanford Routt at cornerback two years ago, the Raiders are now sporting Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer at cornerback. Linebacker Rolando McClain is facing 180 days in jail. Arguably the best player on the defense, Richard Seymour, is on the wrong side of 30.
Check out all of Rosenthal's points here.
The Raiders were 29th in points allowed last year.
How, exactly, will they get better on defense?
Longterm, I think the Raiders are in a good spot with their new GM, Reggie McKenzie. But in 2012? I don't see how the Raiders are going to be better than they were last year.