Oakland Raiders vs. New Orleans Saints
The Raiders and Saints close out week three of the NFL preseason Sunday Night in Oakland. The Saints are -4 point favorites over the Raiders with an over/under point total set at 37.
The Oakland Raiders are on a mission this season and that’s to make it back to the playoffs. Last season the Raiders were a few bounces and missed kicks from going to the post season and though they lost a few key players, they feel they have enough left to return to the playoffs. This is year two for Jason Campbell in the Raiders organization so he should have solid experience with the playbook and getting familiar with his receivers. Campbell has plenty of help in the backfield as the tandem of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush are both capable carrying the ball and Jacoby Ford proved to be a home run threat last season. Oakland is hoping Darius Heyward-Bey can reach his potential and they have speed to burn with Louis Murphy, Chaz Schilens, and Denarious Moore. The defensive line is solid with Richard Seymour and Matt Shaughnessy and with a year under his belt Rolando McClain should be a year better and Kamerion Wimbley has proved to be a handful rushing the passer. Oakland drafted Demarcus Van Dyke and have Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt but there’s a huge void in the secondary beciase of the departure of Nnamdi Asomugha while Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch are the safeties. We’ll see plenty of the starters here as Oakland will be looking for all of the momentum they can muster headed into the regular season.
The New Orleans saints have one goal this season and that is to win the Super Bowl. The Saints are a year removed as Super Bowl Champions and Sean Payton’s team looks focused and talented enough to get it done if they get the breaks they need over the course of the season. Drew Brees has emerged not just as a great QB and a probable Hall of Famer already, but as truly one of the great leaders and if the Saints emerge as the champs it will be largely because of Brees organizing team workouts during the lockout. New Orleans is loaded at running back with Pierre Thomas healthy once again, rookie Mark Ingram providing an insurance policy and then some, and Darren Sproles as the home run threat. Marquis Colston, Lance Moore, and Robert Meacham are a solid set of receivers but Devry Henderson hasn’t caught a ball yet this preseason while Brees seems to be fond of tight end Jimmy Graham. Jon Vilma leads the defense as he’s flanked by Will herring and Scott Shanle while Will Smith and Sedrick Ellis anchor the DL. Jabari Greer, Malcolm Jenkins, and the rest of the secondary will need to have a big year as the Saints could be involved in some track meets this season.
We should see plenty of scoring in this one as both teams have speed to burn and while this is the final dress rehearsal game for the fans as well, it should have everyone ready for the regular season.