Oakland, CA — When the Oakland Raiders march into New Orleans Sunday to face Drew Brees and the Saints they will be looking to make a statement. A lot of hype this off-season has put the Raiders in a position to prove the naysayers as well as the hype-machine that they are for real. On both sides of the ball the goal will be to impose their will. A team that hasn’t had a winning season since the year of their last Super Bowl appearance way back in 2002, is on a post season mission once again. Getting a road win in New Orleans would be a great place to start.
The Raiders (OAK/LA) have faced the Saints a dozen times in the teams storied history. It’s the New Orleans Saints, however, that own the advantage in the series. That’s right the Raiders have a record of 5-6-1 vs the Saints and have dropped the last three decisions. The last coming in 2012 in which the Saints clobbered an eventual 4-12 team in Oakland. You have to go back to 2000 to see the last victory in New Orleans but the Raiders can at least even the all time series with a win Sunday.
It has been a long time since Oakland has garnered so much talent on both sides of the ball. On offense they are led by a young and quickly rising star in Derek Carr. On defense they have a possible Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Khalil Mack. Remember where you heard it when it happens, I wrote about it here back in July:
From Bruce Irvin wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks to Amari Cooper scorching secondaries Raiders Fans are optimistic that this is the year the wind will turn to fill the sails of a once dreaded pirate ship in the East Bay. The Silver & Black has returned to their ways of striking fear into the opposition. Respect must be gained in this league though, and without at least a 9 in the “W” column it will all mean exactly squat.
If they can put it together and achieve the potential of the talent Reggie McKenzie has assembled, then the words of legendary, late great Steve Sabol are going to echo through Raider Nation once again:
The Autumn Wind
The Autumn Wind is a pirate
Blustering in from sea
With a rollicking song, he sweeps along,
His face is weather beaten.
He wears a hooded sash,
With a silver hat about his head,
And a bristling black mustache.
He growls as he storms the country,
A villain big and bold.
And the trees all shake and quiver and quake,
As he robs them of their gold.
The Autumn Wind is a Raider,
Pillaging just for fun.
He’ll knock you ’round and upside down,
And laugh when he’s conquered and won.