It's the time of the NFL off-season when fans of every team are sure their faves will reach the playoffs -- even backers of the Oakland Raiders, whose "Commitment to Excellence" motto has been a punchline for ages.
But Bleacher Report correspondent Elias Trejo has gone beyond wishful thinking. He's mapped out the Raiders' road to the postseason, focusing on divisional games the Black Holers must win in order to be doing something other than getting tattoos and beating the hell out of each other come next January.
And guess what? He's got the Raiders sweeping the Broncos due mostly to what he sees as Coach Josh McDaniels' ineptitude.
In his week seven preview, for instance, he writes:
Thanks to Josh McDaniels and his lack of coaching ability, the Raiders should come into Denver and win again. The run game should be the strength of the Raiders, and having Jason Campbell will benefit Oakland in third-down situations.
Denver's offense no longer poses a threat at any position. Knowshon Moreno and Kyle Orton aren't exactly players who strike fear into the eyes of other defenses.
Prediction: Raiders 24, Broncos 13
As a bonus, Trejo sends a special pre-Halloween boo to endorsement-magnet Tim Tebow, declaring that "his jersey sales should help the Broncos win exactly zero games in 2010" and concluding, "Tebow will lead the Broncos in the opening and closing prayer, as well as lead them in smiles during the game."
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What a happy thought. But Trejo doesn't expect many grins from the Broncos faithful during week fifteen, when he again scoffs at McD's brainpower:
Josh McDaniels either has a master plan, or doesn't know what hell he is doing.
While he did get rid of guys like Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, he did bring in on of the most famous virgins since Mary to the Broncos. Tim Tebow, the man known as the Mile High Messiah, will be a hot commodity in Denver.
While Tebow was outstanding in Florida, he won't be able to accomplish much in Denver while McDaniels is there for another season or two. They visit the Raiders in Week 15 with the roles reversed from 2009.
The Raiders will be fighting for a playoff spot in 2010, and the Broncos will be fighting for a first-round pick that they'll probably use on a new coach in 2011.
Lane Kiffin, anyone?
This time around, Trejo sees the Raiders winning 34-13.
Will Tebow be under center at that point? If so, it'll set up a classic battle: Good vs. Evil.