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After centuries of reaping malevolence upon the living and the unliving, Al Davis retired to reign over the netherworld exclusively in 2011, leaving a depleted and feckless Raiders team in his half-decomposed wake. Even without Al, the Raiders were still the Raiders in 2011, setting a single-season record for most penalties and penalty yardage. The franchise is now owned by a guy with Bucky Larson’s haircut and a new GM from Green Bay who hopes to start DOIN’ IT THE RIGHT WAY.

Five Fast Facts About The Raiders:

- Matt Giordano has six parakeets named Buttsecks.

- Denarius Moore collects garage door remotes.

- Al Saunders was replaced by Greg Knapp as the team’s offensive coordinator. No one else wanted to hire him in that capacity, so he returned to Oakland as the “senior offensive assistant”. The position was changed from “director of not calling plays anymore”.

- Wikipedia says Taiwan Jones was named after the country of Taiwan. As opposed to the planet of Taiwan, which is still controlled by China.

- Most humans are roughly 80 percent water. Carson Palmer is 90 percent derp. The rest is herp.

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Notable acquisitions: Matt Leinart, Philip Wheeler, Owen Schmitt, Mike Goodson, Shawntae Spencer

Notable departures: Michael Bush, Louis Murphy, Kamerion Wimbley, Kevin Boss, Chaz Schilens, Stephon Heyer

Vegas win total over/under: 7 wins

KSK verdict: UNDER

Fantasy player you’ll want to dig at with rusty hooks: Darren McFadden

As always, RUN-DMC will lead the NFL in rushing through Week 7, get hurt and never recover. But the season won’t end without one week in late November when McFadden is cleared by team doctors, gets the start and proceeds to get two carries for three yards before reaggravating the injury and never touching the ball again for the rest of the year.

Fan forecast, by KSK’s own flubby:

The last decade was the nadir of the franchise’s history. Nothing was going to change as long as Al Davis was still running the show. Davis was the greatest football mind of the past half-century, but getting/being old is a bitch. Davis wasn’t going to relinquish control, which left Raiders fans in the uncomfortable position of having to “wait it out”. “It” being Davis’ existence on this mortal plane. I’ve written some awfully shitty things in this forum, but wishing death on someone not affiliated with the Dallas Cowboys is not among them. So I continued to be an Al Davis well-wisher, in that I wished him no specific harm.

Hue Jackson willed the Raiders to an over-performing 8-8 record last season. But Jackson’s rah-rah motivation is not a sustainable coaching method in the NFL. Hue had to go and new general manager Reggie McKenzie (still getting my head around the fact they actually have a GM now) made the right call in firing him. But did he find the right replacement in Dennis Allen? I still don’t know anything about Dennis Allen other than he’s a former Broncos assistant (boo) and a R.C. Slocum disciple. (R.C. Slocum, by the by, would be pretty much the best porn name ever.)

Jackson’s legacy in Oakland is the Carson Palmer trade. Thus far, it has been a complete disaster for the S&B and doesn’t show any signs of getting better. Don’t be surprised if Palmer is benched in favor of Matt Leinart at some point this season. Don’t look for Terrelle Pryor to do anything, ever.

But if the Palmer trade was Jackson’s signature fuckup, the decision to let Michael Bush walk may be McKenzie’s. McKenzie had two effective running backs on the team and chose to keep the one who gets hurt all the time. Then he low-balled Ced Benson when he was the only proven running back available who can still actually walk. (Sorry, Clinton Portis). If Darren McFadden goes down again, and I have no reason to believe he won’t, the running game will be FUBAR.

The Raiders defense was tough last year and could be again this season. However, Allen is in the midst of ditching the Raiders’ antiquated man-to-man scheme in favor of a 21st century defense. As long as Rolando McClain can keep busting spleens, the defense should continue to be entertaining, if nothing else.

How will the Raiders fare in 2012? Look for baby-steps in the right direction that will probably result in a slightly worse record than last season. I’m thinking 7-9. In the meantime, let’s try to forget the past decade and remember Al Davis and the Raiders glory days of old. In fact, I encourage all Raiders fans to honor Al, but doing what he loved most, eschewing bathroom tissue and wiping his ass with Wonder Bread. GO RAIDERS!