Saints: Three Bold predictions vs. Raiders

There's no better way to prove it than facing one of the NFL's most prolific quarterbacks of all-time.

The talk of the offseason has been about both teams winning enough games to make the playoffs as the New Orleans Saints host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

"I'm humbled and honored, and have been from the day that I first stepped foot in here as a New Orleans Saint". If all goes well, Brees and co. will have us shouting "number 9! number 9! number 9!" all the way to Super Bowl. And given the Saints' shoddy showing on defense the past two seasons and the enormous task he has been given in trying to rebuild it, Allen has bigger problems on his plate.

Armed with a new contract extrension, quarterback Drew Brees returns to lead what should once again be an explosive New Orleans offense.

His head coach saw it coming.

Oakland emerged as one of the early success stories of last season, bolting to a 4-3 SU start on the strength of a solid debut by rookie receiver Amari Cooper and Derek Carr's continued development into a bona fide National Football League quarterback. "We're not going to back away from that", Del Rio said.

However, he got $44.5 million guaranteed, and he's set through the 2017 season. The Bucs offense finished 10th on third downs last season.

The Oakland Raiders got off to a decent 4-3 start in 2015 before dropping three straight games and ending with a 7-9 record. But this time, second-year man Garrett Grayson will do so as a member of the practice squad. Also, starting linebacker Dannell Ellerbe lists as a day-to-day with a quad injury, per the team's official website. The Raiders had some issues against the run in the preseason, but New Orleans isn't the big-back power-type offense that should hurt. They have both a stronger running game as well as a passing game.

"The thing that we all are very much aligned on is what puts this team in the best position to win, and in the best position to make a run at a championship".

RUNNING HELP: Latavius Murray rushed for more than 1,000 yards and made the Pro Bowl as an alternate in his first full season as a starter in 2015. The Saints' last loss to the Raiders came at home on November 19th, 2000, 31-22.

Why is Carr going to be the next quarterback to sign a huge contract?

"I think the week feels different, because 100 percent of the time is spent on the opponent, meetings", he said.

The Raiders have been a team on the rise over the last two seasons and that trend continues heading into the 2016-17 campaign as their young core is a year older, and they continue to be a new haven for top end free agents who will shore up the roster.

Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael should test the Raiders' new secondary early in case chemistry lacks during the first outing.

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