Raider Invasion: The Raiders will win battle for bragging rights

Here in the Bay Area, football bragging rights are determined by one thing. Are the Raiders or the 49ers superior? Clearly the 49ers have dominated the discussion over the past decade.

The 49ers have finished each of the last 12 seasons with a better record than the Raiders. But fear not Raider fans, the dubious streak is coming to an end; the Raiders will end 2015 with a better record than the 49ers.

It’s clear to see that the 49ers are in decline, while the Raiders are trending up. The 49ers once terrifyingly stacked roster has been reduced to a collection of rookies and veterans coming off injuries. The biggest reason the Raiders will have more success than the 49ers is due to an incredibly tough NFC West Division, which consists of the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks and two very tough defensive teams in the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams. The division slate will be a rough six games for the 49ers and it will be tough to win any of them.

While the Raiders division is tough, it is not on the same level as the 49ers. The Denver Broncos are a top team in the AFC, but the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs are hardly juggernauts. With a little luck the Raiders could come away with a .500 record within their division.

Youth will also be a factor for the Raiders success this season. With young stars including Kahlil Mack, Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, the Raiders have built the foundation for a successful future. The 49ers on the other hand lost most of their defense to either retirement or suspensions.

Both teams have new head coaches this season. The Raiders have Jack Del Rio and the 49ers have Jim Tomsula. I don’t see Tomsula immediately ushering this 49ers team into a new era of winning football, but Del Rio can lead this Raiders team to a level of success that it hasn’t seen in over a decade.

The Raiders will finish third in the AFC West with a record of 7-9, while the 49ers finish last in the NFC West with a record of 5-11. Enjoy this season Raider fans, for the first time since 2004 you will have football bragging rights in the Bay Area.