video

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – There is a stunning contrast between the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders in the past 15 seasons.

Consider this statistic, brought to the fore this week by ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates: Since head coach Bill Belichick was hired by New England in 2000, the Raiders have had eight head coaches and 18 starting quarterbacks.

The Patriots, with one head coach and three starting quarterbacks (Drew Bledsoe, Tom Brady, Matt Cassel) in that span, represent stability, while the Raiders are at the opposite end of the spectrum.

The story takes on a different twist when considering that the Raiders had interviewed Belichick to be their head coach in 1998, an experience Belichick reflected fondly upon in later years.

The teams square off Sunday in New England’s home opener, and ESPN NFL Nation reporters Mike Reiss (Patriots) and Bill Williamson (Raiders) discuss the matchup:

Reiss: Bill, those were strong comments from Charles Woodson after the Raiders’ loss to the Texans last Sunday. I think everyone knows where things stand with the 0-2 Raiders right now, and how this could be a make-or-break time for head coach Dennis Allen. So let’s get a bit deeper into the personnel. When Woodson was a free agent in 2013, some folks in this area were hoping the Patriots would consider signing him. How has he looked with the Raiders?

Williamson: He’s been one of the Raiders’ best defensive players at the age of 37. He had 100-plus tackles last season and has been a playmaker this season. He made a leaping interception in Week 1 against the Jets and he came back and had eight tackles in Week 2 against the Texans. Woodson will have to be accounted for by …read more