The Oakland Raiders are looking like a new and improved team this year. On paper this roster is obviously a way better team, but what can you expect and hope for in 2019 when your team is in one of, if not the hardest division in the NFL?
1. Secondary Much Improved
To be honest, it wasn’t the secondary’s fault; they were so terrible. Their pass rushers couldn’t put pressure on the QB for anything. Too bad they never had a superstar pass rusher like Khalil Mack… oh wait, they did. Well, until they traded him.
But anyway, with rookie pass rusher Clelin Ferrel, you might see a little increase in actual pass rushing, which is nice since that’s his job. That means less time for the opposing quarterback to throw. Which means defensive backs don’t have to run up and down the field with a receiver forever. I also have high hopes for rookies Johnathan Abram and Trayvon Mullen.
2. Coach Gruden and Derek Carr Will Be Closer
One of the reasons Carr wasn’t a great quarterback last year was because Coach Gruden and Derek Carr had a very bad connection. You can’t blame Carr after Gruden got rid of one the best pass rushers of our generation and his number one receiver.
Luckily Gruden was able to get Derek Carr a team he could actually play with. It was Coach Gruden’s first year, and he clearly wasn’t finding common ground with Carr like most coaches with their quarterback their first year. Both of them know the system they’re running, which helps when you coach/play for the team. Gruden also thinks that they are finding better ground and I’m gonna take his word for it.
3. Derek Carr + AB = Top 5 Duo
Raiders’ fans definitely said a quick thank you to the football gods after Antonio Brown came into town. A top 5 wide receiver with a quarterback he doesn’t totally despise and actually has chemistry with wasn’t a terrible idea after all. Also, that line is looking better than it has in quite a while. With a promising halfback that can take attention away from the passing game and another above-average wide receiver and you have a good chance to succeed.
4. Wildcard Spot?
This is quite the long shot, especially with their division having two Super Bowl Contenders. Hear me out, though. This offense is amazing on paper. The front seven on defense could use a lot of help, but Clelin Ferrel is a leader that works hard day and night. Their secondary is also promising. Again this is a long shot since the football gods had to give them a terribly hard schedule, but fans can have hope.
5. Raider Fans Will Still Be Crazy
This isn’t about the Oakland Raiders but instead Raider Nation! Raider Fans are the most hardcore, die-hard fans ever and there’s no stopping that this year. Expect people to still come with full face paint, shoulder pads with spikes on them, and skulls everywhere in hot/cold weather! The only thing that can make that better is if Raiders can put out a good enough team to cheer for!