The start to the 2016 season for the Oakland Raiders has been nothing short of pure excitement. It has been a joy to watch this team play through the first half of the season. With a record of 7-2 the NFL world is finally starting to take notice to the great things going on over in Oakland. From NFL analysts & journalists to nationwide news, the league is now on alert about the Oakland Raiders; and to me that’s when the world flows smoothly. The last winning season we posted was in 2002 which was our Super Bowl year where we came up extremely short to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (48-21). Since then we’ve been nothing but a below average team with plenty of first round draft busts. With tons of off the field worries such as the possible re-location of the team, to losing our current stadium, we’ve pushed through thus far being in 1st place of the AFC West.
Quarterback Derek Carr is (in my opinion) the best and only franchise QB we’ve had since Rich Gannon. He has brought such a sigh of relief to this team since being drafted in the second round 2014 NFL draft out of Fresno State. He came in and immediately took hold of an ailing franchise in need of a confident fearless leader. He grabbed that title by the horns & immediately we saw what we had. So far this season; he has passed for 2,505 yards, 17 touchdowns w/ just 3 interceptions. Completing 66.1% of his passes for a 99.1% QB rating. He should be in this year’s MVP conversation if he continues this track. Not to mention he is one of the teams captains this year which validates everything I’ve said regarding #4. Flying under the radar this year is our ground game which features a three-headed backfield. Veteran Latavius Murray leads the charge following his 1,000 yard 2015 season followed by two promising rookies Deandre Washington & Jalen Richard. This group is already over the 900-yard mark collectively which is a great thing but due to it coming from multiple backs & not having one feature runner is the reason for the low amount of praise these backs deserve. One thing to note though; Murray has eight rushing touchdowns. On the outside, we have one of the best young wide receiver groups led by second year player Amari Cooper who’s already has an Oakland Raider chant “COOP” every time he catches a pass. Savvy veteran Michael Crabtree has found new life & is having his best year as a pro this year. With all that said…nothing moves without our offensive line which is league wide raved about for their physical style of play.
Defensively, it’s hard not to notice Khalil Mack who is following up his 15 sack season this year by posting 7 sacks up to this point. They say numbers don’t lie. Well; in this case, it does because statistically the Raiders are bottom of the league in almost every category. For some reason my eyes tell me different. 8 interceptions, 13 sacks & CB David Amerson is top 5 in passes defended this year among all cornerbacks. Following our Sunday Night Football week 9 victory over the Denver Broncos, I would assume that we have the league’s attention now and it’s only a matter of time until we have your attention too. I’m proud to say that I’m apart of #RaiderNation. GO RAIDERS!!!