Roster review The Raiders time is now, and I say that as Derek Carr enters his 3rd year after having a much improved 2nd season. Last year the Raiders were on pace to make the playoffs (at least playing that way), then Aldon Smith got his year suspension and the team fell of the map after that. Running back Latavius Murray has shown some games where he is the answer at running back, but it looks like the Raiders will let him go at the end of the season (his contract is up at the end of the year) being he may be on the bottom half of running backs in the NFL. Overnight, the Raiders passing game went from a weakness to a strength with the addition of Amari Cooper, he already has proven that he is one of the best receivers in the league entering his second year. Cooper will probably be double taken most of the year, and that will open up the rest of the passing game with Michael Crabtree (a great signing for Carr’s 2nd target) Seth Roberts and Andre Holmes. Including tight ends Mychal Rivera and Clive Walford neither of them are really that good, but help spread out the passing game. The Raiders needed some help on the O-line and help they got, they acquired Kelechi Osemele, the number 1 guard in this year’s free agency class. Kelechi will join a relatively solid O-line besides for right tackle. The defense had some holes and they didn’t draft well to help with that. They drafted Jihad Ward in the second round for the D-line, they also wasted their 1st round selection on Karl Joseph, a safety that wasn’t even supposed to go in the first round. That being said, they do have maybe the best defensive player in the NFL in Khalil Mack, and a bunch of solid players around him of defense. Mario Edwards is good if he will be at full health, and they acquired linebacker Bruce Irvin from the Seahawks, cornerback Sean Smith from the Chiefs, and safety Reggie Nelson from the Bengals.
The expectations A strong start is what the Raiders will need in order to make the playoffs. They should win their first 3 games and then the Ravens game will be a tough one but I think they should win it as well. In the next stretch they should go 3-2 with losses on the road vs the Bucs and Jaguars so they will enter the bye at 7-2. They have to go to Mexico to play the Texans, they should win that one but history tells us teams that fly to another countries to play a game is a bad sign. In the final 6 games they could drop 4 of them (Panthers, Chiefs, Colts, and Broncos) and that could keep them out of the playoffs at 10-6 (we’ll see).
Players away from winning a super bowl 7