This may have been the most bitter sweet season of my life time. I’ve seen 4-12 seasons that I felt more complete about.
Derek Carr emerge with a MVP caliber season, only to go down with a broken fibula. Before the freak injury, or the fake outrage about Derek still being in the game, defense’s were getting carved up. 3,937 yds, 28 tds, only 6 ints, completing 63% of his passes. I was rooting for the man to reach the 4,000 yard mark, but fate is making us wait. Again. But,
he’s 7th on the Raiders all-time passing yards list. And 5th in Touchdowns (81). My prediction is in about 3 short years Carr will be the sole leader in both categories. Keep in mind he’s only 25!
The offense as a whole was high Octane, and the wide receiving corps. was easily the best group in the league.
After coming this close to having two 1,000 yard receivers last year, Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper both arrived, 1,003 & 1153 respectively. Pick your Poison.
The Raiders didn’t go Raider. When the leader of the team went down, so did the team.
Khalil Mack tried to put the team on his back, but at the position he plays, that’s difficult to do. Lawrence Taylor in his prime couldn’t have saved the team, when Carr went down.
Mack finished the 2016 season with 54 tackles and 11 sacks (8th). Yes, he started off slow, but Khalil always does. Teams often double and sometimes triple team the man.
Overall the defense was decent at best. Too many big plays were given up, and the pass defense was awful. The Raiders gave up 275 yds per game through the air. 9th worst in the league. 117 yds per game were given up on the ground. Again, bottom 10. Overall Oakland gave up over 6,000 yards, and that is unacceptable. Offenses came in a little too confident all season.
The offensive line needs a lot of credit. Skill positions get all the glory, but the game is won in the trenches. Derek Carr was only sacked 16 times. Compare that to Tyrod Taylor, who was sacked 42 times in 2016. Only quarterback that got touched less than Derek Carr was Tom Brady. And he missed 4 games.
It was also running back by committee for the Raiders, also a credit to the O-Line.
Jalen Richard, and DeAndre Washington, were bright spots that no one seen coming. The Oakland rushing attack combined for 1,922 yards. Not bad, overall there was great balance to the offense.
The Raiders ended the season 12-4. I suppose we all could call that a great season seeing as there were 14 previous losing seasons — however I wanted to see my boys make some noise. But when your most important player, at the most important position goes down, well…such is life for the Nation.
I won’t get into the whole Las Vegas thing, that put the ‘bitter’ in the ‘sweet’ because I covered that plenty of times.
However, I am calling my shot for next year. The Oakland Raiders will go 13-3, and be Super Bowl LII champions. Remember you heard it here first.
Writer for TheCouchSports.com, LiveFromWoodward.com, & PTA. Editor, and Co-Host of The Couch Sports Podcast, and a Certified Beardsman.