We are nearly three months into the 2017 fiscal year for the National Football League. It’s safe to say we have seen plenty of player movement via free agency and trades. And in late April, a total of 253 players were selected in the NFL draft. So as teams get ready for mini-camps and OTAs, we figured it was a good time to have some fun looking (and learning) at the significant numbers – both in regards to the past and the present – for each of the 32 franchises. You can play catch-up by clicking here. Now it’s time to check out the Oakland Raiders.
Led by three-year quarterback Derek Carr, the Oakland Raiders attack is potent, productive and balanced. The ground attack was keyed by a tremendous offensive line, as we as running back Latavius Murray (now a member of the Minnesota Vikings). Carr had the luxury to throw to targets such as wide receivers Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper and Seth Roberts, as well as tight end Clive Walford. The Silver and Black averaged 26 points per game and totaled 46 offensive touchdowns (17 rushing, 29 receiving). Now the running game is spearheaded by media icon Marshawn Lynch. He was acquired from the Seattle Seahawks via trade and well rested after a year off.
The Oakland offense did more than its fair share. But a defense bolstered by additions such as outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, cornerback Sean Smith and free safety Reggie Nelson did little to lend support. Yes, only the Kansas City Chiefs (33) came away with more takeaways than the Raiders (30). But Ken Norton Jr.’s unit surrendered 45 offensive touchdowns in 16 regular-season games (18 rushing, 27 passing). Perhaps another year of seasoning will help. The club also added outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins (Miami Dolphins) in free agency. And the club used its first three draft choices in April on defense.
Only six teams in the league gave up more total yards in 2016 than the Oakland Raiders. Despite that, it was Khalil Mack earning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. He finished the season with 11 sacks. But it was a hot streak following a slow start that led to winning the award. The talented defender totals 10 sacks, five forced fumbles, one interception (returned for a touchdown) and three fumble recoveries in his last 11 regular-season outings. This after totaling just one sack in his first five contests. Ironically, Mack comes up with a game-high 11 tackles in the team’s playoff loss to the Houston Texans.