Oakland Raiders: 3 Bold Predictions for the 2017 season
It’s fair to say that the Oakland Raiders will enter the 2017 season with a chip on their shoulders. What else should we expect to see from a team that was an injured QB away from possibly reaching the Super Bowl? If Derek Carr didn’t go down in Week 15 then what? Will Tom Brady be perceived as the best to ever play? However, these are the issues teams have to deal with over the course of a season. The Raiders made some great moves this offseason as they look to keep the new look Raiders on pace to bring a SB home before their move to Las Vegas.
Here are 3 Bold Predictions for the 2017 season for the Oakland Raiders.
Derek Carr Will Win MVP
Carr had a slight chance last season until he was injured but look at the growth he made in only his 3rd year. What’s to be expected of him now that he, Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper have spent the best years of their career together? Talk about chemistry. Now you add in the veteran running of Marshawn Lynch to take the pressure off Carr and what’s not to like about his chances? In 2016, Carr passed for 3937 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions before his season ended in Week 15. We can expect Carr to play as if his life is depending on the outcome of the 2017 season. To be that close to the Super Bowl only to see your chances slip away due to an injury near the end is nothing but motivation. Carr will hit the season running and will not look back until he and the Raiders are holding a SB and MVP trophy.
Khalil Mack Has To Take The Next Step
That’s a pretty bold statement to say for one of the best defensive players in the league. However, Mack has yet to take that Lawrence Taylor step. You know the one where he defies all logic on how good a LB is supposed to be. In 2016, Mack recorded 11 sacks with 54 tackles but the defense was one of the league’s worst. With the Raiders addressing help with their secondary this offseason that will allow Mack to attack. The one area he needs to work on to take that step will be stopping the run. Most great LB’s will end their season with at least 80-85 tackles and that’s where Mack needs to be. It’s hard to do with Malcolm Smith on his side so Mack focuses in on the pass rush aspect. 11 sacks is good form the LB position but I see Mack in the 17 range in 2017.[RaidersNFL]
The Raiders Will Sweep The AFC West
Pay attention to what’s going on in the West. The Kansas City Chiefs who may pose the biggest threat to the Raiders are without a real No. 1 receiver. Their defense has carried them for years and they have shown signs of slowing down. The Los Angeles Chargers are stuck between rebuild and contender mode and have no real sense of direction. As for the Denver Broncos– no real Quarterback to lead that stout defense. The Raiders offense is just too good to fall to any of their division foes in 2017. With Lynch now a part of the package it adds another dimension to their greatness. If Mack can get the defense rolling then what offense in the West can go score-for-score with the Raiders?