When discussing the 2016 Oakland Raiders, one thing comes to mind. Disappointing. Here is a team that was playing so well, vying for the best record in football, and bam the good ole injury bug. Yes, I understand that injuries are a part of the game. However, losing your top two QBs going into the playoffs is a major stinger. How do the Raiders rebound in 2017? Here are three questions they must answer in order to rebound.
These questions will proceed from least important to most important.
- How will the Oakland Raiders defense respond?
The Raiders on paper have a solid group. How they gel together will be what you need to keep your on eye on. They have youth in the defensive backfield and a tremendous pass rush. If the veterans can lead the youth, the Raiders could surprise many people with one of the best defenses in the league. Look for the Oakland Raiders to be creative on this side of the ball.
- Is Connor Cook ready if called upon?
The Raiders coaching staff has a lot of confidence in their young backup QB. So much so that they let him lead the way in the playoffs of 2016. However, he showed that the stage was still a b it too big at that point. Now he is the number two man on the squad. If starting QB Derek Carr goes down again, it will be up to Cook to keep the Raiders ship afloat. Will he waive the white flag?
- How much does Marshawn Lynch help the running game?
The Oakland Raiders made a huge splash by obtaining RB Marshawn Lynch in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. Now the question is how will this affect the Raiders offense? I do not think it will affect them in any way but positive. Lunch still has a couple of good years left on his body. He is fresh after taking 2016 off. This can only help Derek Carr and the rest of the Oakland running game.
Not only did the Raiders bring in Lynch but also they drafted RB Elijah Hood in the fifth round. He will challenge incumbents DeAndre Washington and Taiwan Jones for carries. If the Raiders were smart about it, Hood may eventually be the number two back. Allowing Jalen Richard to focus strictly on special team.
The Oakland Raiders are building something special once again. They are doing it the right way. To build through the draft and KEY free agents is the way to go. Answering these questions in training camp will only increase the Raiders chances of AFC Supremacy!