The Raiders made the playoffs last season for the first time sense losing the Super Bowl following the 2002 season. While their 2016 playoff run and division title hopes were dashed by a leg injury to quarterback Derek Carr, there are several reasons to believe they will get there again in 2017.
While the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers were hiring new head coaches and the Kansas City Chiefs fired their GM, the Raiders will be returning essentially the same staff. The Raiders did not resign former Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave, but his replacement, Todd Downing, had served as Quarterbacks coach the previous two seasons. Downing has a better relationship with Carr which was a big reason the Raiders promoted Downing.
On the field that continuity will be the most evident on the offensive line. The Raiders will be returning their entire starting line from last season though right tackle Austin Howard will face competition. Offensive lines have to be able to communicate and function as a group, having most of the same players returning will help them accomplish that.
2) Derek Carr
Every organization is looking for a “franchise” caliber quarterback and the Raiders have theirs in Carr. It is almost impossible for a team to have success without a quarterback capable of taking over the game.
Games in the NFL are consistently being decided in the 4th quarter, often on the last drive of the game. Teams need a player capable of performing in these pressure situations. Carr’s ability to do so was a large part of the team making the playoffs last season. The teams drastic decline in his absence…
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