Three questions facing the team – Oakland Raiders News

Three questions facing the team – Oakland Raiders News

The NFL season is inching closer. Through July, Shutdown Corner will examine three big questions for each NFL team as it heads to training camp.

OAKLAND RAIDERS
Start date: July 24 for rookies; July 28 for veterans
Location: Napa, Calif.

1. What does Marshawn Lynch have left in the tank?

Most people think of Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree when they think of the high-powered Raiders offense. What they don’t realize is that 32 percent of the offense’s yards came on the ground, 11th-most in the league. So the Raiders want to establish the run at the very least, and that onus will fall on Marshawn Lynch. The un-retired Beast Mode is back in the Bay Area where he grew up and, hopefully for Raiders faithful, motivated. Lynch didn’t play in 2016, and he struggled in 2015, tying a career low at 3.8 yards per carry. If Lynch is in shape and back to his old self, he can be an important weapon for 15 or so carries per game. If he’s not, we’ll learn a lot about Oakland’s young backups, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, quickly.

Is Beast Mode still the beast he was with the Seahawks? (Getty)

2. Who steps up along the defensive line?

Khalil Mack is an absolutely dominant force. But he needs help for this team to take the next step defensively. The Raiders were mediocre at best against the run, and that was due in large part to poor play up the middle. Dan Williams is a goner after a disappointing 2016. Justin Ellis has the size (331 pounds) and talent to patch up the holes, but he needs to perform better. Darius Latham will be looked to step up in his second year, and rookie Eddie Vanderdoes could…

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