Coming off of a memorable 2016 season in which they won twelve games and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2002, the Oakland Raiders are expecting even bigger things in 2017.
Although the season ended with an early playoff exit after an untimely injury to outstanding young quarterback Derek Carr in Week 16 against the Colts, the progress the team made was remarkable. It was a huge leap forward for a franchise that hadn’t been to the postseason in nearly a decade and a half.
So what does 2017 have in store for the Raiders?
It’s already been a crazy offseason for the Silver and Black. The impending move to Las Vegas was a big blow for the fan base, but the team should see no drop-off in production from one year ago. The Raiders did solid work during the 2017 NFL Draft, bringing some much-needed help to their secondary with their first two picks, and even added a couple of impact free agents to boot.
Simply put, with another year of experience under their belt, there is no reason to think the Oakland Raiders will not enjoy the same, if not greater success as they did in 2016. The return to football of Marshawn Lynch has to have fans excited. Lynch, whose outward personality would have been a great fit for the Raiders of the 70’s and 80’s, will have a lot to offer to the young and developing Raiders offense. Everything from veteran leadership to Super Bowl experience should come in handy when times get tough. If Derek Carr is similarly effective and the defense gets its act together in 2017, there’s no telling how far the franchise could go.