Jon Gruden’s return to the Oakland Raiders didn’t go as planned. However, the franchise mortgaged the future by getting rid of its superstars and those moves could begin to pay off starting this season with an influx of top-rated talent now residing on the Silver and Black’s roster. But the Raiders didn’t only improve themselves via the draft; not in the least! The insertion of Antonio Brown into any offense can only make it better regardless of how cuckoo he’s proven to be in both the past and present. His presence, along with a bevy of others, should go a long way in allowing Derek Carr to have one of the best seasons of his now six-year career. The former Fresno State Bulldog reached the 4,000+ passing yard plateau for the first time last season, and online sportsbooks are challenging him to better that output for his supporter’s to cash in on this year’s futures market.
Total Passing Yards: 4100.5
Total Passing TD: 24.5
Chucky isn’t nearly as bad a coach as he proved to be last season when the Raiders struggled mightily en route to accruing 4-12 and 6-10 against the spread records. The offense was miserable and the defense was even worse. But the franchise parlayed shuttling Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper into a number of top end draft picks, so there should be some dramatic improvement made on both sides of the ball. Oakland couldn’t run or pass the ball to save its life last season, yet Carr still went on to throw for 4,049 yards and 19 touchdowns. AB isn’t the only big addition to the offense. Tyrell Williams is a big bodied speedster that can go up and get it. Rookie Hunter Renfrow was one of Clemson’s most decorated possession receivers. Alabama’s Josh Jacobs is a huge upgrade in the backfield. Oakland’s offense might actually look NFL level this season, and Carr stands to gain the most because of it.
If you think the Raiders are competing for the AFC West crown this season, you got another thing coming. That won’t come until the franchise makes the move to Sin City. Only the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals own longer odds to win Super Bowl LIV than that of the Raiders who offer up an 80-1 return at top rated sportsbooks to win the AFC. Linemakers are expecting two games worth of improvement in the win column however with Oakland’s season win total currently sitting at 6. The betting markets are still fading that action with heavy -142 juice attached to the under. Regardless, Oakland isn’t just going to roll over and die like it did for a bulk of the 2018-19 season.
Oakland Raiders Football Schedule
Week 1: Broncos at Raiders, Monday, September 9, 10:20 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 2: Chiefs at Raiders, Sunday, September 15, 4:05 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 3: Raiders at Vikings, Sunday, September 22, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 4: Raiders at Colts, Sunday, September 29, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 5: Bears vs. Raiders, Sunday, October 6, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 6: Bye Week
Week 7: Raiders at Packers, Sunday, October 20, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 8: Raiders at Texans, Sunday, October 27, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 9: Lions at Raiders, Sunday, November 3, 4:05 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 10: Chargers at Raiders, Thursday, November 7, 8:20 p.m. ET – NFL NETWORK
Week 11: Bengals at Raiders, Sunday, November 17, 4:25 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 12: Raiders at Jets, Sunday, November 24, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 13: Raiders at Chiefs, Sunday, December 1, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 14: Titans at Raiders, Sunday, December 8, 4:25 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 15: Jaguars at Raiders, Sunday, December 15, 4:05 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 16: Raiders at Chargers, Saturday, December 21, 4:15 p.m. ET – TBA
Week 17: Raiders at Broncos, Sunday, December 29, 4:25 p.m. ET - CBS
Playing in a division where the Chargers and Broncos upper end pass defenses reside will make life tougher on Carr four weeks out of the season. He does however get the benefit of running up against the Chiefs porous unit twice. Even so, the schedule on paper doesn’t look very appealing overall. He gets the misfortune of running up against the NFC North which possesses two of the game’s best pass defenses in the Bears and Vikings, and the Packers could be drastically improved in their back-seven as well. Darrius Slay and the Lions won’t be a walk in the park either. Of the 13 overall teams on the docket, seven of them had pass defenses rank out as above average a short season ago. If in fact Carr is to exceed both his passing yards and touchdown props at top rated sportsbooks, he will have earned it.
Call me crazy, but I’m bullish on the Raiders this season. It might not take right away, but it will at some point and I plan on banking when it does. Gruden got embarrassed last year. There’s no doubt he was burning the midnight oil trying to raise this sinking ship from the second the Week 17 game at Kansas City came to a merciful end. The guy is relentless and doesn’t like losing. That in and of itself will have me taking as many points as possible with the Raiders when it looks like it’s all coming together. Carr will be the one to benefit from it all as Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman simply have no business being on a football field at this point.
I really like what Oakland did on the offensive side of the ball this past offseason. Brown and Williams are going to be a pain in the butt for opposing defenses to contend with, and Jacobs should reap the benefits once Oakland’s passing attack proves it must be accounted for. Carr arguably has the most talent surrounding him at the NFL level in his career, and I truly expect him to make the most of it. Just ask Ben Roethlisberger about how much easier AB made his life throughout their time together in Pittsburgh. Regardless of being a primadonna head case, Brown has the goods and the guys joining him in the huddle are more than decent too. Even with the additions of Clelin Ferrell and Jonathan Abram, there’s still plenty work to be done on the defensive side of the ball. The Raiders will still likely be playing catchup in a majority of games. Newsflash, garbage time stats count just the same as if they were accrued with a lead. When it’s said and done, Derek Carr might go down in history as the best DFS garbage time quarterback 2019-20 had to offer! Because of it, I’m hitting the over on both of his futures props at offshore sportsbooks and buckling in for the exciting ride!
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