2017 NFL Preview: Won't be easy for Raiders to pick up where they left off

July 23, 2017

Life was different for the Oakland Raiders a year ago. Las Vegas seemed to be leverage for a new stadium in Oakland. Derek Carr was scheduled to make a $733,000 salary. Marshawn Lynch was riding camels in retirement. And while some people were excited about the Raiders’ potential for a breakout, they hadn’t been to the playoffs since the end of the 2002 season.

 

A year ago, there were no expectations for the Raiders to live up to. How times have changed.

 

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The Raiders will be moving to Sin City, after a couple of lame-duck Oakland seasons. Carr is the highest-paid player in NFL history. Lynch is back to play in his hometown of Oakland. And the Raiders are good again.

 

The title of the 2016 Raiders’ preview was, “Raiders will be a Super Bowl contender, and soon.” I didn’t figure on it being this soon. However, it’s possible they won’t be one this season.

 

Oakland was 12-3 when Carr got hurt last season. The Raiders, predictably, fell apart without Carr. They lost the season finale and a strange playoff game against the Houston Texans. It was a crushing end to an otherwise storybook season, but it didn’t seem like Oakland fans were too broken up. After all, if a relatively young Raiders team could win 12 games in 2016, the sky would be the limit this season. Right?

 

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