The Oakland offense was solid in one area, protecting the QB. They tied for third in that category, as the Raiders allowed just 24 sacks. Their passing game was average, as Oakland was good for just 226.9 YPG (16th NFL), while their rush attack was subpar. The team averaged 97.1 YPG on the ground. Overall, they were tied for 17th in total offense, as they accumulated 324.1 YPG. Their 40% conversion rate gained them 11th in the league, while their 18.8 PPG earned them a ranking of 23rd.
Quarterbacks and Running Backs
Last year, RB Marshawn Lynch (207 ATT, 891 YDs, 4.3 YPA, 7 TDs) proved that he still has the power and drive needed to make his mark. Lynch, who had a productive season, came on strong in the second half. DeAndre Washington, who had a fine rookie year in 2016, saw his productivity drop in2017, as he went from 5.4 YPC to 2.7 YPC. If he can get back to his old form, that will be a big boost. Third-year back Jalen Richard could be a solid third rusher who changes things up for the offense. Our 2018 Oakland Raiders NFL betting preview sees a lot of potential in the ground attack this season.
Receivers and Tight Ends
Out goes Oakland leading receiver Michael Crabtree and in comes 10-year vet Jordy Nelson. Nelson is a big playmaker and an explosive receiver. Also new to the pass-catching ranks is the talented and speedy Martavis Bryant. Bryant, who came over to Oakland in a draft-day trade with the Steelers, could add a great dynamic to this group. That is, if he can stay out of trouble. Amari Cooper (48 REC, 680 YDs, 14.2 YPC, 7 TDs) returns as does TE Jared Cook (54 REC, 688 YDs, 12.7 YPC, 2 TDs). Cooper has huge potential if he can stay healthy and hold onto the ball. Cook has a lot more potential that he has yet to fulfill.
In developing our 2018 Oakland Raiders NFL betting preview, we discovered that this team’s O-line is one of the better ones in the game. Center Rodney Hudson, a seven-year veteran, is as solid as a font-line player gets. Dependable at center, he possesses top-notch downfield blocking ability. Other essential parts of this line are tackle Kelechi Osemele, who comes to this team from the Ravens, and guard Gabe Jackson.
The D-line features the edge rushing of Khalil Mack (87 TKLs, 10.5 SCKs). He’s a massive tackle machine of both QBs and RBs. But Mack, who is one of the best linemen in the league, can’t do it all himself. Tackle Justin Ellis returns as a run stopper. Rookie tackle P.J. Halls shows solid QB harassment potential, while Mario Edwards Jr. take the other end. This group still needs an upgrade on the line.
The LB group includes Bruce Irwin (8 SCKs) on the outside. He started all 16 games last season and was solid. Our 2018 Oakland Raiders NFL betting preview notes that MLB Derrick Johnson, who comes over from the Chiefs, notched 73 tackles with KC. That was the second-highest number on that team. This year, he starts his 14th NFL season. OLB Tahir Whitehead, who led the Lions last season with 118 tackles, should help improve this unit. Second-year LB Nicholas Morrow, who plays the outside role, was exceptionally effective in his rookie season.
The deep backs really need to kick it up a few notches. The corners have been a real concern. Rashaan Melvin, who comes from the Colts as a FA, should be a help. He led the Colts with three picks, which is more than half of this team’s total number of INTs last season. The other corner will be handled by Gareon Conley. If he can stay healthy, he should be effective. Safety Karl Joseph may be fast enough to cover TEs, but the fact that he’s undersized is an issue. Seven-year, veteran safety Marcus Gilchrist offers leadership and stability.
It is Jon Gruden and company. When he came in, the new HC kept three coaches, O-C Greg Olsen, assistant receiving coach Nick Holz, and D-Assistant Travis Smith. Gruden is going this his way all the way. That includes calling the offensive plays, allowing Carr to adjust and change plays when under center, and focusing on passing while establishing a rush attack that utilizes the blocking of FBs and the full O-line.
2018 Oakland Raiders NFL Betting Preview: Final Word
We’re looking at a team that will most likely see some growing pains. They must also deal with Chiefs and Chargers teams that have the potential to put massive offensive attacks on the field. Our 2018 Oakland Raiders NFL betting preview notes that unless the Oakland D steps up, especially the D-backs, this will be a frustrating season.
2018 Oakland Raiders NFL Betting Preview Projection: 6-10 Record, 4th AFC West
QB: 7.8, RB: 8.2, OL: 8.5, WR: 7.8, TE: 7.5
DL: 6.5, LB: 6.0, DB: 7.3
PK: 6.5, PT: 6.5, RT: 6.5
Intangibles: Gruden changes everything up, which means this team can go either way.
Overall Rating = 7.2