The 2017 schedule is filled with plenty of key games for the Oakland Raiders, including the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys.
After years filled with frustrations and losing records, expectations are high for the Oakland Raiders heading into the 2017 season after putting an end to their playoff drought last year. And with the recent release of the Raiders schedule for the upcoming regular season, there’s plenty of reasons for excitement in regards to Jack Del Rio‘s squad making a playoff run for the second-straight season.
Up until last year, Oakland had one of the most frustrated fan bases in the world when considering the last time the team had even reached the playoffs came during the 2002 season. In fact, that year happened to be the last time the Raiders managed to record a winning record during the regular season, so it’s easy to understand why most fans are crushed over the news of the team heading to Las Vegas in the future.
One of the main reasons why Oakland was finally able to make the jump to being serious contenders in the AFC was due to the stellar play of Derek Carr at quarterback. The former Fresno State standout had started to show potential during his sophomore season in 2015 after throwing 32 touchdowns while leading the Raiders to a 7-9 record, but it wasn’t until last year that Carr finally started to earn the respect he deserved by looking like an MVP candidate.
If only Carr hadn’t suffered a broken leg towards the end of the regular season, chances are Oakland would have made a deeper run in the playoffs instead of losing in the Wild Card round to the Houston Texans. For now, the best way to get over how last season ended for the Raiders is look forward to what’s in store for 2017, beginning with Thursday’s release of the schedule:
Assuming all goes well with Carr returning to his old dominant self, all signs point to Oakland being serious contenders in the AFC once again in 2017 with the potential of having one of the league’s top duos at wide receiver in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Even if there are still questions surrounding who will receive a majority of the carries in the backfield now that Latavius Murray is a member of the Minnesota Vikings, the Raiders will hopefully address the issue over the next few weeks with the upcoming draft.
Nothing against Carr, but the Raiders quarterback will most likely need all of the extra help he can get during some of those important key games on the schedule outside of the division, such as the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. It may not seem easy at times with a brutal schedule, but Oakland should be able to live up to the hype of being contenders once again in 2017.