GDHQNFL14_OaklandRaiders4

Oakland Raiders Gameday HQ

Week Day Time Opponent 1 September 7 1:00PM ET @ New York Jets 2 September 14 4:25PM ET Houston Texans 3 September 21 1:00PM ET @ New England Patriots 4 September 28 1:00PM ET Miami Dolphins 5 Bye Week 6 October 12 4:05PM ET San Diego Chargers 7 October 19 4:25PM ET Arizona Cardinals 8 October 26 4:25PM ET @ Cleveland Browns 9 November 2 4:25PM ET @ Seattle Seahawks 10 November 9 4:05PM ET Denver Broncos 11 November 16 4:05PM ET @ San Diego Chargers 12 November 20 8:25PM ET Kansas City Chiefs 13 November 30 1:00PM ET @ St. Louis Rams 14 December 7 4:25PM ET San Francisco 49ers 15 December 14 1:00PM ET @ Kansas City Chiefs 16 December 21 4:25PM ET Buffalo Bills 17 December 28 4:25PM ET @ Denver Broncos Defensive Player to Watch Tuck may not do many more Subway commercials in Oakland, and may find it easier getting along on BART than an actual subway in California. But that doesn’t mean the former New York Giant will be any less valuable to the Raiders as a 31-year-old defense end, as he was to the two-time Super Bowl Giants as a two-time Pro Bowl D-lineman. In Oakland, Tuck is the first line of defense that also features fellow standout newcomers, converted defensive end Lamarr Woodley from Pittsburgh and converted defensive tackle Antonio Smith. But as an 11-sackmaster who is still on top of his game, the 6-5, 265-pound Tuck may be the most valuable Raider defender, both in the locker room and on the field. His play indeed looms big in 2014. Raiders Special Teams Only Washington had a worse special teams unit than Oakland in 2013, recording miserable scores in every category, but kickoff coverage, where opponents only returned 30 kickoffs for 613 yards. Otherwise, kicker Sebastian Janikowski struggled with field goal accuracy (4-for-6 in the 30s, 8-for-11 in the 40s and 3-for-7 in the 50s). Punter Marquette King had a booming average of 48.9 on 84 punts (two were blocked), though half were returned for a 10.4-yard average and a touchdown. As a unit, the Raiders kickoff and punt return units were subpar, but kick returner Taiwan Jones did well enough in his half (26 of 54) of returns, securing a 24.0 average, to be named No. 1 KOR in 2014 (the others ran back 28 kickoffs at a rate of 20.6 per return). This season’s top punt returner, Greg Jenkins, only had 8 runbacks for 59 yards in 2013. Prediction The once-proud and winning tradition of the Raiders endured a long drought. Twelve years to be exact since their last winning season (coincidentally their last Super Bowl trip as well). It’ll be another year of rebuilding for the Silver and Black, however, it’s not difficult to picture a five- or perhaps a six-win season, though most of those victories will have to come outside the very tough AFC West. Three Questions 1. Is Khalil Mack the future of this Raiders defense? Mack is the type of player we will probably still be hailing 10 years from now. The Raider rookie is an extremely difficult pass rusher to deal with, as every Raiders’ practice and preseason opponent is quickly finding out. He’s fast, strong and smart with size (6-3, 251 pounds). What’s not to like? Plus, Mack is eager to pick the brains of his veteran left tackle Donald Penn or his many veteran teammates on defense. 2. Is Derek Carr the future of this Raiders offense? Carr is further along than the Raiders coaches expected, quickly grasping the playbook in camp, maintaining the accuracy they expected, while also learning a quicker release. When the 6-3, 214-pound Carr passes Matt Schaub in the Oakland QB depth chart, the 23-year-old quarterback will then have to prove he can win in the NFL with two running backs looking to make a comeback in their careers, along with many receivers who are still trying to prove themselves in this league. Fortunately for Carr, wide receiver James Jones is in place and the offensive line is improving from subpar to mediocre. And in Schaub, he has a good mentor, while the Raiders have a more-than-capable starter. 3. Can the Raiders make the playoffs? It will be tough for Oakland to win a game in the AFC, perhaps pushing them into a 0-6 hole. This season, however, can be viewed as a success if Carr is able to place his imprint on this offense, while the veteran-led defense shows it can win ballgames instead of give them away. Both are possible, which could set up a very interesting 2015 campaign for this intriguing group of Raiders. 2014 SCHEDULE OAKLAND RAIDERS


Oakland Raiders Gameday HQ
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