Oakland Raiders 2019 Preview: Veteran Predictions

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Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden observes players during practice at their training facility in Napa Valley, Calif., August 7, 2018. The Raiders invited Travis Air Force Base Airmen to attend camp and were treated to a scrimmage between the Raiders and Detroit Lions and a meet and greet autograph session with players and coaches from both teams. (U.S. Air Force photo by Louis Briscese)

Yesterday, we discussed rookie predictions for the Raiders. Today, I’d like to delve into the veterans. While the Raiders still need to sort out a few issues, namely their top wideout, we can discuss other aspects.

Derek Carr will throw for 4500 yards this year.

Derek Carr threw for 4,000 yards for the first time in his NFL career last season. He did throw for 3,937 in 14.5 games in 2016, but 2018 was the first year he truly surpassed 4,000. Carr would reach this milestone throwing mostly to Jared Cook, Jordy Nelson, and Jalen Richard. Now armed with Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and a wildly improved offensive line, Carr  could revisit his 2016 form.

Vontaze Burfict enjoys a full season.

Vontaze Burfict has been suspended or fined in every season since 2014, all while on the Bengals. Now, Burfict finds himself on the Raiders, a team not only building around skill, but also building around character. Similar to how adding water to hard, crunchy noodles can make macaroni, adding enough good character players and leaders around Burfict could make the defense improve. More importantly, Jon Gruden will not stand for foolishness.

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Gareon Conley will finish top 2 in interceptions.

Gareon Conley recorded three interceptions in 2018, a year some may call his rookie year (as he only played in two games in 2017). Three interceptions ranked him tied for fifth in the NFL in the category.

Now, Conley continues to improve. Additionally, many regard him as one of the best young corners in the league. In addition to his three interceptions, Conley also recorded 15 passes defensed. Perhaps a few of those passes simply did not go Conley’s way for the pick. With that said, a few of them actually do this year.

The Raiders will surprise.

Maybe I’m buying into the hype of a 2-0 preseason record (I’m not) but the Raiders’ starters, especially on defense, look fierce. There was something electric about this team, something that was so rare last season. Some may call it fire, others call it fight, but whatever it was, it looked intimidating.

 

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