The past two seasons have allowed the Oakland Raiders to steadily progress towards their goals and aspirations. After a 12-4 season that was cut short by the devastating Derek Carr injury, Oakland’s front office made some upgrades towards their return to greatness.
Entering the 2017 season, the Raiders have assembled a fully loaded offense, thanks to the addition of Marshawn Lynch, Jared Cook and Cordarrelle Patterson. These offensive additions, added to the sixth ranked offense in the NFL (373.3 YPG), prepares a juggernaut that can match the offensive intensity of the NFL elite.
Throughout the past few years, the AFC has settled down mainly between the New England Patriots and whichever team can make the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots have assembled a dynasty under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, but the Raiders have formed a competitive roster that can overthrow the AFC favorites.
Good Morning Football, of the NFL Network, sat down to discuss the outlook for the AFC for the 2017 season. While the Patriots are viewed as the favorites following their Super Bowl victory, the Raiders have impressed enough to earn some respect around the NFL:
"The Patriots dynasty will end with the Raiders." pic.twitter.com/ZtA7ynL11i
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) May 11, 2017
Oakland is tied for the sixth highest odds entering the 2017 season, according to VegasInsider.com. They are tied with the Houston Texans with their 15/1 odds, tied as the second highest AFC team behind the No. 1 ranked Patriots.
General Manager Reggie McKenzie made the right decision in setting a deadline for Lynch, allowing the scouting department to solely focus on addressing the defense. The offseason brought forth additions such as linebacker Jelani Jenkins, while Oakland drafted two defensive backs in the early rounds of the NFL draft.
The Raiders and Patriots face off Nov. 19 during the regular season, in the Raiders’ second consecutive season in Mexico City. There will be an electric atmosphere going into that matchup, well into the 2017 season and potential preview for the AFC Championship Game.