2014 Oakland Raiders – Glass is half-full, despite 0-10 record


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The last ten weeks, I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster. From happy, to sad, to angry, to pissed off beyond belief, to hatred and now as the holidays approach, to thankful. Yes, 0-10 is not what I had hoped for or expected. Yes, it’s the worst offense in Raiders history and the worst rushing offense the NFL has seen in the last 70 years. Yes, yes and yes. But unlike the prior years disappointments, I think we finally have some pieces in place to merit a half-full philosophy.


The NFL is a Quarterback league and you just can’t have much success in the NFL without solid quarterback play.  Derek Carr is the best young prospect the Raiders have had at Quarterback since Kenny Stabler (thanks readers, I should have confirmed if Stabler was drafted by the Raiders or not. I didn’t think he was.). The Raiders have generally used veteran cast-offs as quick fixes and stand ins. Now we actually have a bona-fide young gun again, who can make all the throws, is accurate, has scrambling ability and knowledge of the game. A guy who if he continues to grow, works continuously to perfect his craft and matures into the position can lead this team for the next decade or longer. Possibly having your franchise quarterback is enough for a half-full glass, but I believe there is more.


The Raiders defense has four young prospects and possibly one young superstar. Khalil Mack got his first official sack this past week. But we all know opposing lineman have been committing holding penalties on him all year. Khalil is as advertised, from his ability, to the type of person he is and the sky is the limit for this kid. The Raiders could have their first player other offenses will game plan for since Howie Long.

The defense also has promising young prospects like Sio Moore, Justin Ellis, TJ Carrie and DJ Hayden. Sio Moore has made and missed his share of plays the past two years. Justin Ellis has taken the starting role from veteran Pat Sims, in just his rookie season. TJ Carrie has shown flashes of ability. As has DJ Hayden, when he can stay out of the trainers room. While all four still have plenty of work to do, skills to sharpen and lessons to learn, they all can become excellent players if they put the time in.

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Honorable Mentions

Gabe Jackson has done very well in his rookie year at left guard. It’s safe to say, left guard is not a position of need for the Raiders. Mychal Rivera is in his second year and still looks to be developing into a playmaker. If he spends hours on the jugs machine and stops dropping some passes, I think he can become a solid and consistent contributor. Stefen Wisniewski is just in his 4th year and can only get better. Austin Howard is just in his 5th year and is the tallest Raiders offensive lineman at 6-7 and is playing out of position at Guard. Menelik Watson is only in his 5th year of playing football, second as a pro and his play on the offensive line has been inconsistent as you would expect.

Final Thoughts

This year has been one for the record books, in a negative way. When looking at the players I mentioned above, especially Derek Carr, I’m looking at this cluster of a season in a new light. The onus will be to not have Derek learning a new offense every year and to add some real playmakers on the outside and in the backfield to compliment him. Whomever comes in to coach next year, will have some young talent to work with. Especially if Reggie has another solid draft class next year.