Starter: Derek Carr
At the beginning of the offseason, there was constant debate throughout mainstream media if Gruden was going to move on from Derek Carr. There was no denying the struggles the Raiders offense had in 2018, but despite the myriad of factors involved in said struggles, most of the blame was laid on Carr.
2019 is going to be Carr’s chance to silence all those who doubt he is a part of Oakland’s future. The front office made it a priority to improve the offensive line and Carr weapons around him, so he is being put in an excellent position to succeed. So not only did Gruden not dump his quarterback, but it seems he is doubling down.
Carr remains a bit of a divisive topic within the Raiders fan base with many loving him while others remain skeptical. Personally, I doubt Carr will be able to reach consistent top ten status among all quarterback. Despite that, he is still fully capable of leading this franchise when given a capable roster. Which is precisely what he appears to be working with to start this season.
If the Raiders have any hope of pushing for a playoff spot with their tough division and schedule, Carr is going to need play at a level even beyond his 2016 version. The offense will need to provide more chunk plays and be more efficient in his second year under Gruden. A feat that should be expected now that Carr seems far more comfortable with the complex playbook.
And it usually goes without saying, but his health is going to be priority number one for this team, cause there’s nothing behind him but uncertainty.