Four Raiders named to ESPN all-decade AFC West team

ESPN recently released their AFC West all-decade team for the 2010s, and the Las Vegas Raiders franchise saw four players named.

Lazy loading placeholder

Raiders DE Khalil Mack (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Las Vegas Raiders will kick off a new decade of football in their new city, as they moved from the Bay Area to Sin City this offseason. With a beautiful new stadium, and a revamped roster, many expect the Raiders to challenge for a playoff spot in 2020, something they managed to do only once last decade.

From 2010 through 2019, the franchise appeared in the playoffs only in 2016, when Derek Carr led the team to a 12-3 record before breaking his leg on Christmas Eve. That injury derailed what could have been a special season for the Silver and Black, and they have not been back to the playoffs since.

Looking back, it was a decade filled with way too many losses, and as we turn the page, ESPN has put a bow on the AFC West from those ten seasons.

ESPN had their NFL Nation reports select an all-decade team for each division, while also naming the best two players from each team, and the top coach overall. It was a fantastic collection of talent, and the Raiders were well-represented.

Four Raiders named to ESPN all-decade AFC West team

Lazy loading placeholder

Raiders K Sebastian Janikowski(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Janikowski, Mack, Hudson and Osemele named to team

When naming the all-decade team for the AFC West, ESPN listed four members of the Silver and Black who would dot their starting lineup. They had two players on the offensive side of the ball, one on defense, and the division's kicker, as Rodney Hudson, Kelechi Osemele, Khalil Mack, and Sebastian Janikowski made the cut.

The choice for Hudson was an easy one, as he played his entire career within the AFC West, first with the Kansas City Chiefs, and then with the Raiders. He is by far the most elite center in the conference, and he was joined on the team by former teammate Kelechi Osemele, who, like Hudson, came to the team via free agency, and had some of his best seasons in the Silver and Black.

That 2016 offensive line paved the way for the Raiders only playoff berth of the decade, and though he only played three seasons with Oakland, he was a two-time Pro Bowler, and a First Team All-Pro. Osemele was traded to the New York Jets after the 2018 season, but an injured shoulder, and disconnect with the organization led to his release.

On defense, Khalil Mack was the only Raiders player to make the lineup, and during his time with the franchise, he was the premier player at his position in football. Unfortunately, he was traded prior to the 2018 season, and in return, the Silver and Black have gotten two first round players in Josh Jacobs and Damon Arnette.

Sebastian Janikowski was named as the AFC West kicker by ESPN, and with the Raiders, he appeared in his only Pro Bowl in 2011. During his 17-years with the team, Janikowski missed only six extra points, and finished as the franchise's all-time leading scorer.

3 of 3

Four Raiders named to ESPN all-decade AFC West team

Lazy loading placeholder

Raiders QB Derek Carr (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Derek Carr named the Raiders Player of the Decade

For all the talk that has surrounded Derek Carr during his six seasons as the starter for the Raiders, one thing is true, he stopped what was a turnstile of quarterbacks when he took over as the starter in 2014. Carr has been the starter since Day 1 with the Raiders, and while his overall record is not very good, he has rewrote the franchise record book in terms of passing.

Carr is currently the Raiders all-time leader in passing yards, completion percentage, and completions, while standing only seven touchdowns behind the great Ken Stabler in that category. In addition, he is fresh off arguably his best statistical season as a pro, as he set a career-high in passing yards while completing 70 percent of his passes.

At 1.9%, Carr also has the lowest interception percentage, as he has only 62 picks to go along with his 143 touchdowns. For a franchise that has starved for a franchise quarterback since Rich Gannon, Carr has put up the numbers in the stat categories, and now he just needs to start stacking wins.

Next: Las Vegas Raiders: 4 players who could be cut before the...

Former edge rusher Khalil Mack was the honorable mention in terms of the team's player of the decade, and for good reason. The 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year was the first player in history to be named First Team All-Pro at two different positions in a single season, and when he was patrolling the edges for the Raiders, he was the best in football at his position.