With all the analysis regarding overloading Raider Nation as the Oakland Raiders inch closer towards this Sunday, take a break and take in these five random facts about the Silver and Black.
No. 1 Derek Carr has zero career rushing TD’s
In three years as the Oakland Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr has been the primary catalyst launching the team into NFL relevance once again as he has amassed 81 passing touchdowns. However, the team’s signal caller is yet to score a rushing touchdown. Carr has seen a slight increase in rushing attempts each year in the NFL despite his yards per attempt dipping in 2016 to 1.8 per rush.
Even though Carr is not a dual threat speed demon quarterback, he certainly has athletic ability and quickness.
As a rookie, Carr scampered for a 41-yard gain in a week 2 matchup against the Texans, which is a career best. The athletic capabilities of Carr were put on full display in the team’s season opener versus the Saints in 2016, as he leaped over a would be tackler with a dramatic front flip for a first down.
Is this the year Raider Nation sees Derek Carr score his first rushing touchdown as a Raider?
No. 2 Oakland was 5-0 in 2016 when Janikowski made 3 or more field goals
The Raiders might be in stiff contract talks with kicker Sebastian Janikowski; however, the 39-year old showed flashes he still has the ability that once made him a first round draft selection.
Janikowski’s accuracy saw a slight dip from 50+ yards out, however, from inside 49 yards, he was near perfect nailing 25 of 26 field goal attempts.
In games where The Polish Cannon made 3 or more field goals, the Silver and Black were undefeated, going 5-0, proving to Raider Nation he still poses significant value to the team.
No. 3 Raiders were 8-0 when scoring 30+ points
Oakland currently boasts one of the most potent offensive attacks in the NFL, and it showed as the Raiders scored 416 points in 2016. The last time a Raiders team scored more than 400 points was in 2010 when the team had Bruce Gradkowski and Jason Campbell under center.
During the 2016 campaign with an apparent knack for scoring, the Raiders put up 30 or more points in eight games, winning all eight contests.
The Raiders may have lost their 2016 leading rusher in Latavius Murray; however, they now have “Beast Mode” in the back field running behind arguably the league’s best offensive line. With additional fire power at tight end with Jared Cook and Cordarrelle Patterson at receiver, this offense is poised for similar success in 2017.
No. 4 Last time Oakland beat Kansas City was Carr’s first victory
With all the recent success it is more than likely that the 2014 Raiders are now a faded memory. However, all solid structures must first have a firm foundation, and the results of 2014 serve as the frame work as the Raiders continue on their ‘Return To Greatness.’
Perhaps the most profound moment of the 2014 season was the first victory against the loathed Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. The game itself was not the prettiest of wins, but the team held to the belief of ‘Just Win Baby’ as Derek Carr earned his first win as the team’s quarterback.
Unfortunately for the Silver and Black, they have been unable to defeat the Chiefs since. With added talent and more experience working as one unit, the Raiders will look to take the next step in becoming AFC-West champions, and overcoming and defeating Kansas City will help ensure another playoff run is in store for 2017.
No. 5 Raiders defense forced four game winning turnovers
One of the biggest question marks heading into the 2017 season for the Raiders is whether or not the defense will be able to perform at an adequate level.
During the course of 2016, this unit showed flashes of improvement yet was ranked No. 26 in team defense by seasons end. However, the Raiders defense buckled down in clutch situations and forced four game winning turnovers last season, all coming in the second half of the season.
It is easy to reminisce of Derek Carr and his late game heroics that Raider Nation grew accustomed to on a weekly basis, but the defense was often there to help solidify the win.
In week 9 on Sunday Night Football, safety Reggie Nelson ended the Bronco’s comeback bid with a game clinching interception on quarterback Trevor Siemian. Edge-rusher Khalil Mack would end the hopes of a week 12 Panthers comeback win with a strip sack fumble on Cam Newton. The following week Mack again ended a comeback attempt with another strip sack fumble on Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Reggie Nelson helped solidify Oakland’s first playoff berth since 2002 by picking off a Philip Rivers pass in a week 15 contest with under two minutes to go as the Raiders defeated the Chargers.
If the Raiders defense in 2017 can continue to create pressure on the opposing quarterback and produce turnovers, look for Oakland to make a deep playoff run.