A tumultuous season for the Oakland Raiders is finally over and as difficult a look back might be, here are some grades for 2017
Safe to say Raider Nation will call this past Raiders season a roller coaster. A once a soon-to-be elite offense regressed. The defense did not improve until a coach lost his job.
Those statements sum up what was a “lost season” but now let’s take a closer look, from the preseason to the disappointing end with some final grades.
In 2017 the Raiders were expected to explode offensively. Behind Todd Downing, who was basically touted to be the “next” Sean McVay, it just never came to fruition. MVP-caliber gunslinger Derek Carr regressed, Pro Bowler Amari Cooper disappeared and Michael Crabtree was inconsistent.
There were few positives that came from Jared Cook and Marshawn Lynch, respectively. The offensive line produced three Pro Bowlers but didn’t dominate like last year. Overall it was an extraordinary letdown that ultimately lead to the coaching regime’s downfall. My personal feeling would be to give the entire unit a D- for the season. Final Grade D-
The defensive unit was expected to be the pitiful group of the duo, but that proved to be false. With the switch to John Pagano, the sacks and interceptions went up. Pagano’s tutelage also helped Nicholas Morrow become a starter, Denico Autry rise his play level altogether, and former second round draft choice Jihad Ward to make a couple of memorable moments for himself in the lasting weeks.
It accomplished very little while Ken Norton Jr. was around, so it was quite refreshing with the mid-season transformation. With all that being said, I believe the defense earned a C for the 2017 campaign. Final Grade C
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The most imperative bunch was a revelation because of kicker Giorgio Tavecchio. He filled in nicely for long time Raider Sebastian Janikowski, who wound up on injured reserve before the regular season started. Punter Marquette King did his outspoken usual thing while averaging nearly 50 yards a boot. This squad garnered a B grade in my book, and was the most comparable of the three. Final Grade B
We all know what happened to these guys. Jack Del Rio couldn’t capitalize off of a playoff appearance and it cost him. Whether it was not retaining Bill Musgrave or making a better coordinator change on defense sooner, the “gambler” is now relegated to the unemployment line for the near future. They got a D+ for all of the underwhelming performances put on the field while being the watchful leaders of the Silver & Black. Final Grade D+
That about sums it up for a highly forgettable and lackluster showing of a club that is already looking towards 2018 to become a promising road down memory lane if you catch my drift. So until we meet again, always remember to Ramble On, Raider Nation.