The Oakland Raiders finished the 2015 season at 7-9. That’s generally where we expected them to be. They made some noise this year and most fans and people within the organization are looking forward to 2016 with a genuine sense of optimism. There were and are issues that must be dealt with but for now, let’s just take a look at 2015, starting with the offense.
Oakland Raiders Derek Carr handing off to Latavius Murray.
OAKLAND RAIDERS – OFFENSE
In 2014, QB Derek Carr was babied and protected through conservative play calling, especially in obvious throwing downs. This year, Carr was unleashed and we saw a glimpse of how good he can be. He’s a warrior in the same mold as his idle, Brett Favre. Potentially he can be the same type of playmaker as well. We say potentially, because we’re comparing a quarterback with two years of experience to a Hall of Famer. Carr also shares some of Favre’s “vices” such as opting for the long ball when an easy first down is available underneath or by running. He will also lock onto certain routes and plays that worked previously with high success.
On the year, Carr completed 61% of his passes and threw 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His QBR of 91.1 ranks him 13th in the NFL. While he had a good year, his average yards per attempt was 7.0, which puts him near the bottom of the league. Beyond stats, Carr displayed leadership and command of the offense.
Oakland Raiders undrafted WR Seth Roberts makes a big play against San Diego.
WR Amari Cooper is a future star but in 2015, Michael Crabtree was the team’s best wide receiver. Crabtree posted 85 receptions for 922 yards and 9 touchdowns. While his average was only 10.8 yards per catch, he was a reliable safety blanket for Derek Carr. At times, Amari Cooper had issues catching the ball. He had more drops than you want from a first rounder. That said, Jerry Rice had the same problem his rookie year and, at one point, was brought to tears. Despite the drops, Cooper had a good year. He had 72 receptions and led the team in receiving yards with 1,070. Undrafted, Division-II Wide Out Seth Roberts had a promising first year with 32 receptions and 5 touchdowns. He averaged 15 yards per catch and 65% of his receptions resulted in first downs.
RB Latavius Murray topped the 1,000 yard mark with 1,066 yards, averaging 17 carries per game and 4.0 yards per carry. He posted 6 rushing touchdowns and was the team’s 3rd leading receiver with 41 receptions for 232 yards. Unfortunately, injuries to the offensive line stymied Murray’s production as the season wore on. In the first eight games, Murray averaged 4.8 yards per carry compared to 3.3 in the final eight. FB Marcel Reece made the Pro Bowl but carried the ball only 10 times. He had 30 receptions for 269 yards and 3 TDs.
The Oakland Raiders offensive line started the year very strong but struggled toward the end.
The offensive line was productive to start the year. However, C Rodney Hudson would end up nursing an ankle injury for much of the middle and later part of the season. RT Austin Howard was lost for the season after a knee injury in Week 14. J’Marcus Webb moved from Guard to Tackle and rookie Jon Feliciano got his first start and a true taste of the NFL. In the final 5 games, the offensive line surrendered 19 sacks. That’s nearly four per game. LT Donald Penn and LG Gabe Jackson anchored a strong left side. After 10 years in the league, Penn’s age is beginning to show.
Overall the offense was ranked 24th in total yards; 16th passing; and 28th running. They averaged 22.4 points per game, which was 17th in the NFL. The offense ranked in the bottom half of almost every statistical category. Despite that, they were electric at times and showed guts and determination. Although the offense has a ways to go, in 2015 they were much better than the stats imply.
Here’s our review of the Defense.
OAKLAND RAIDERS SEASON REVEIW – DEFENSE
Our review of the Coaching Staff.
OAKLAND RAIDERS SEASON REVEIW – COACHES
OAKLAND RAIDERS SEASON REVEIW – SPECIAL TEAMS
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