With January winding down, were handing out Raider 2015 team awards. The Oakland Raiders created genuine excitement for its fans in 2015. We say “genuine”, because over the past decade we’ve heard plenty of talk about renewed optimism. More times than not it was wishful thinking. The last time the Oakland Raiders had the aura of a legitimate team was when Hue Jackson had the Raiders making a playoff run in 2011. And we all know how quickly that fell apart. So while the 2015 season is remembered and awards handed out, preparing for the 2016 season is all that matters.
So let’s get on with it. We’ll hand out a special award in addition to MVP for offense, defense, and special teams.
Raider 2015 Team Awards
SPECIAL 1X AWARD
The Rodney Dangerfield “I get no respect” award goes to…Owner Mark Davis.
This guy has taken barbs on everything, including his haircut. He has a team without a home. Half his games are played in an obsolete stadium. The playing field has a dirt infield. And yet…and yet NFL owners actively worked against his petition to move to Carson. Nowadays it seems very few want public funding going to a fat cat owner so he can build a new stadium. And yet, Mark Davis is a peasant compared to most NFL owners. He’s a down to earth guy that (lately at least) can’t catch a break. Despite the constant beating, he still smiles, he still exudes passion and confidence in the Oakland Raiders. He remains committed to his fans and the Raider Nation. He knows what people say about his hairstyle and won’t change it because of that. He knows who he is. And that alone deserves an award.
The popular choice would seem to be Derek Carr. The second year quarterback had 4 game winning drives in the 4th quarter (Bal, @Ten, @Den, SD) and compiled a QBR of 91.1. He also threw some untimely interceptions. His INT-% of 2.3% was 22nd if the NFL. Rookie WR Amari Cooper also gets consideration. He led the team with 1,070 receiving but his production dropped off over the final four games. RB Latavius Murray gives the Raiders hope but his production declined after injuries beseeched the offensive line. MVP does not have to go to the guy with the best stats. With that in mind, we choose WR Michael Crabtree as the Raider Offensive MVP. The FA pickup led the Raiders with 85 receptions and 9 touchdowns. Most importantly, when you needed a play, you knew he would make it.
Michael Crabtree catches a 4th quarter TD against San Diego.
A number of players immediately come to mind: Charles Woodson, Khalil Mack, David Amerson, and Malcom Smith. There are others who had good years like TJ Carrie and Dan Williams, just to name a few. The more you think about it the better you feel about 2016. Woodson was our midseason MVP not because of his team leading 5 interceptions at the time, but because of the leadership and inspiration he brought to the team. Amerson was a great pick up at CB. He was second on the team with 4 interceptions. LB Malcom Smith led the team with 120 tackles. But Khalil Mack was the disrupting force for the Oakland Raiders. He’s our pick for Raider Defensive MVP. We’d like to see Mack win the NFL’s Defensive MVP award but JJ Watt is more popular with the press and are expecting him to win it.
Khalil Mack…strong case to be NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Not even close. Punter Marquette King is hands down the MVP. He spent the entire season nailing opposing teams inside their 20. We’re not going to spend a lot of time on this as our 2015 Season Review -Special Teams article was devoted largely to him. Please check it out. 2015 Oakland Raiders Season Review – Special Teams
Can your punter do this? He’s flat out mugging the guy.
SUMMARY (Raider 2015 Team Awards)
Offense – WR Michael Crabtree – Most consistent & reliable player. Led team with 9 TDs.
Defense – DE/OLB Khalil Mack – Disruptive force. 15 sacks were 2nd in NFL.
Special Teams – P Marquette King – Should be in the Prow Bowl.