Dec 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (91) against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: 3 Bold Predictions for 2014 NFL Season


The 2014 NFL season promises to be an interesting one for the Oakland Raiders.  In that spirit, here are some bold predictions for their future.

Darren McFadden completes a full season for the first time

The patience has pretty much worn out for Raider fans regarding Darren McFadden.  The former first round pick came in with so much promise as a rookie but ever since has not been able to stay healthy.  He has never played more than 13 games in six season.  Well that will change in 2014.  Thanks in large part to diminished expectations and also the presence of Maurice Jones-Drew who will share the carries, McFadden will finally break his dubious streak and make it through all 16 regular season games without a significant injury.

Khalil Mack and Justin Tuck help Raiders reach top 10 in sacks

If there should be big expectations for the coming NFL season anywhere on the Oakland Raiders roster, it must start with their defense.  Through free agency and the draft they have made a slew of notable addition, particularly to their front seven with veteran pass rushers Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley and rookie first round pick Khalil Mack.  That new core, at least on paper, gives Oakland something they haven’t had in a long time which is a stable group of players who can get after the quarterback.  With help from Pat Sims and Antonio Smith in the middle, not only will they spark an improvement for the defense, but the Raiders will actually finish the season ranked in the top 10 for quarterback sacks.

Derek Carr starts at least four games in relief of Matt Schaub

Make no mistake.  The Oakland Raiders coaches and front office are united in the belief that nobody but Matt Schaub is the starting quarterback for this NFL season.  It’s why they traded for him.  They believe he gives them the best chance to win despite lingering doubts he can rebound from his ugly final year in Houston.  That being said, Schaub also is going to be facing some very tough pass rushes just in the AFC West and will stand behind an offensive line chalked full of castoffs from other teams like Donald Penn, Kevin Booth and Austin Howard.  That could result in him taking a lot of hits and as a byproduct some injuries.  In light of this, the Raiders, ready or not, will get a sneak peak at their future when rookie Derek Carr steps in to relieve Schaub as a temporary starter during the season.  Set the line at four games.

Tags: Darren McFadden Featured Justin Tuck Khalil Mack Matt Schaub NFL Oakland Raiders Popular

  • Brutus

    I think they will hand the ball to McGloin if Schaub gets hurt, especially if Schaub is only projected to miss a game or two. Carr has a better chance for long-term success if he rides the bench for at least one season and preferably two. If Carr plays four games this season, it will likely be because Schaub goes out early with a season ending injury or is benched and McGloin is ineffective.

    • Erik Lambert

      Well that was my bold prediction inside the bold prediction, in case you missed it. I believe Carr will beat out McGloin for the backup job.

      • Thomas Otto

        No way….I think the coaching staff still believe in McGloin and they will let him play before Carr. I would be shocked to see McGloin gets passed up by Carr as back up by 1st game. If Carr doesn’t get back up through off season work out and preseason then he won’t see the field in 2014. Unless of course we totally suck and only have a win or two by the 8th game…Then in this scenario all bets are off and the whole coaching staff will be fired.

        • Erik Lambert

          Carr is simply better than McGloin, Tom. He’s taller, stronger, more athletic, was more productive in college and has a better arm. The only thing McGloin has on him is experience. That will give him the edge early but I feel Carr will have an effect in training camp and preseason not just with his talent but also his leadership.

          • Bear1909

            It was college. McGloin saw a lot of mortal combat at the pro level last year and ZERO offensive line. They couldn’t count on them for a consistent running game in the clutch…like third and short (I don’t care about stats— I care about wins due to controlling game tempo with the ground game) or getting plus ten yards on a throw with 10-15 yards after the catch. That is pure offensive line power that gives a team that kind of ball control in the NFL. McGloin did all right and can train in camp utilizing his experience with regard to timing and “vision.” Carr has to learn to check down, read coverages, be a pro-pocket passer, and learn how to use his legs against the fastest defenses in the NFL. He has potential but I don’t see him anywhere near RGIII or Andrew Luck capability. I am managing my expectations of him. Schaub is a tough, seasoned, playoff experienced QB who is being given the keys to the car in order to direct the offense at the line of scrimmage— something exQB and head coach Kubiak was unwilling to hand over to him with the Texans. We’ll see what the chemistry is between him and his line, his backs and receivers, and the O-Coordinator. It will come down to that. If he doesn’t get that piece of things he will have no confidence and the Offense will suck no matter what system is in place. We can go 9-7 if we can close the close defensive battles with clutch QB play in the fourth quarter and keep opposing offenses off the field. GO RAIDERS!!!!

        • Brutus

          I think the Raiders believe in McGloin……as a backup. Carr is the future. As mentioned above, I think McGloin starts the season at #2, but the Raiders won’t ignore training camp and preseason as Erik mentions. They rightfully gave Pryor the ball over Flynn last year. If it’s close, I think McGloin gets the nod at backup to start the season. If Carr clearly outplays McGloin, Carr will get the backup role and it won’t be questioned even by McGloin.

      • Brutus

        I think your view is in the majority and mine in the minority. I don’t want to say that McGloin will beat out Carr, but I think they plan to start the season with McGloin as the backup. He’s been in the system a year already. I also think they want McGloin to be comfortable with his position on the team since they eventually want him backing up Carr – moving him to third string behind a rookie might be problematic.

        • Erik Lambert

          It’s not a bad idea, Brutus, by any stretch. I just think if winning is really the motive for the Raiders in 2014, then the best players play. If Carr outplays McGloin, he should be the one backing up Schaub. Not saying my view is the absolute right one, but it’s the one I think is best.

          • Brutus

            Any thoughts on Latavius Murray?

          • Erik Lambert

            He has no significant body of work. All we can go on is what he might be able to do. Until he proves he deserves a chance I have to say he’s a reserve and not much more.

          • Brutus

            Fair enough. I’m kind of pulling for him as I graduated from UCF in 1987 – hoping Bortles is the second best QB selected in this draft for the same reason. I was pre-Culpepper at UCF also. My first year (1983), we were a Division II school and our coach was Lou Saban – former NFL, AFL, NCAA coach.

          • Erik Lambert

            That’s great. School loyalty is something I can’t really understand since mine didn’t have a prominent sports program.

  • Deacon John F. Mostler

    Why would you call our offensive line a bunch of castoffs. I thought they were free agents because their contracts ran out?????

    • Erik Lambert

      The definition of a castoff in sports is a player who wasn’t wanted enough by his original team to stay. That is really what most free agents are. Only the the top 10% who enter the market can be considered above that label.

      • Deacon John F. Mostler

        okay but what about a free agent such as Lamar Houston or Jared V. who just left the Raiders.

        • Erik Lambert

          Both were considered among the best at their positions when they hit the market, so they get a pass.

          • Thomas Otto

            Give me a break…How many sacks did Lamar Houston get? 4? How many games did Jared miss last year? Around 8 in a contract year??? No. Your logic does not make sense. They aren’t considered “best” at the position.

          • Erik Lambert

            Lamarr Houston had six sacks and according to multiple sources was the best run defending defensive end in league. The Arizona Cardinals signed Veldheer for $35 million, making him the third-highest paid tackle in 2014 free agency, so out of that group he was among the best available according to value.

          • Christopher

            What nobody seems to understand is maybe it was about more than just
            football with Veldheer and Houston. They both started their careers
            during really rough times in Oakland. Maybe they just were convinced
            their careers would be better off somewhere else. As a Raider fan, I
            could see Veldheer and Houston not wanting to stay and if they didn’t,
            I’m glad Reggie didn’t try to resign them. As a fan, I want players who
            actually want to play for the team and have a winning attitude. That has
            been a huge reason why the Raiders have sucked for a decade, is signing
            players who come for the big paycheck, not to win games.

          • Erik Lambert

            There’s no way to know what their motivation was so anything is pure speculation at this point.

          • raider_nation

            Including ur blog

          • Erik Lambert

            I didn’t force you to read it, RN.

          • raider_nation

            I know Erik, dont get upset, but when u put articles about my team is like u are forcing me to read this. Its ur opinion I respect that.. but Mcloving is a good QB n at the OTAs it’s Mcloving who getting second reps,

      • Dean Thomas

        Austin Howard has only given up 2 sacks in 2 seasons. I expect Menalik Warson to win the LT spot, Wiz is still center, rookie Gabe Jackson to win a guard spot, Howard at RT, and a fight for the other G. Decent line with depth now too.

        • Erik Lambert

          Sack stats are very misleading, Dean. I’d like to see how many pressures and hits on the quarterback he allowed. Remember he’s a right tackle so the quarterbacks saw the pressure coming and more often would be able to get rid of it.

  • jonathan roach Robles

    U forgot to mention the upgrade on our secondary…that should help our pass rush and create more turnovers…

    • Bear1909

      I noticed that too. Media have been silent about Tarrell and Carlos. They played some heavy D in some heavy games for Niners. They are competitive, far from perfect— but they’ve been to the Big One. With CWood present and accounted for the young backs are going to LEARN A TON ABOUT BALLIN’ from the new and the legendary Raider(s). Plus we get one big hitter back from injury….we are a solid intimidating defense. Rookies can play today to keep the older guys fresh….when guys get tired they get hurt…if we manage injury impacts across the D we will take 9 games and go to the playoffs if we win when it counts (divisional sweep again).

  • raider_nation

    They’re were fan favorites, hulk, houston, nothing more, if Tuck would’ve gone to the donkeys , it would’ve been”a great top pick. So its more bias than anything , hulk couldn’t protect the qb with fast strong rushers, houston was slower than the QBs come on…

  • Demarkus Tramail Swan

    Lol, not happening in ’14

  • Patrick Bigay

    If anything, its going to be McGloin who fills in for Schaub!!!!!! Not Carr! But I like your bold prediction.:-}