Are the Oakland Raiders Primed for Success or Failure?


How do fans of the Oakland Raiders feel about the upcoming season? There is reason for both ingrained pessimism and grand optimism.

Let’s take a quick look back at reasons to dread another potentially woeful season for the silver and black. For starters, the Raiders haven’t won more than four games in each of the last three seasons. There was even a harrowing 16-game losing streak amidst that span.

The Raiders’ divisional competition doesn’t make things any easier. Ever since Peyton Manning joined the Denver Broncos, any chance the Raiders had at success was stifled. Interestingly, the last time the Raiders did not have a losing record was the year before Manning became a Bronco. One could basically say that the Raiders’ turmoil was caused by Manning. Of course, that’s quite the oversimplification, but somebody has to play devil’s advocate.

Perhaps some of Oakland’s football hardships stem from external influences, but it’s clear that most of the issues were born within the organization. One of the most extremely frustrating parts of recent Raiders’ history is their running back situation.

Why oh why did Darren McFadden turn out to be such a complete waste of talent and space? Honestly, the Raiders kept him around for way too long even though they finally got rid of him this offseason. Yeah, he had a couple decent seasons, but he never really amounted to any sort of consistent productivity. Put bluntly, there wasn’t much of a point to McFadden. How is it that McFadden has been the only Raiders jersey available at Bay Area sports retailers prior to the arrival of the team’s new quarterback, Derek Carr?

However, last season boosted fans’ hopes for the position when Latavius Murray surged for a 90-yard touchdown run against the Kansas City Chiefs. There are reports that Murray could have a breakout season this year, so he’s certainly a key factor to higher hopes in the East Bay.

Fortunately, reasons to believe in better days for the Raiders go beyond the running back position. Oakland is poised to premiere a potentially great dynamic duo in Derek Carr and Amari Cooper.

Cooper was drafted by the Raiders in the first round out of Alabama, and he could bring much needed explosiveness and big-play ability to Oakland’s receiver corps.

Carr showed a lot of potential this past season, but he needs weapons to take his ability to the next level. Anyone would agree that a quarterback who’s excited about his new receiver is bound for success.

There have also been reports, including one from, that are discussing early chemistry forming between Cooper and Carr. It is quite fascinating that a second-year player and a rookie are showing glimpses that they are the team leaders.

The same article also quoted Carr saying Cooper’s “style of play is perfect for this league.” Later, the same source goes on to talk about how Cooper texted Carr during the night about routes they need to work on a few more times. It’s that kind of work ethic and attention to detail that could make the Oakland Raiders a comeback team this season.

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Coming out of Alabama, Cooper is a proven superb talent at the wide receiver position. It seemed like the Raiders were going to take a defensive player with their first draft pick, but they decided to supplement Carr’s arsenal with Cooper.

Yes, the combination of Carr and Cooper is enough reason to be extremely excited for the Raiders’ potential this season, but fans must remain realistic. It’s obviously difficult to turn a four-win season into something better in the following year. Achieving at least a .500 record this season would be a huge success, so fans shouldn’t get too bummed out if the Raiders don’t make the playoffs yet.

Time will tell if the Carr/Copper duo will turn into a breathtaking display of greatness or another flounder in Oakland.

Next: Oakland Raiders Vs. The AFC West: Quarterbacks