Oakland Raiders: Five Bold-ish Predictions For The 2018 Season

Oakland Raiders (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Oakland Raiders (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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Oakland Raiders
OAKLAND, CA – DECEMBER 03: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders hands the ball off to Marshawn Lynch #24 from their own end zone against the New York Giants during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 3, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Raiders are entering the 2018 as a complete wild card, with nobody knowing what to make of them – so, let’s take a crack at a few bold-ish predictions for the coming season.

Heading into the 2018 season, nobody quite knows what to make of the Oakland Raiders. And with good reason – they’re kind of an enigma at this point.

There’s all of the buzz surrounding the return of Jon Gruden and his alter-ego, Chucky, of course. Some believe the intense, nose to the grindstone, fire and brimstone way of doing things will be good for a few wins this season.

Of course, there are many who believe it’s a recipe for disaster, that Gruden is woefully out of touch after ten years away from the sidelines.

They look at his roster construction, the addition of key veterans, to blend with the youngsters, and say his roster is just too long in the tooth to win.

And oh yeah, the shocking (sort of) trade of one of the best defenders in the entire league, has certainly not endeared him to most, adding to the belief that Oakland’s season is destined to be a dumpster fire of epic proportions.

However, if you suffered through the majority of the Todd Downing/Ken Norton Jr.-era in Oakland, you know that’s a dumpster fire that’s going to be incredibly hard – if not impossible – to top.

But, there are some very valid questions to be had as we look at the roster ahead of the opening of the season, and a showdown with what looks to be the league’s juggernaut in the LA Rams on Monday night.

If you step back and look at this Raiders team with a critical, and objective eye, even without Mack, you can make the argument that this is a team that’s better than last year’s squad. It appears – on paper at this point – that some glaring deficiencies have been addressed this offseason, and the team is better for it.

This isn’t to say this isn’t a roster without holes and question marks in it. Will Rashaan Melvin pan out? Will Gareon Conley be able to stay healthy and become a legit number one corner? Will Derek Carr rebound from a very subpar 2017 campaign? Will Amari Cooper be able to do the same?

There are so many unknowns floating around out there, so many variables that can’t be controlled, that it’s hard to get a bead on just how good (or bad) they’ll be once the lights and curtains go up.

While most are expecting the Raiders to be epically bad, this is a team that could really surprise some folks. They could be the sleeper team nobody sees coming.

So, with that in mind, let’s look at the “glass is half full” side of things, and throw out some bold-ish predictions for the coming year…