After withstanding the media storm that Antonio Brown brought last week, the Oakland Raiders seem to be back on the right track. On Thursday, the team will be facing off against the Arizona Cardinals for their second preseason game. This game should be the first opportunity that fans get to see starting quarterback Derek Carr take some snaps with his new offense. It’s almost impossible to imagine that Antonio Brown will suit up and play, but Carr should have playmakers like Josh Jacobs and Tyrell Williams on the field with him.
Carr had an incredibly trying year in 2018. The offense that he led lacked talent. He was also battered as he was sacked 51 times, which was 20 more than he had taken in any other season. Because of this, his play suffered and the Raiders ended up fielding one of the worst offenses in the NFL. However, Carr’s outlook for 2019 looks much better and people are starting notice.
Louis Riddick Has Lofty Prediction for Raiders’ Derek Carr in 2019
Former Director of Pro Personnel for the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles turned ESPN analyst Louis Riddick gave an exciting prediction for Derek Carr’s 2019 season.
The former Raider defensive back believes that Carr is going to have the best season of his career in 2019. People forget, but Carr almost won the MVP in 2016 before breaking his leg. If his season is better than that, he could be hoisting the trophy in 2019. When Riddick was pressed, he doubled down.
Unlike how most media pundits live in this hot take culture, Riddick claims that he does the work before he makes these kinds of statements. Yes, Riddick is a former Raider, but he’s a very credible football mind and he wouldn’t stake his reputation on something he didn’t believe. He also believes that the Raiders are “light years more talented” this year. Riddick has been to practices this offseason and is likely well connected to the organization. He knows what he’s talking about. Raider fans should be excited about what he has to say about the team’s 2019 outlook.
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Will Derek Carr Have His Best Season in 2019?
While Riddick is certainly credible, will Carr actually have his best season? It’s going to be tough to top 2015 or 2016, but he definitely can do it. The main issue is going to be the offensive line. The line that was blocking for Carr from 2015 to 2017 was absolutely dominant. Donald Penn was a better-left tackle than Kolton Miller. Kelechi Osemele, at his best, was a better left guard than Richie Incognito. Rodney Hudson is still around and is still one of the best in the game. Gabe Jackson is still around, but he’s going to miss a lot of time with an MCL injury. The only area of obvious improvement is at right tackle with the addition of Trent Brown. Even when the Raiders had their dominant offensive line, the right tackle play wasn’t great.
So once Jackson is back, hopefully around week six, the Raiders offensive line, on paper, isn’t too much worse. Incognito isn’t that far off from Osemele and Miller is still young and can improve. That being said, this unit isn’t going to be as good as the previous Mike Tice units. This is because offensive line coach Tom Cable hasn’t proven that he’s fit for the job. This unit could still be a top-10 squad, but until they prove themselves, it’s going to be a situation to watch.
Luckily, for Carr, he’s got new weapons all around him. Josh Jacobs should be the best running back the Raiders have had in a while. Marshawn Lynch and Latavius Murray weren’t bad, but they were often injured and didn’t make many big plays. Jacobs is versatile, young and fresh. He will take pressure off the passing game and will also help because of his ability as a receiver.
Also, we can’t forget about Antonio Brown. Yes, he causes headaches and will probably never stop, but he’s easily the most talented receiver Carr has ever had. Just because Amari Cooper had a good half-season with the Dallas Cowboys, everybody forgets how often he would disappear in games and drop big passes in Oakland. Brown will be much more reliable than Cooper ever was. Plus, Tyrell Williams is an excellent second option. Michael Crabtree came on really strong for Carr in 2015 and 2016, but he never had the upside that Williams brings. Williams is big and fast. He is the perfect player to lineup across from Antonio Brown.
Hunter Renfrow is still unproven, but he could easily be the best third option Carr has ever had. Seth Roberts made some big plays in his years, but he dropped a lot of passes and was very inconsistent. Renfrow is as surehanded as they come and shouldn’t suffer from the same drop issues. Lastly, tight end Darren Waller may not produce as much as Jared Cook did a year ago, but he’s an exciting receiver that should make some big plays in 2019. Add all these weapons together and Carr is ready to put up massive numbers this season. Don’t be surprised if this is actually the best season of his career.