For the past few years, the Oakland Raiders have been rebuilding their roster and coaching staff with the hopes of returning to the days of dominating the AFC West. In 2015, they finished the season with a 7-9 record and were just a few pieces away from crossing that .500 line, inching towards the playoffs. With a successful free agency and 2016 NFL Draft, this could be the year Oakland takes that next step, and fans will want to grab their Oakland Raiders tickets and support them all season long. On paper, the Raiders have arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. During the offseason they re-signed left tackle Donald Penn and acquired veteran guard Kelechi Osemele from the Baltimore Ravens. When not under pressure in 2015, quarterback Derek Carr had a passer rating of 96.4 which will only improve with another year of chemistry with wideouts Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, along with tight end Clive Walford. Oakland added a running back
in the draft with fifth-rounder DeAndre Washington, who should complement Latavius Murray and provide a nice change of pace in the backfield in 2016. Oakland’s defense received a makeover this offseason and are looking to rival their fellow AFC West Broncos. The secondary was revamped with the free agency additions of cornerback Sean Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs and free safety Reggie Nelson from the Cincinnati Bengals. The Raiders also firmed up the secondary with their first round draft selection of Karl Joseph, a big-hitting safety from West Virginia who is very versatile and will join Nelson on the backend of the Raiders’ defense. Another solid acquisition for Oakland’s defense was the signing of linebacker Bruce Irvin from the Seattle Seahawks who along with star Khalil Mack should wreak havoc on opposing offenses all season long.
Fans and Oakland Raiders’ ticket holders are a loyal bunch and are excited at their team’s potential for the 2016 season. The AFC West has been dominated by the Denver Broncos in recent years, and the Raiders are looking to turn the tides. With their revamped defense and stellar offense, this could be the year the Raiders finish on top and see the post season for the first time since 2002.