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Oakland Raiders 2017 Outlook

The AFC West is the toughest division top to bottom in the NFL with three teams the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos all with a chance to win the division crown and reach the postseason.

Oakland just missed out winning the division last season to Kansas City. Behind the strong arm of quarterback Derek Carr and the team’s explosive offense the Raiders are back this season to make amends.

Carr returns with a lucrative new contract after throwing for 3,937 yards and 28 touchdowns. This season the Raiders weapons that Carr has to throw to should be better than last season.

Jared Cook a tight end is now with Oakland. He will complement wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper who combined for close to 2,200 receiving yards last season. Cook’s experience playing with playoff contender Green Bay will help the young offense of the Raiders.

If the passing attack was not enough, the Raiders added un-retired Marshawn Lynch to their backfield. Lynch will take over for the departed Latavius Murray, who joined the Minnesota Vikings. Lynch is a powerful proven commodity in the backfield, but he has not played since the 2015 season.

If Lynch can return to his previous form, the passing lanes will be wide open for Carr to start dissecting opposing secondary alignments.

Oakland’s first round draft pick Gareon Conley has been cleared as an Ohio district attorney has decided not to seek charges against the cornerback in an alleged sexual assault case that has proven to be a mistaken identity.

Now that the weight of his possible indictment is behind him, Conley can help focus on making the Oakland secondary much better.

Defense reinforcements came via the draft during the offseason. The Raiders have one of the best pass rushers in the NFL in Khalil Mack, but now will have a safety from the second round in Obi Melifonwu and Eddie Vanderdoes a defensive tackle taken in the third round.

Last season the defense was last in quarterback sacks with 25 but with Mack returning and the new additions that should change this season.

With the news additions on both sides of the ball, Oakland appears to be the favorite to win the AFC West.

Oakland Odds

AFC West – 9 to 5

AFC Championship – 8 to 1

Super Bowl LII – 10 to 1

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Thursday, August 10th, 2017 2017 NFL

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