Coming into this season, the Raiders have hype surrounding them. Some of which is justified with everything with a breakout 2016. In addition,the draft and free agency each sparked great buzz around the team. Oakland made huge strides in some crucial areas, specifically at quarterback and offensive line. Also, conducting a seemingly decent draft with just the eye test. Usually, the draft is a diceroll. Yet, unless they happen to snag a generational talent, everything else could fall to proper coaching and execution by the player. So to reiterate, the Raiders have a lot of hype this season, but the big question is, do they deserve it?
2017 NFL Season: Why there is much hype surrounding the Raiders as they enter 2017
cover32 Exclusive: The latest 49ers’ Podcast takes a look at rookie LB, Reuben Foster
What’s Trending: Giants sign “Fastest man in college football”
2017 Free Agency: Three reasons to avoid signing free agent WR, Victor Cruz
2018 NFL Draft: Is the 2018 QB NFL Draft class really better than the 2017 group
The simple answer is yes. As a result of drafting well and having the right coaching staff around the younger players, Oakland earned its way back. Going from a 3-13 to 7-9 in 2015 to a robust 12-4 record shows progress. Under those circumstances. the team looks primed for a leap into the upper echelon. Also, the management has found free agent acquisitions that weren’t fathomable in the previous decade for the simple fact that no one wanted to come to Oakland, unless it meant a huge paycheck.
As well as turning the image of the franchise around by bringing in free agents at adequate prices the staff has also been able to find undrafted free agents with success more often than not, which is also not an easy task. But, with all of this success and the hype that comes with it, the question again needs asking, do they deserve it? I mean, in reality, no playoff wins in over a decade and pinning all the hopes on the health of the quarterback.
I often wonder if the Raiders were a different team, such as the New York Jets, would the hype exist. Or, is it due to vocal Raiders fans? Plus, the tea owns that “edge” which makes it so appealing. It’s hard to not like the Silver and Black. Consequently, rookies from other teams get in trouble for wearing Raiders gear, AFTER THEY ARE DRAFTED. This shows how much the Raiders brand is ingrained in today’s culture.
As the year went on, the defense improved. However, the offense kept them in games. Also, too many very close gamescame down to the wire. With a bounce or a missed tackle that wasn’t could’ve veered multiple games in very different directions. Now, before everyone calls for my head, I’m very hopeful that this year they will improve even more. Honestly, at this point, I think the hype has overextended past reality just a tiny bit. Granted, the Raiders are very good and are set up well for sustained success. But, I will wait until the season is at a mid-way point to determine if the Raiders are legitimate.