With the Raiders resurgent 2016 season, posting a 12-4 record, the NFL world is abuzz about their prospects this year.
As a fan it is easy to have high expectations and feel like success is a given. As a player or coach you know the effort required and work you must put in to even have a chance to compete and you don’t want them buying into the hype. Most notably, Derek Carr.
“You always want people saying good things around this time,” said Carr following the first training camp practice Saturday. “But also we know that that’s only because of what happened last year. That’s not even this team. We know that what we need to do better, like I said, I’ve said it before many times leading up to camp, we didn’t even beat Kansas City twice last year.
“So I don’t know why everyone is so excited. We have a lot more work to do to be a better football team. I understand the excitement of the people that we have, but I don’t understand the excitement of how we finished so far. We need to do a better job there. I think that that’s what keeps our team focused. One day when we reach our goal, we’ll look at it and say, ‘Well, that was cool, now we know how to do it,’ kind of a thing. Always looking forward to that.”
Half of the Raiders’ four losses were to the Chiefs who were the eventual division champs.
The Raiders have struggled against KC in recent years having been swept by them the last two seasons. A partial reason for that has been Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s own struggles against the division rival. Carr has only beaten the Chiefs once; it was his first professional football victory week 12 of the 2014 season. And he has never won in Kansas City.
Carr had a very good season in 2016, posting 3,937 passing yards and 28 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions. He completed 63.7% of his passes while appearing in 15 games. Compare that to the two games against the Chiefs in which Carr had 342 yards, one touchdown to one interception, and only a 52% completion rate. This included the worst game of his young career in last season’s week 14 loss in Kansas City. In that game Carr managed only 117 yards and a 41.1% completion rate; both were season lows.
Carr is very aware of these struggles and seems to be taking them head on. He isn’t distracted by all of the excitement in the fan base or love coming from the media.
This team has a solid young foundation in place and a very talented roster which should lead sustained success. Perhaps even a couple wins over the hated Kansas City Chiefs. That is something I think Derek Carr would be excited about.
How will the season series against KC play out?
This poll is closed
Raiders sweep the Chiefs
They split the series
KC sweeps the Raiders