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Derek Carr believes Raiders are “a lot closer” than people think

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

After winning just four games and trading away a few valuable pieces, the Oakland Raiders were not anywhere close to a playoff team in 2018.

On defense, the Raiders ranked dead last in the league giving up 29.2 points per game.

On the other side of the ball it wasn’t much better for Oakland as it ranked just 28th in the league scoring 18.1 points per game. With some quick math, the Raiders had an average point differential of 11.1 points per game. Absolutely abysmal.

Despite a poor season for the second straight year, Derek Carr is still optimistic about the team’s future.

“We need some guys who can come in and help us now,” Carr said in an interview with 940-AM in Fresno via NBC Sports. “We have some good building pieces. We have some foundational pieces. Obviously, we have a quarterback, so we don’t need one of those. That’s the good thing.

“We just need some players who can help us win now. We’re building this thing. We’ve been building this thing. We’ve built this thing a couple of times. It’s time to get people who can just come in and help us now. There are a lot of veterans on this team who signed contracts or signed extensions or free-agent deals to come play here because we want to win and we believe in this system and what we’re doing.”

The optimism is valid since Oakland does have the cap space and a plethora of draft picks to turn around the organization rather quickly. But that involves hitting on a high percentage of those draft picks and free agent signings to fill the many holes that exist on the roster.

If the Raiders do hit on a large percentage of their offseason decisions, they will be a lot closer to the playoffs than people think. However, that will be much easier said than done considering Jon Gruden’s track record selecting players in Tampa Bay.