For the second year in a row, the Oakland Raiders have benched a weak-armed quarterback named Matt and put their hopes in a young quarterback.
Unlike last year, the Raiders might have given the keys to the franchise to a future star. It’s fitting that the player who the Raiders believe will lead the team out of a dark decade is a lifelong member of the Raider Nation: Derek Carr. Last week, the Fresno State showed the football world that he is ready to be an NFL starter after he torched the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
We all know that Dennis Allen is coaching for his job right now, which makes this move even more surprising. The coaching staff must know that Carr gives the Raiders the best chance of winning games this season. In six days, Carr will get his chance to prove the coaching staff right by going against one of the top defenses in the NFL.
Not only will Carr have to fight off the butterflies, but he will have to do it against Rex Ryan’s vaunted defense. However, GM Reggie McKenzie has added some great pieces for Carr to play with.
Expect the Raiders to pound the rock with their dynamic duo of Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden all season long. Both oft-injured running backs have had a couple of down years, but they should last longer now that they are used in different packages. If the Raiders’ running game can get going, it will open up the field for the strong-armed Carr.
Even though the Raiders don’t have a true No. 1 receiver, they do have a plethora of reliable pass catchers. It wouldn’t be surprising if second-year tight end Mychal Rivera emerges as a top-10 tight end this season because tight ends are usually a young quarterback’s best friend. Also keep an eye out for Denarius Moore to have a breakout season. Yes, Moore has struggled the last couple of seasons, but he had to play with weak-armed quarterbacks who had no time to set their feet.
Get excited, Raider Nation — a new era of Raiders football begins in less than a week.
Jorge Contreras is an Oakland Raiders writer for RantSports.com. Follow Jorge on Twitter @reportbaysports