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The Oakland Raiders will begin the season in just a few days. Before that happens, let’s take a look at what we can expect from each side of the ball by the time the season ends. I’ve already made game by game predictions for the year so it only makes sense I do predictions for the offense and defense as well.


OFFENSE


Passing Offense

Last season: 13th overall

Prediction for this season:11th overall

I have the Raiders passing offense getting better statistically, but only by a little bit. I know some may think that’s unfair. The Raiders added a new tight end in Jared Cook and a new wide receiver in Cordarrelle Patterson. And that’s on top of the already great pass catchers they had in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.

And then there’s Derek Carr, the guy who was an MVP candidate before breaking his leg last year. So how is the passing offense only improving slightly when there’s new talent and young players who are continuing to improve? Because unlike last season, the Raiders offense won’t rely so heavily on the passing game. You’ll see why in the next section.

Rushing Offense

Last Season: 6th overall

Prediction for this season: 2nd overall

A big part of the reason I don’t have the passing offense taking a huge step forward is because I have the run game taking a huge step forward. The Raiders had a very good run game last season, but if you followed them closely you would know it was also highly inconsistent. And what’s worse, often times the run game struggled when the Raiders needed it most, late in games when they were trying to run the four minute drill.

This year, the addition of Marshawn Lynch will make all of the difference. Beast Mode is back and looks like his old self. Obviously this is just based on the preseason, but if you watched closely, you saw exactly what you needed to see form Marshawn: a burst of speed and the ability to make cuts. With Lynch and backups Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, plus an elite offensive line and the Raiders will have one of the top two run games in the NFL this season.


DEFENSE


Pass Defense

Last season: 24th overall

Prediction for this season: 18th overall

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