Everyone knows that football is a team game. Despite what people will tell you, it takes all 53 men to win a Super Bowl. However, that doesn’t mean that individual achievements aren’t important. After all, if a few key individuals play well and meet goals, it makes the team better. Here are important individual goals for a few key Oakland Raiders.
Individual Goals for the Oakland Raiders
- Throw For 4,000 Yards
- Throw 30 Touchdowns
- Throw Fewer than 10 Interceptions
- Take The Next Step
Derek Carr just signed a monster contract with the Raiders, and whether anyone in Oakland wants to admit it or not, he needs to prove he deserved it. He needs to have a MVP-calibre season. Injuries have robbed him of the 4,000 yard mark so far in his career, but that has to change. Two years ago, Derek Carr threw for 32 yards. In 2016, he only threw six interceptions.
All Derek Carr has to do in 2017 is take that next step. Get over 4,000 yards, break 30 touchdowns, and protect the ball. It seems like a tall order, and it is, but if the young man from Fresno State is a franchise quarterback, he needs to play like it.
- Unleash The Beast
- Double Digit Touchdowns
- Stay Healthy
Marshawn Lynch is a funny addition for the Oakland Raiders. On one hand, he could be a beast for Oakland, giving them some physicality and grit on offense. On the other, he might just be a washed up, retired back that’s wasting Oakland’s time. Behind that line, with that passing attack, it’s all on Lynch to succeed. So that’s all he has to do.
All he has to do is unleash the beast and become the back that helped carry those championship Seattle Seahawk teams. He needs to bowl over smaller defenders and rough up the bigger ones. Last year, Latavius Murray had 12 touchdowns, if the Lynch trade is to be a win, he has to stay healthy, and he needs to replicate that success.
- Score More
- Business as Usual
- Take Over
Amari Cooper has been a gift for the Oakland Raiders. After going a decade without a 1,000 yard receiver, the 23 year old receiver has gone over that mark in both of his seasons, improving dramatically in his second year. However, if the young receiver wants to be considered a true number one, he needs to step up a little.
The first order of business for Cooper is to score more. Five and six touchdowns are fine, but not for number one receivers. Cooper has proven he’s a big-play threat, but he needs to get better in the redzone. Amari Cooper is elite for 80 years, but he needs to step his game up in the redzone.
Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week eight, Cooper caught 12 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown. He dropped a game-winning touchdown, but the Raiders still managed to win. After that, Cooper only had more than 60 receiving yards once, and didn’t sniff double digit catches. He can’t do that in 2017.
- Hold On
- Take Advantage
- See Goal #1
Michael Crabtree has been a pleasant surprise for the Oakland Raiders. While much of the Raider culture has changed, one thing has stayed the same. The Raiders have found players that struggled elsewhere and given them new life. Michael Crabtree was seen as a consolation prize for the Raiders when they missed out on Randall Cobb, and yet he’s caught 35 more passes for 486 more yards than the Green Bay Packer.
One thing he hasn’t done well? Hold on to the stupid ball. While some of his catches have been incredible, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that he dropped more passes (nine) than anyone else last year. The Oakland Raiders led the NFL in drops, and so did Crabtree. He needs to cut that out in 2017.
What else does he need to do? Take advantage. Amari Cooper is going to start drawing double teams. Crabtree needs to start attacking those match-ups. He’s done well in the past, but he needs to elevate that. The addition of Jared Cook should help.
- Start Fast
- Keep It Up
When it comes to the reigning defensive player of the year, there’s a lot to love. He has more sacks than anyone else in the NFL over the last two seasons, and he’s proven to be a disrupted force for the silver and black. However, there is one thing he could really improve at.
See, while Khalil Mack has registered 26 sacks over the last two years, less than half of them have come in the first half of each season. Khalil Mack seems to go on tears late in the season. Late in 2015, he had 10 sacks in just four games. Last year, he had at least one sack in eight straight games, and a forced fumble in three straight. Just imagine if Mack could play that way for the entire season. Think of how devastating he could be.
Mario Edwards Jr.
- Step Up
- Stay Healthy
- Be Disruptive
Mario Edwards Jr. is a frustrating player. He goes from disruptive playmaker to out-of-shape hack. 2017 will be a big year for the defensive lineman. This will either be the year where he comes into his own or the year the Raiders move on. Regardless of whether the Raiders play in a 3-4 or a 4-3, Edwards will have a big role to play, and he’ll have to play it well for the Raiders to succeed.
- Return To Form
- Ward Off The Rookies
David Amerson played well for the Oakland Raiders in 2015, and in spots during 2016. But during the second half of last season, he didn’t play up to the contract the Raiders gave him. The pressure is on Sean Smith, but it’s David Amerson that needs to prove he’s the corner they thought he was. He needs to return to form, and work hard. Otherwise he might see someone like Gareon Conley or even Obi Melifonwu creeping up on his spot. After all, the Raiders could cut Amerson after next season without any dead money.
- Step Up
- Stay Healthy
- Be Like Bob
Karl Joseph is in a strange spot. He’s not a bust by any means, but he hasn’t played up to his potential yet. However, what’s great about Joseph is that he’s shown that potential. He’s got all the ability in the world, and it’s only a matter of time before he shows that. He’s basically a clone of former Indianapolis Colts, Bob Sanders, and in 2017, he needs to play like that.