This past season, we saw a revival by the Silver And Black. In 2014, the Oakland Raiders finished 3-13. That record jumped to 7-9 one year later. But this past season, the franchise came away with 12 wins can came away with its first playoff berth since 2002 – the season the team reached Super Bowl XXXVII. It’s safe to say that third-year quarterback Derek Carr played an enormous role in the team’s success. His solid play was even more important considering the Oakland defense remained a problem area. Carr was recently given an impressive contract. But this offseason, the three-year signal-caller was given a gift of sorts.

It came in the form of one of the league’s most physical running backs in recent years.

Quite the resume

This past season, Marshawn Lynch was out of football due to retirement. Now he’s back once again. And since the Seattle Seahawks still owned his rights, the only way he could join another team was via trade. Enter the Oakland Raiders, who opted to let running back Latavius Murray test the free-agent market. He would sign on with the Minnesota Vikings. Meanwhile, the Silver and Black would orchestrate a deal with Pete Carroll’s team in the days leading up to the draft. Jack Del Rio’s club was hoping to add a little muscle to its ground attack. Led by a very impressive offensive front, the Raiders were sixth in the NFL in rushing via 120.1 yards per contest.

Now enter Lynch, who totaled 9,112 yards rushing and 74 scores via the ground in 10 seasons with the Buffalo Bills and Seahawks.

Perfect fit

This past season, Del Rio’s club featured one of the productive and efficient attacks in the league. Only five teams in the NFL gained more total yards per game than the Oakland Raiders.

The club averaged 26 points per game and totaled 46 offensive touchdowns in 16 contests. Carr threw for 28 of the team’s 29 aerial scores, while Murray came up with 12 of the team’s 17 rushing touchdowns. All of these numbers are impressive. But with Lynch now coming out of the backfield, look for this team to try and wear down opposing defenses while keeping its own suspect unit off the field.

Oakland defenders allowed a whopping 45 offensive touchdowns this past year. And that was despite the presence of 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack.

Carr has the likes of wide receivers such as Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper and Seth Roberts to throw to. The club added downfield tight end Jared Cook this offseason. The aforementioned offensive line is one of the best in the league. Now the Raiders have Lynch to help them close the door late in games. All signs point towards another big year for the Silver and Black.

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