Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden gestures on the sideline during the first half of an NFL football preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
One of the most impressive performances of Week 1 in the NFL came courtesy of the Oakland Raiders.
Coming off a 4-12 season, and the absurd Antonio Brown saga, the Raiders showed they’re both improved and mentally strong as they whipped the Denver Broncos, 24-16, Monday night.
Here are five important developments in the win and why there is reason for a positive final season in Oakland:
Derek Carr: Carr began his sixth NFL season in a big way. He completed 22-of-26 passes for 259 yards. He was accurate and in control. Carr, in the midst of a five-year, $125 million contract, was uneven the past two years after putting together an MVP-type season in 2016. He very much looked like that player Monday night. If it continues, the Raiders are going to be in business.
The rookies: The Raiders had three first-round picks – defensive end Clelin Ferrell, running back Josh Jacobs and safety Johnathan Abrams – all played significant snaps and all played well. Jacobs was a star and will give an added dimension to the Brown-less Raiders. He looks like a early rookie of the year candidate. Ferrell and Abrams have brought speed and ability to the defense.
The offensive line: One of the reasons why Carr was so effective against Denver was the fact that he was never even