The Oakland Raiders regular season ended way earlier than any of us had hoped.
We would all rather watch our team in the AFC Championship. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
Instead, we’re forced to review the regular season. Here is my take on the key players for the Raiders season, as well as a bonus award.
Derek Carr is the MVP and it is not even close. Oakland’s score in the combined two games without Carr did not surpass the Raiders’ per game total.
Added, he was the emotional leader of this team via multiple fourth quarter comebacks. Carr may also have a claim to the league’s version of this award. He is also the obvious choice for Offensive Player of the Year too.
Khalil Mack was one of the lone bright spots for a Raiders defense that ranked towards the bottom in most categories. Mack graded as the best defensive player per Pro Football Focus. He also registered 11 sacks and four turnovers.
Rookie of the year
Jalen Richard wins this award for his contributions to the running game and return game. He provided sparks for this offense in the playoff game via a return and during a touchodown that occured on his first professional carry.
Moreover, Richard started the year behind fellow rookie DeAndre Washington but Richard finished the season with more rushing yards.
Kelechi Osemele came over from the Baltimore Ravens. He brought a nastiness to the guard position and the entire offensive line. Osemele is the one of the biggest reasons the Raiders had a top offense. He should anchor one of the best lines for a while.
Reggie Nelson and Bruce Irvin also contributed as newcomers. However, Osemele completely changed the culture of the offensive line. This earns him the row. Not to mention, the offense was superior than the defense.
Dan Williams deserves this award, despite being one of the best character guys on the team. Williams was one of the Raiders most consistent players in 2015. This year, he entered the season as a backup behind Justin Ellis. Williams eventually got his spot back, but he was not a gamechanger.
The Raiders cycled through multiple players at defensive tackle all season. A lot of that was Williams’ inconsistency. The Raiders struggled generating rush and stopping the run. Williams deserves a lot of the blame.
I published a similar version of this article on Inquisitr. You can read more about the Raiders awards on the website.