Oakland Raiders: 5 burning questions in 2018

Mandatory Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Mandatory Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images /
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The Raiders have a new staff and a lot of new faces, but how will the team fare in 2018? Here are five burning questions surrounding the team heading into the season.

The 2016 season created a lot of hype for the young Raiders team, but 2017 shattered that hype with no remorse. After telling Jack Del Rio to hit the road, the team made a huge 10-year commitment to Jon Gruden.

Gruden, who has a lot of ties around the league, put together a pretty good staff in Oakland. However, some of the free agent acquisitions have been head-scratchers, but if those guys perform during the season they will be revered. Really, there will be no in-between.

The Raiders have some talented pieces, and the argument could be made that they were squandered by previous coaches. Derek Carr looked like a MVP candidate in 2016 before he broke his leg. Amari Cooper placed himself in rare company with his first two NFL seasons both reaching the 1,000 receiving yards mark.

Khalil Mack is a perennial All-Pro and one of the best edge rushers in the game. The foundation is in place, now it is up to them to prove themselves and finally drag the Raiders out of the literal black hole they have been in for the last decade plus.

5. Does Beast Mode still have anything in the tank?

A huge question going into next season surrounds the running game for Oakland, particularly Marshawn Lynch. When Oakland brought Lynch home last offseason fans were split, some saying he was too old and others saying he will be a 1,000 yard rusher. Frankly, neither were true, but those who believed he still had it in him were closer.

Lynch ran for 891 yards on 207 carries, good enough for an impressive 4.3 yards per carry. Even better, Lynch improved as the season went on, recording 625 of his 891 yards in the second half of the season. Maybe he just needed to shake the cobwebs off, who knows. Lynch will be returning in 2018, confirmed by the team restructuring his contract. But, how productive Beast Mode will be remains to be seen.