Yes, I was the guy that thought this season’s version of the Raiders was good enough to make it to the Super Bowl. I was impressed with the makeup of the team, the development of the young players and the schedule. It just felt to me like this was their time. When Carr got hurt, everything changed. The excitement of the first time that your team is good again is unlike any other. This year was fun, next year should be too but be careful, you have arrived but you still need to get better.
It is assumed that the Raiders window is here and should be here for a while. Let me remind you of a couple of teams in the recent seasons that probably thought the same thing but they did not improve.
2012 Washington Redskins went (10-6) and had the rookie of the year in RGIII. Since then they went (3-13) (4-12) (9-7) and (8-7-1). I am sure they were fired up after that (10-6) season but since they have fired the coach and RGIII is long gone.
2013 Philadelphia Eagles- led by Chip Kelly and a great year from Nick Foles they were (10-6) . Foles seemed to be the answer after his 27 touchdown and 2 interception year. He is no longer a starter, no longer on the team and Kelly has been out of the Philly job and San Francisco since. Meanwhile the Eagles went (10-6) (7-9) and (7-9) since.
2014 Indianapolis Colts- a trip to the AFC championship game against the Patriots seemed like the start of something huge for the Andrew Luck led Colts. That was deflated quickly (pun intended) as they have gone (16-16) since and have not played in the postseason.
2015 Carolina Panthers- they made it to the Super Bowl after going 15-1 and had the league MVP in Cam Newton. This year they never got going and missed out of football’s 2nd season.
All this to be said that I really do think the Raiders are on the right track but there are no guarantees. This team has their quarterback and a lot of good pieces in place but they have to have another good off-season. In theory the Raiders could actually be a better team but might finish at say (10-6) next year. The NFL is tough to navigate through and they should tread carefully but with confidence. Let’s hope this is the start of something great.