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Three questions for Raiders as 2017 season begins vs. Titans

What will it take for the Raiders to return to the playoffs in 2017?

John Dickinson
September 10, 2017 - 7:39 am

Can the Raiders keep winning the turnover battle?

The Raiders finished 2016 tied with the Chiefs as an NFL best +16 in turnover ratio. That went a long way to helping flip one score games in the Raiders favor to the tune of a 7-1 record in eight nail biters last season. The Raiders had a 3-1 takeaway advantage in their head-to-head meeting with the Titans, which proved to be the difference in Oakland’s 17-10 win in Nashville.

Close to average on D might be good enough?

For as great as the Raiders offense could be, just a solid defensive effort week to week would probably be enough for the Raiders to win a lot of games. Getting off the field on third downs, holding teams to field goals in bend but don’t break fashion and forcing the occasional well timed turnover is all the Raiders offense will need to gain separation and tip games the Raiders way.

Marshawn the starter? The Finisher?

How will the Raiders use Marshawn Lynch? Converting in short yardage situations was a problem for Oakland in 2016. Lynch would figure to be a major upgrade in that area. Look for him to get the ball early to help soften the defense and keep them honest against the pass and late if the Raiders have a lead after their passing attack has worn teams down. Jack Del Rio wants more balance in 2017 and a few more first downs playing from ahead in the fourth quarter to help his suspect defense be fresh and less of a factor down the stretch.

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