The Oakland Raiders offense was on a mission during the 2016 NFL season, catching almost every team and football fan by surprise with their dynamic run game and explosive pass offense spearheaded by rising star quarterback Derek Carr. Before his injury, the third year quarterback had thrown for nearly 4000 yards with 28 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
While Carr’s numbers are certainly impressive, his progression into one of the league’s top tier quarterbacks would not have been possible without one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. The Raiders’ offensive line provided some of the best pass protection last year while allowing only a league best 18 sacks
Donald Penn is making his return to the team after a late injury last season knocked him out of the playoffs. According to Eddie Paskal of Raiders, Penn acknowledged that the time he spent away from his teammates only reinforced the idea they were more than just coworkers:
One thing that separates us from other teams I’ve been on, is like, we are a family,” he explained. “We have fun together. One of the biggest things I missed was joking around with the guys, having fun with them. We have fun. We look forward to seeing each other. We enjoy our time together, so we do have that support. It felt great to have that support from my teammates.”
Penn and his teammates will certainly look to build on the chemistry they built last season, and take the next step in becoming perennial Super Bowl contenders. The offensive line’s health will also undoubtedly play a factor in the team’s success this season.
The Raiders kick off the 2017 NFL season against the Tennessee Titans, a team whose offensive success mirrored the Raiders last season, With one of the best offensive lines and a young up-and-comer quarterback in Marcus Mariota, the Titans should prove to be a worthy opponent for the Raiders.