The Oakland Raiders have been impressive this season, and their play on the field has caught the attention of spectators around the league. The Silver and Black rank in the upper echelon of a plethora of statistical categories this year, and although stats aren't everything, they speak volumes to how successful the team has been thus far. The most important stat is the fact that the Raiders are currently 5-2, but let's take a look at some stats you might be unaware of.
The Raiders defense got off to a slow start this season, but the team is certainly showing signs of improvement. For the first time since 2002, the team has been able to force 13 turnovers through the first seven games of the season.
13 takeaways through 7 games are most since the Super Bowl year in 2002 (15). The team's turnover margin was +4. The 2016 margin is currently +8.
On the offensive side of the ball, the team has been able to put up the most total yards since their Super Bowl season in 2002. 2,587 total yards are most by the Raiders since 2002 (3,020).
Through the first seven games of the season, many NFL analysts have dubbed quarterback Derek Carr an MVP candidate for the 2016 season. Since the start of 2015, the third-year quarterback has led the NFL in most game-winning drives, six total. Below is a list of other categories he's been successful in this season:
10th in passing yards (1,808)
13th in completion percentage (65.9)
6th in completions (174)
T-10th in interceptions (3)
T-6th in TDs (13)
12th in Passer Rating (97.2)
What's most impressive is that Carr is only in his third year in the NFL, and should only continue to improve. The Raiders signal-caller will be a part of the next generation of quarterbacks to lead the league. For all quarterbacks 25 years-old or younger, here is where Carr stacks:
1st in passing yards
3rd in completion percentage
1st in completions
3rd in interceptions
1st in TDs
2nd in passer rating
1st in sacks
Another young weapon on the roster is wide receiver Amari Cooper, who has proved that he has an immense amount of potential.
His 614 yards receiving in the first seven games of the season are most since Tim Brown's 642 in 1997, ended with 1,408.
Lined up opposite from Cooper is veteran wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who has been debatably the team's most reliable player.
Tied for first in the NFL with six receiving touchdowns in 2016. Through the first seven games of a season, six touchdowns are a career best.
He's tied fourth in the NFL with 30 receptions for first downs, and has the most touchdowns by a Raider in their first seven games of a season since Tim Brown (6) in 2000.
Cooper & Crabtree
The pair of athletic wide receivers have been a handful for opposing teams this season.
They have combined for 375 yards & 22 first downs on 3rd down, both which rank first among all NFL tandems. Not to mention, their 79 combined receptions leads the NFL.
The Silver and Black struck gold last season when they picked up cornerback David Amerson, who had recently been waived by the Washington Redskins. This season, Amerson is tied first in the NFL in 2016 with 11 passes defensed. It's also worth noting that since the start of 2015, he leads NFL in passes defensed with 37.
Another recent, defensive acquisition is linebacker Bruce Irvin, who has been a solid contributor thus far. Irvin leads the NFL with four forced fumbles, and the Raiders 10 as a unit are tied for the league lead.
Dating back to 2000, No Raider has forced 4 fumbles in his first seven games of the season.
The Offensive Line
Debatably the most underappreciated group on the team has to be the offensive line. There have been a multitude of injuries this season, specifically at the tackle position. Regardless, the offensive line has been able to protect Carr, and be versatile in the face of adversity.
The O-Line has allowed a league-best 7 sacks thus far. Nineteen different teams have allowed at least seven in their previous 4 games alone. In sacks allowed per pass attempt – 2.7% - they're best in the NFL.
Special teams has served as a strong point for the team this season, and punter Marquette King has been a consistent player for the Raiders. This season, King has been a game changer for the Raiders, and it shows in or on the stat sheet:
This season King has 19 punts of 50 or more yards leads the NFL, and 15 punts inside the 20-yard line tied for second in the NFL.
Since 1990, no Raider has recorded 15 punts inside the 20-yard line through their first seven games. His 27-yard rush last Sunday was the longest by a punter since 2010.