Wide Receiver Seth Roberts
The Oakland Raiders got off to a hot start in 2017, flying down to Nashville, and subsequently beating Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans 26-16 to open the regular season.
Derek Carr once again very much looked the part of the MVP-caliber, franchise quarterback, and with the addition of Marshawn Lynch into the mix offensively, Todd Downing's group looks like they're going to be a lot of fun to watch this year.
Next up for Head Coach Jack Del Rio's group is the home opener against the New York Jets, but before we officially shift our focus to Week 2, let's look back at the playtime percentages from the win over the Titans, and see what we can learn from looking at the numbers.
Carr gets back in the saddle– The last time we saw Derek Carr on the field in a regular season game was last season in the Silver and Black's Week 16 clash with the Indianapolis Colts. While the Raiders did eventually win the ballgame, that contest will forever be linked to "DC" breaking his fibula, prematurely ending his 2016 campaign. Well, fast forward a little less than nine months, and the Raiders franchise quarterback went the distance in the regular season opener, playing all 66 offensive snaps. He looked pretty good too, finishing the game 22 of 32 for 262 yards, and a pair of touchdowns.
Beast Mode sets the tone– Since the Raiders acquired the Pro Bowl running back in April, we've all been patiently waiting to see No. 24 strap the pads on in a meaningful game. Well, we finally got that chance Sunday, as Lynch played 32 snaps (48%) in the win over the Titans. In total, he finished with 18 carries for 76 yards, but more importantly, the big, powerful back set the tone up front for what the Raiders want to do. Just ask Titans defensive tackle, Jurrell Casey.
Roberts finds the end zone… again– At this point, Seth Roberts should consider running for political office in the state of Tennessee. Once again, Roberts put on a show in Nashville, finding the end zone on his lone target of the afternoon. For those keeping track at home, that's now four touchdowns for No. 10 in three career games in Tennessee. When all was said and done, Roberts played 55 snaps (83%) in the Week 1 victory.
Joseph paces the defense– The second-year safety enjoyed a strong start to the 2017 campaign, playing all 64 defensive snaps against the Titans. On the afternoon, he totaled a team-leading nine tackles, as well as a pass defensed. Joseph has said all offseason that he's more comfortable and playing faster in his second season as a Raider, and it certainly looked that way Sunday. No. 42 was all over the field in Tennessee, and I think Year 2 will be a big one for Joseph.
James gets the start– Cory James got the start at weakside linebacker, eventually playing 60 snaps (94%) in the Week 1 victory in Music City. At game's end, James totaled four tackles, and provided a solid presence in the team's linebacker corps. With Marquel Lee at middle linebacker, there is certainly a youth movement afoot with the Raiders linebackers, and watching how that tandem in particular develops throughout the season.
Mack enjoys a strong start– The reigning AP Defensive Player of the Year might not have tallied a sack in the first game of 2017, but Mack was certainly all over the place in Sunday's game. Mack played all 64 defensive snaps against the Titans, finishing the game with three tackles, two tackles for loss, and one pass defensed. The stats don't really do Mack's day justice though, as big No. 52 was a constant presence around the football, and in the backfield.