Oakland Raiders vs. New York Jets: Complete Week 1 Preview for Oakland

The Oakland Raiders haven't finished a season with a winning record since 2002. After yet another losing season, they underwent a major rebuild this past offseason. Now with more talent and experience than they've had in a decade, the team is aiming to begin their journey back to relevance.

The Raiders are coming off consecutive 4-12 seasons, but there were built-in excuses for that. General manager Reggie McKenzie spent the past two years trying to clean up the mess that was Oakland's payroll. The team was able to reap the benefits of that cleanup project this offseason, signing a slew of proven performers all over the roster.

The list of acquisitions is impressive and includes names like Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley, James Jones and Maurice Jones-Drew. All have had impressive careers, but there are concerns about their injury history and age. They'll get their first chance to prove the critics wrong on Sunday.

The biggest story heading into the game will be the first career regular-season start for rookie quarterback Derek Carr. Following his incredible performance against the Seattle Seahawks in the final preseason game, head coach Dennis Allen made the decision to hand Carr the keys to the offense.

Despite the fact that he's a rookie, Carr has already impressed some of the veterans.

When asked about Carr getting the start in Week 1, Jones had some lofty praise for the rookie (via the San Francisco Chronicle's Vic Tafur): "He’s really calm, really cool in the pocket. He acts like he’s been there before. I’ve been calling him mini A-Rod [Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers] since he got here."

Center Stefen Wisniewski showed the same confidence in Carr (via Tafur):

He’s not your typical rookie. He’s got an NFL quarterback older brother that’s been teaching him for years. He understands defenses at a very advanced level more...

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