The Oakland Raiders are a team on the rise in the NFL. If it weren't for a season-ending leg injury to MVP candidate Derek Carr in the second-to-last game of the of the regular season, the Raiders could've been a serious threat to the New England Patriots in the playoffs.
With Carr quickly becoming one of the better quarterbacks in the league and Khalil Mack being equally as dominant if not more so on the defensive side of the football, Oakland will be a team to watch for many years to come.
Two-time Pro Bowler Donald Penn recently spoke with AXS.com about a number of different topics including the rise of these two stars players in Oakland.
"I don't think they've reached their full potential yet," Penn said of Mack and Carr. "They're still getting better and still learning the game. Still working hard. Still learning each other. Khalil is learning how to take care of his body. DC had a little injury last year, so we've got to learn how to pickup was ever to happen to them. Nothing is going to happen to DC again, though.
"They are getting better and better. The thing I love watching them -- they're so young, so mature -- but they're leaders already. They lead our team very well."
After making the playoffs last season with a 12-4 record, the Raiders will attempt to live up to expectations in the 2017 NFL campaign. Oakland is expected to be a force to be reckoned with once again with Carr back healthy, Mack coming off another incredible season as arguably the best defensive player in the league and Marshawn Lynch joining the team to replace Latavius Murray.
The future looks bright for the Raiders with Mack and Carr leading the way. Lynch adds another dynamic along with one of the best offensive lines led by Penn and Kelechi Osemele.
The Arizona Cardinals will host the Raiders in the team's first preseason game on Aug. 12. Oakland will get their 2017 regular season underway on in Week 1 on Sept. 10 on the road against the Tennessee Titans.