Can Raiders Take Leap Forward And Catch Up to Chiefs?

With the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft and intial free agency period, it was made clear that the Los Angeles Chargers opted to load up on defense while the Denver Broncos began assembling an arsenal of offensive players. However, the reigning Super Bowl and AFC West Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, made little noise this offseason but are still the team to beat in the division. can the Las Vegas Raiders finally catch up?

It’s well documented the Raiders have added several pieces in the offseason that will hopefully make the them legitimate contenders in the AFC, and specifically, against their long time rivals, the Chiefs, who have tormented the Silver and Black for several years and haven’t been able to beat them at Arrowhead with quarterback Derek Carr leading the way, going 0-6 in the process. Another harrowing number is that in the last ten meetings they have had, Las Vegas has come away with one win. One. Single. Win.

Raiders: Super Bowls Aren’t Won In Free Agency

Normally, whichever team wins the Super Bowl is quiet during free agency and the draft simply due to the fact that their roster is already close to optimal shape if not already at that point. Cap space, low draft picks, and available cash also limits the big moves we like to see before the season starts. The Chiefs appeared to focus more on maintaining their core together rather than adding players as they re-signed several key members including, wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, cornerback Bashaud Breeland, defensive tackle Chris Jones, and quarterback Chad Henne. During the draft and with the 32nd pick the Chiefs, acquired the running back they’ve been searching for since suspending and ultimately releasing Kareem Hunt, Clyde Edwards- Helaire from LSU. They also added an additional running back Raider Nation is familiar with, Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes’ college teammate; DeAndre Washington.

Related: Tanner Muse has a chance to rise up the Raiders depth chart

Chiefs’ Defense Still Lacking

If there was a critique with Kansas City from last season it would be two things, their defense as a whole was not top tier and their running game required some tweaking. With the addition of Edwards-Helaire and Washington things could continue to be bleak for the Raiders in future contests. But don’t give up yet, general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden are fixated on working to dethrone the Chiefs by adding their own version of Tyreek Hill in Henry Ruggs III and beefing up our secondary with Damon Arnette, Amik Robertson, and Damarious Randall. Also, after transforming their linebacker corps with Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski, Las Vegas should finally put some emphasis on stopping the run, coming at the perfect time.

The Raiders have made some crucial signings that should bring them one step closer to making the quest for the AFC West title an actual contest. This will ultimately be decided by quarterback play and effective play calling on the Raiders’ part. They have a strong run game and have made additions to the receiving corps and their defense. In the end, execution is what will decide whether or not the Chiefs continue their streak of decimating the Raiders for another year or if Raider Nation can finally celebrate a win at Allegiant Stadium AND in Arrowhead.

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Top Photo: Ed Zurga/Associated Press

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