The 2020 NFL season is still a couple months away from taking place. However, it’s never too early to predict how many wins the Las Vegas Raiders will have.
Raider Nations often gets bent out of shape with sportswriters or national media picking on their beloved team. The same happens when Las Vegas released the over-under for the season and projects the Raiders to finish with 7.5 wins. I took some time to look at the team’s opponents through my podcast, Cover 3 Deep Raiders Podcast. Also, I talked to media members who cover other teams. The objective was to give Raiders fans the most concise perspective regarding the team’s win totals in 2020.
I broke the season down into quarters, so let’s go at it.
- @Carolina Panthers
- New Orleans Saints
- @New England Patriots
- Buffalo Bills
The pressure mounts for the Raiders right off the bat. The Panthers are in a confusing state with a head coach who wants to rebuild. Simultaneously, their general manager, who’s in the last year of a contract, is trying to win and keep his job. Enter Las Vegas, who is in Jon Gruden’s third year. This is beyond a must-win for the Raiders. Carolina has offensive talent, but the Silver and Black wins 31-21. This is mostly because the Panthers defense will be one of the worst in the league.
Raiders Record 1-0
No cakewalk in Week 2. The Saints and their high flying offense come to town. This is the home opener for the Raiders in Las Vegas and the test will be big. The emotions of the crowd and the players will be lit. In order to make the playoffs, the Raiders have to beat the Saints or Bucs. They can’t lose too many home games, worst-case scenario should be 6-2 or 5-3 in Allegiant Stadium. Raiders come out winners 31-28.
Raiders Record 2-0
So at this point you might think I’m a homer and the Raiders are going 16-0. I would love to see the Raiders go to Foxborough and destroy the New England Patriots. 35-0 would be perfect. However, after a couple of 30 point games, Bill Belichick slows the Raiders and wins a close one. Pats 21, Raiders 17.
Raiders Record 2-1
Las Vegas faces another tough team with a solid defense. The Buffalo Bills could be in the AFC Championship game in 2020. But, do you believe in the Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs connection? Not yet, the Raiders offensive line needs to be on point against Sean McDermott and his creative turnover-forcing defense. Raiders 20 Bills 17. The question is who kicks the game-winner, Carlson or Eberle?
Raiders Record After Four Games: 3-1
- @ Kansas City Chiefs
- @ Cleveland Brown
- @ San Diego Chargers
Before the bye week, the Raiders visit Arrowhead, the home of the Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. We all know the special kind of hate Raider Nation has for the Chiefs. Is Las Vegas ready to beat the Chiefs in their backyard? The answer is NO. The Raiders will play better in KC because they can’t play worse. Kansas City wins 30-20 with a late touchdown as the Silver and Black loses.
Raiders Fall to 3-2
Bye Week – Time to self-scout and see what is working and what is not. The players who are hurt need to rest and get ready for the next couple of weeks. No team can lose on a bye week, so we move on to Tom Brady and the Bucs.
The Raiders and Bucs have a lot of history. Good for Tampa Bay, bad for Las Vegas. Brady comes to town with a plethora of weapons. The Raiders will need to generate a pass rush with four linemen. That has always been the way you beat Brady. Nassib was a surprise pick-up for the Raiders this past free agency. What kind of impact will he have on the Raiders defensive line? He could be a great find or a bust. By this time in the season, we will have a feel for what he will bring to the table. Nonetheless, the Buccaneers defense is underrated and they will find a way to get to quarterback Derek Carr. Tampa Bay beast Las Vegas 24-20.
Raiders Record 3-3
Raiders hit the road and the Dawg Pound is up next. The Cleveland Browns have a new general manager, a new coach, and a new dedication from quarterback Baker Mayfield. Will he realize his talent and take the Browns to the playoffs? Nobody knows, but I see the Raiders rebounding and beating Cleveland 27-24. Nick Chubb vs. Josh Jacobs should be a fun show with Gruden and Stefanski loving to show off their respective ground game.
Raiders Record 4-3
Sofi Stadium is the Raiders’ home away from home. As a Southern California resident, the old Al Davis slogan, “We Run LA,” will be true in this one. The Raiders season ticket base from SoCal will give them home-field advantage in this one. I think the Raiders will sweep the Chargers as they grab another road victory. The story of the 2020 Chargers will be the development of Justin Herbert. How long will they wait to replace Tyrod Taylor? I think it will be halfway through the 2020 campaign. Raiders 28-Chargers 17.
Raiders Record 5-3
Stay tuned for next week’s article to see how the 2020 season ends for the Las Vegas Raiders.
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*Top Photo: D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press