After a long offseason, football is slowly making its way back into the limelight. As for the Las Vegas Raiders, where did they land in recent power rankings NBC Sports produced?
The offseason has been one of a kind in 2020, not just for the Raiders, but for the entire NFL. The current pandemic altered how teams operated from March all the way up until now. The NFL Draft and all offseason activities have been altered, and most of it relegated to virtual meetings. Even so, the Raiders will commence training camp and there’s much to be optimistic about.
In free agency, the Raiders finally invested heavily in their defense. The linebacker additions of Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton are already huge. Then, general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden added key long-term pieces on both offense and defense such as Henry Ruggs then on defense, cornerbacks Damon Arnette and Amik Robertson in the draft. Signs are trending towards something good for the Raiders barring any issues stemming from the pandemic.
Where Do The Raiders Rank?
Scott Bair of NBC Sports recently all 32 teams in the NFL, essentially, the Raiders are a middle of the pack team coming in at No. 15.
The Raiders have plenty of offensive firepower and are finally starting to modernize their defense. Snagging that extra wild card spot should be the expectation. A two-win jump to 9-7 should be enough to get there. Anything less is a disappointment.
While it’s understandable many in Raider Nation are excited about the roster, the ranking seems fair. The Raiders were a seven-win team last year, but this rebuild will take time. As Bair pointed out, two more wins should be expected though anything less would be concerning for all parties involved.
What About the Rest of the West?
Another disadvantage for the Raiders is the fact they play in the AFC West. The Broncos came in at No. 18, with Bair summarizing that their season will hinge on Lock’s development, “Ultimately, however, the Broncos fate will come down to whether Lock can establish himself as a steady and productive presence.” The Los Angeles Chargers came in close to the Broncos at No. 17. Bair also listed the Kansas City Chiefs at the top of the mountain to no one’s surprise. While power rankings before a season usually are meaningless, it’s good to see the Raiders are trending up. By the same token, besides the Chiefs being the kings, the rest of the division isn’t too far off as well. Much work to be done for Gruden and company with training camp at their doorstep.
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