It’s great to see the Las Vegas Raiders start the 2020 season with a 2-0 record. After so many years of futility, they are turning things around, but behind that, there is plenty of work. Quarterback Derek Carr knows the team has still long ways to go before they have meaningful achievements.
Slowly but steadily, the Raiders have turned things around
Other than the 2016 season, the 2010s weren’t kind to the Raiders. They went through five coaches and winning was rare. Things started to change when head coach Jon Gruden took control of the team in 2018. There would be even more changes the following year when they relieved Reggie McKenzie of his general manager duties. In his place, they brought in Mike Mayock to take his place.
The Raiders offense saw improvement last season, Gruden’s second at the helm. After scoring a paltry 290 points in 2018, they finished last year with 313. Running back Josh Jacobs played a big role in the process and so did their offensive line, which allowed 29 sacks after giving up 52 the years before.
The defense also saw a boost in production. They registered 32 sacks last year after recording 13 in 2018. Also, they had a couple of ‘pick 6s’ thanks to safety Erik Harris’ effort. All these improvements weren’t enough as the Raiders still finished the 2019 season with a 7-9 record. Although they won three more games than the season before, there was still plenty of work.
The Raiders were aggressive in the offseason and addressed many needs the team had. Even though their defense is still a work in progress, they currently hold a 2-0 record so it seems like their personnel moves are paying off. Many things can happen between now and the end of the season, but they should be content with the early results.
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They are just getting started
Carr is happy the Raiders have won their first two games of the 2020 season but is aware things won’t be easy in Week 3. Moreover, he said in his last press conference that they can’t get caught up in their early success. They need to keep working if they want to achieve meaningful results this year.
We have our work cut out for us this week. They’re coming off a loss, and we’re coming off a big win. Practices are going to be intense, the heightened emotions, as soon as you start feeling yourself, that’s when bad things happen. Pride always comes before the fall and we’re definitely not a proud bunch. We’re people that just put our head down and work.
That’s the kind of attitude that will help the Raiders down the road. They will eventually lose a game, but as long as they stayed focused and continue working, their odds of succeeding this year will increase.
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Top Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group