In what has been a roller coaster of a season for the Las Vegas Raiders, there is much to talk about it. In particular, what should the defense do moving forward? Or with the upcoming trade deadline, is Las Vegas buying or selling?
Here at the Raider Ramble, we are presenting a panel of our contributors for a closer look. Let’s see what everyone had to say about things moving forward.
What defensive adjustments do the Raiders need to make moving forward?
Dalton Blackman, @blackman_dalton
They must keep playing press-man coverage, as it worked well against the Chiefs. It helps the defensive linemen out and doesn’t require much thought. The Raiders have great athletes on defense, press coverage takes advantage of that.
Ben Cogan, @3y3lga3
They need more aggressive play-calling and mix up blitz packages and diversions. It’s obvious who’s blitzing in most downs if any blitzing is even being done. Send two before the snap, drop one back after. Keep them guessing.
Ryan Holmes, @Rholm22
Put players in positions where their skills/traits can make plays. Simplify assignments, let these guys play fast. The Raiders have the personnel to play more man coverage if the pass rush can continue to improve.
Michael Rueda, @Wolf2988
The Raiders need to keep the same energy and the same attitude they had against the New Orleans Saints and the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs: Play smart and strong.
Do the Raiders need to make a move before the deadline? If so, who?
The Raiders should try trading for Carlos Dunlap of the Bengals. The loss of Nassib creates a hole. Dunlap has familiarity with Guenther and would provide depth and a little extra production.
The pass rush would be something to look at but don’t think they need to make a move. At this point, it’s tough for a linebacker or safety to come in and learn the defense. Pass rushers are easier to work into the rotation and interior pressure is needed.
After a 3-2 start, how do you see the remaining games for the Raiders playing out, what’s your record prediction?
Originally, I said the Raiders would end up with a 9-7, and I’m still sticking with that but as competitive as they can be, I won’t be surprised if they hit double-digit wins.
I feel like anywhere from 9-7 to 11-5 is possible so the easy answer is 10-6. The Raiders have to win games they should (Colts, Falcons, Jets, Dolphins) and win three of the remaining five division games.
The Raiders should be able to go at least 3-2 in their remaining divisional games. They should split their NFC south games against the Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons. They could split games against Cleveland and Indy and beat both the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins. This would result in a final 10-6 record.
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*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal