With the Las Vegas Raiders rolling to a 6-3 record in 2020, they find themselves making noise and moving up in different power rankings in the process.
With improvement and good play comes recognition from media outlets, this is true in any sport. For the Raiders, it might be unfamiliar territory, as they haven’t garnered as much attention since 2016 when the team was playoff-bound. Since that time, there’s been turnover at head coach, upper management, and the roster itself. Now in 2020, it’s slowly coming full circle in Jon Gruden’s third year at the helm.
Outlets such as Pro Football Focus and CBS Sports have taken notice of what’s happening in Las Vegas. Detractors are not fully convinced, maybe due to the Raiders’ defense, but the upward trend is now there.
What is PFF and CBS saying about the Raiders?
PFF recently ranked the Raiders 14th out of 32 teams, so they’re climbing out of middle-of-the-pack status there. They also spotlighted running back Josh Jacobs, who has an 80.6 overall grade as the team’s highest-graded player. Also, with the playoffs looming closer, they project the Silver and Black have a 65 percent chance of making the postseason in 2020 with a projected win total of nearly 10.
CBS Sports has the Silver and Black ranked much higher, and in fact, they’ve cracked the top ten. Pete Brisco believes the team is the seventh-best, having climbed up three spots since last weekend’s dominating win over the Denver Broncos.
“They have won three straight games and appear to be on their way to the playoffs. The Chiefs will be a barometer to show just how good they are this week.”
Brisco’s assessment is fair and for the most part. The team would appear to be playoff-bound but let’s hold off for one more weekend on that notion. The AFC West still runs through the Kansas City Chiefs, so yes, Sunday will be the litmus test for all to see how ‘real’ this Raiders team really is in 2020.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/David Becker