So much for a Las Vegas Raiders team that was cruising behind their offense earlier this year. That team’s now in a downward spiral that includes a floundering defense and a coordinator that’s now unemployed. As a result, the Silver and Black are trending downwards in recent NFL power rankings.
When the Raiders were flying high with a winning record, there was concern it wouldn’t last into December. Well, that pessimism has proven to be accurate with a defense that can’t stop anyone and a run game that’s disappeared. While the playoffs are technically still a possibility, national outlets have taken notice of the struggles.
There’s plenty of blame to go around in this Las Vegas team’s decline. The biggest culprit is a defense that couldn’t stop anyone, whether it was through the air or on the ground. Something had to give and it did, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther was fired on Sunday night. Despite the defensive struggles, the offense has also begun to struggle after carrying the team all year. In particular, the run game has seen better days as Josh Jacobs has struggled. All in all, things are not looking good for the Silver and Black with just a handful of games left.
What are rankings saying about the Raiders?
Pro Football Focus has relegated the Raiders to a team that’s now teetering between middle-of-the-pack and mediocre. Coming in 21st, the Silver and Black currently has a 14 percent chance of playing in the postseason. PFF is now projecting Las Vegas to end up as an 8-9 win team. Unsurprisingly, quarterback Derek Carr’s 82.3 overall grade is the highest on this team.
Mike Meredith of CBS Sports currently ranks the Raiders at number 15, down two spots from last week. His biggest and most scathing remark is in regards to the poor defense.
“They can’t stop anybody, which is why they fired Paul Guenther. But does it really matter who coordinates that group?”
Raider Nation as well as the rest of the country will be watching to see if the team can bounce back on primetime. The Thursday Night Football matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers could end up breaking the Silver and Black’s season.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Isaac Brekken