Raiders

Raiders Roundtable: Early Schedule Projections

The 2021 schedule for the Las Vegas Raiders is officially making the rounds. Here at the Raider Ramble, we decided to ask around and see what our contributors thought about it. In particular, they dropped their predictions for the team now knowing who their opponents are.

Take a look at some early projections for the 2021 Raiders

Record Prediction: 10-7

Why: The Raiders have kept their offense pretty steady and have made a lot of changes to improve the defense. As long as the offense can be the same or better from 2020 and their defense can at least be competent, then they have a good shot at winning double-digit games.

Twitter: @stevenavalos18

 

Record Prediction: 9-8 

Why: While not an exciting prediction, the Raiders have a tough schedule playing the AFC North and NFC East this season. While the offense should be stellar again, Gruden needs to prove he can get this team over the hump before more confidence is given. 

Twitter: @JWillisScouting

 

Record Prediction: 10-7

Why: I mean they have to make the playoffs right? With everything that’s happened in the last three years, they have no choice. I believe they exceed expectations and just sneak into the playoffs. Tough games, but they’ve shown they can win and I think they finally breakthrough in 2021.

Twitter: @Wolf2988

Are the Raiders stagnating?

Record Prediction: 9-8

Why: This team did not get significantly better. Bringing in Yannick Ngakoue to help the pass rush and Gus Bradley to call the defense should get the defense closer to average. Offensively, the additions and subtractions made this offseason are a wash at best. A slightly more favorable slate of opponents than last year might get them to a winning record, but only because of the 17th game, making them a glorified .500 team. Don’t let this record and possible playoff appearance fool you, this franchise is stagnating. 

Twitter: @blackman_dalton

 

Record Prediction: 10-7

Why: The defense will be what makes or breaks this team. Perhaps the Raiders’ only saving grace is squaring up against the NFC East division. If they face weaker opponents early on they could gain some confidence and ride the wave throughout the season. 

Twitter: @Hansen5581

Did the Raiders do enough this offseason?

Record Prediction: 8-9

Why: Gus Bradley’s Cover 3 predominant defense is predicated on the front four generating pressure. While Ngakoue and Crosby fulfill those roles on the edge, the Raiders still lack substantial pressure on the interior of the defensive front. Ultimately, this will expose a young secondary that still has some maturing to do both on and off the field.

Offensively, the loss of Rodney Hudson and Nelson Agholor will be felt sooner rather than later. Interior pressure is a quarterback’s worst nightmare and Andre James has very large shoes to fill, more so than simply from a physical standpoint. On the perimeter, the question remains who will win their 1v1 matchups at wide receiver after Agholor’s departure to New England? The Raiders improved, but not enough to make the leap from pretender to contender.

Twitter: @CJE_NFL

 

Record Prediction: 10-7

Why: This is a make-or-break year for Derek Carr and Jon Gruden. The offense will remain dominant, and the defense will FINALLY make strides in the right direction. The late-season breakdown will soften and Gruden will lead the Raiders to their first postseason berth since 2016 as the wild card team after the Chiefs win the division.

Twitter: @_A_Grant

 

What does Black Hole Banter have to say? Its founder, James Arcellana, weighed in as well.

Record Prediction: 8-9

Why: The Raiders overhauled their offensive line during the offseason and while I understand the reasoning behind it and how they went about it, I also understand that having at least two guys who will be first-time starters in the NFL will likely lead to growing pains. The offensive line could end up being as good or better than the group that was one of the highest-paid in the NFL, but I doubt it comes together quick enough to get there this season.

Meanwhile, the biggest problem for the Raiders, defense, remains a major question mark. Yes, the Raiders added a lot of players on defense but outside of Ngakoue and Trevon Moehrig, most of those guys would exceed expectations if they are able to have a noticeable impact on the defense this season. Hopefully, Bradley will prove that the biggest problem on defense was coaching, but until I see results on the field, it’s hard to feel like this defense has the talent necessary to improve by much. With the most difficult schedule in the NFL, I think the Raiders are headed for another season where they hang around .500 on the year.

Twitter: @oaklandaboveall

 

You May Also Like: Rich Gannon’s Confident Regarding 2021 Raiders Draft Class

*Top Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

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