Big shocker, several national media outlets have the Las Vegas Raiders finishing with a losing record this season.
National writers and reporters having a bias against the Raiders shouldn’t surprise folks. By the same token, it’s not hard to fathom considering that the team has largely been unsuccessful since 2003. Save for the 2016 campaign, there’s isn’t much for the Raiders to hold their hats on. However, since Jon Gruden’s return, the organization has slowly been improving in the win column. This is in spite of a nonexistent defense. The Raiders’ brass did much to improve on their obvious weakness this offseason. The question is whether all of their moves will translate into more wins, most are emphatically saying ‘no.’
How many wins will the Raiders have in 2021?
If the Raiders want to have a winning record and a playoff berth, they’ll have to overcome the AFC West. While Las Vegas improved, so did everyone else. The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t perfect but they’re still at the top until someone topples them. The Denver Broncos still don’t have an answer at quarterback but that defense could be something special this season. As for the Los Angeles Chargers, they’re trending upward with a new coach and an upstart at quarterback in Justin Herbert.
As far as actual record predictions, it’s not looking good for the Raiders. USA Today has the Silver and Black finishing at 7-10 this season. They predict that Las Vegas will start strong, only to fizzle as has been the case under Gruden so far. In fact, they attest that despite some improvements, there’s ‘zero reason‘ to think that 2021 will be any different, ouch.
Monday Morning Quarterback also has the team finishing with a losing record at 6-11, their predictions expert, Conor Orr, clearly doesn’t have much faith in the Raiders. Are these predictions valid? Like anything else, it should all be taken with a grain of salt. They don’t say ‘Any Given Sunday‘ for no reason after all. Nevertheless, if the Raiders can muster a defense, say within the top 20 and the run game regains its previous form, the team will surely win more than six games.
*Top Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images