The Las Vegas Raiders are heading into the 2022 season with one of their most talented rosters in recent memory. Among those players are two that are over the age of 30 and are, as of now, receiving some particular praise.
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports recently dissected all of the teams in the NFL, looking to rank the best that are in the 30-plus range, age-wise. As far as the Raiders go, the team’s leaders on both offense and defense received the special nod. We’re referring to quarterback Derek Carr and pass rusher Chandler Jones.
What did CBS Sports have to say about these two Raiders?
When it comes to the Silver and Black’s signal-caller, Benjamin ranked him 19th overall. He compared him to the Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback, Kirk Cousins.
“Like Cousins, his grit and efficiency have yet to translate to big-time wins. And yet you can do a lot worse at such a critical position. Besides offering resilient leadership that’s survived bad regimes, he’s got even better weapons in 2022.”
As for Jones, Benjamin likened him to a prototypical “boom or bust” type of player. It goes without saying that the Raiders are hoping for more boom than bust from Jones. The former two-time All-Pro is 32 years old but doesn’t show signs of slowing down just yet.
“The former Cardinals star has been a bit boom-or-bust lately, missing all but five games in 2020 and logging nearly half his 2021 sack total (10.5) in a single game. But few players have been such a steady edge presence over the last decade.”
What does this all mean for Derek Carr and Chandler Jones?
Being ranked in this list is certainly good news for Raiders fans. Carr, whether you like or hate him, has become the elder statesman of this offense. How far the Raiders go in 2022 will largely depend on how far Carr takes them. There’s no backup quarterback waiting in the wings, and despite head coach Josh McDaniels’ usage of the run game, all roads pass by No. 4.
On the other hand, Jones will be under pressure to regain his form from 2017â€“2019. During that noteworthy stretch, Jones accumulated 49 sacks for the Arizona Cardinals. The Raiders decided that 2021 defensive star Yannick Ngakoue was not a good fit with Patrick Graham’s defense. Instead, the Raiders’ brass opted to bring in Jones to help with pressure off the edges in the new defensive coordinator’s scheme. Jones, who will line up opposite of Maxx Crosby in 2022, will face high expectations for a double-digit sack season. Luckily for him, despite his age, Jones has more than enough talent to do so.
*Top Photo: Ron Schwane/Associated Press