The Las Vegas Raiders had themselves a star-studded offseason, adding names such as Davante Adams and Chandler Jones. By all accounts, the Raiders’ roster has greatly improved under new general manager Dave Ziegler. Well, not according to the folks at CBS Sports. In fact, they believe the Raiders are headed for a last-place finish in their division.
For the most part, the national media is buying the hype surrounding the Silver and Black. Those familiar with new head coach Josh McDaniels know that he’s been one of the best offensive play callers for the better part of a decade. If you give him Adams, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow, combined with an imposing stable of running backs, special things are bound to happen. The defense is also a promising unit, mostly due to the pass-rushing prowess of Maxx Crosby, who is now paired with Jones.
Be that as it may, John Breech of CBS Sports recently stated that the Raiders will find themselves looking up at their divisional rivals when it’s all said and done.
“The AFC West is so loaded this year that the entire division could end up making NFL history. Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, there has never been a season where every single team in a division finished with a winning record. There have been several seasons where the last place team finished 8-8 (most recently in the 2008 NFC East), but there’s never been an instance where every team finished above .500. With Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert, and Derek Carr at quarterback, it’s hard to imagine any team in this division finishing the year with a losing record.”
Are the Las Vegas Raiders really finishing in fourth place in the AFC West?
To be fair, Breech made the prediction that all four teams in the West would finish with a winning record. However, he mentions that the Raiders will be 9-8. While yes, technically a winning record, it’s nowhere near good enough for a playoff berth.
Look, the West is, simply put, the most loaded division in the NFL. On the flip side, other than the Kansas City Chiefs remaining on top, to say the Raiders are beneath the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos is a stretch. The Chiefs have owned the division, and until someone tops them, that’ll remain true.
As far as the Chargers and Broncos, the national media consistently falls in love with them each offseason. Regrettably, neither squad delivers on their designated hype trains. Moving forward, this is just another example of a publication taking a chance to bury the Raiders. Let’s face it, it continues to be the popular thing.
*Top Photo: Heavy/Getty Images