The Las Vegas Raiders are rolling into the 2022 regular season with one of the most potent offenses the league will see this year. To be fair, everyone’s assuming that an offense with Derek Carr, Davante Adams, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow will just magically take off despite having played zero downs of football together. However, if anyone can get this unit to an elite level, it will be Josh McDaniels. The problem is that there are other more established teams that are getting placed above the Raiders in power rankings across national media outlets. One such publication is The Ringer.
In their first edition of NFL power rankings, The Ringer’s Austin Gayle has the Raiders ranked at number 19, below some questionable teams such as the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals. As far as his justification, Gayle gives credit to the new power duo of McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler, who finally have the team trending in the right direction.
“The duo signed edge rusher Chandler Jones to a blockbuster deal and traded for quarterback Derek Carr’s college teammate Davante Adams. They signed Carr to a contract extension that essentially puts him on a one-year deal with team options in years following. And they declined fifth-year options for all of the team’s 2019 first-round picks (Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram, Josh Jacobs). Opting for open competition across the board, none of the players from the previous regime are safe, as evidenced by the move to cut 2021 first-round pick, Alex Leatherwood, last week. Las Vegas very well could be the league’s most improved team but still miss the playoffs while competing in a loaded AFC West.”
Is 19th a fair ranking for the Las Vegas Raiders?
The thing about preseason power rankings is that they’re usually filled with bias or sometimes a general misunderstanding of squads across the NFL. In what world are the Raiders right above the Cleveland Browns? A team that will have Jacoby Brissett run their offense for the first 11 games of the regular season. Or, how do you have the Tennessee Titans four spots above the Raiders? This is the same Titans team that is starting to see Derrick Henry show he’s indeed human after missing nine games last year. Would anyone seriously take Ryan Tannehill over Derek Carr when you consider the two supporting casts? Either way, these rankings usually don’t mean much to the teams themselves. It will be up to the Raiders to once again prove their doubters wrong.
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