With NFL Week 1 here, Raider Nation hasn’t had this level of excitement since before the 2017 NFL season kicked off. Las Vegas Raiders fans will forever hold dear the memory of Marshawn Lynch getting hyphy on the sidelines of the Oakland Coliseum.
Fast forward to this weekend with the Raiders set to open their 2022 campaign against the Los Angeles Chargers. Sunday’s matchup will be a great litmus test for what this team is made of. But what kind of writer would I be if I didn’t point out some legitimate concerns?
Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack’s Knack for Sacks
Yes, I’m very proud of what I’ve done here today. Let’s just get the elephant in the room out of the way right now. The Raiders offensive line is as shaky as my willpower around any type of chocolate. While the amount of turnover within the unit is slightly overblown (Jermaine Eluemunor was in the mix last season prior to injury), concerns over new right guard Lester Cotton Sr. being able to hold up and the progress of John Simpson and Andre James at left guard and center, respectively, are warranted.
This is not a defensive front to show weakness on. Joey Bosa already has a history of torching Las Vegas’s O-line, and now the Raiders’ best draft pick in the last decade, Khalil Mack, calls Los Angeles home. The tales of Mack’s demise are greatly exaggerated, and he will be eager to prove it against his former club.
Buckle up for a bumpy ride, Raider Nation.
Early Offensive Growing Pains For The Raiders In NFL Week 1
New head coach Josh McDaniels brings a highly regarded pedigree as a top offensive mind to Las Vegas. With that mind comes a fairly intricate scheme that the Raiders will be taking their first crack at applying in real action this Sunday. Sure, it was reported that the Silver and Black had their way with the New England Patriots in joint practices. Nevertheless, the Chargers are a far better unit defensively than what the Hoodie is currently fielding.
The Raiders have the weapons to be even better than the top ten offense they’ve fielded over the last few seasons. A stumble out of the gate isn’t out of the realm of possibility, though.
The Young Secondary
On paper, I love all three of the Raiders’ starting corners and they also work together well in Madden. Just an FYI.
Rock Ya-Sin, Anthony Averett, and Nate Hobbs all fit the profile of what you want in a young defensive backfield. Second-year safety Trevon Moehrig is primed for a breakout, and Johnathan Abram, well, he’s going to be blitzing a lot. As far as Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is concerned, that Week 18 loss is still omnipresent. Payback is definitely on his mind. The Silver and Black have to be ready to deal with a pissed-off young gunslinger and his quality stock of weapons in Los Angeles. Those weapons include the always underrated Keenan Allen, the recently cashed-out Mike Williams, and the young, promising Joshua Palmer.
*Top Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports