All Raiders fans will be relieved that the 2022 football season is well under way and they can see their side in action once more. It is fair to say, though, that despite a recent win over Denver, the campaign has not gone according to plan in the opening weeks. This has left many people wondering how the rest of the season may unfold.
One of the best ways to get a handle on this is by looking at the latest NFL odds. By doing this, you can see what odds the team has in upcoming games or for future events, such as them winning the Super Bowl. This can help you figure out how the rest of the season might pan out for the Raiders. Of course, it is also great if you like betting on games because it gives you the best value odds to enjoy.
Although the Raiders’ first win in 2022 over the Broncos papered over the cracks somewhat, it is apparent that the team still has several tough challenges to overcome if they are to build on it. But what are the five most pressing issues?
Get offense firing consistently
This seems a strange challenge to bring up when the side has just won 32-23 in Game 4 against Denver! As noted above, though, the Raiders were made to look very good by a poor Denver defense, and this means there is still work to do for Las Vegas on offense moving ahead.
What is wrong with the Las Vegas offensive game was a question on many fans’ lips when the team lost their opening three games â€“ not least because it was something that was expected to be a problem this year.
But just what needs to happen to get the offense consistently firing on all cylinders? For many, it is only a matter of time. We are comparatively early in the season, and the team could still be getting used to new coach McDaniels’ methods. New WR, Davante Adams, could still be settling in. In the game against Denver, for example, he looked a lot more dangerous.
For others, though, the Raiders simply need to make more of their running game. This point was also somewhat proved against Denver when Josh Jacobs grabbed two touchdowns and ran for 144 yards. Before this game, he had been starved of the ball in 2022, and the Raiders’ running game had not shown up. If they can use the victory over Denver to get their running game back on form, it should help them get their whole offense back to its best.
Deal with lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks
Another key challenge for Las Vegas to overcome as the season heats up is their defense â€“ particularly being meaner in terms of stopping other teams’ scoring and also applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks.
While Maxx Crosby has performed well enough so far, Chandler Jones really needs to come to the party. He has been almost invisible for much of this campaign, and the team really needs him to spark. To be fair, both players had decent games against Denver, and the whole Raiders defense harried Broncos QB Russell Wilson well. If they can keep it up during the rest of the season, this could be one challenge they are already taking steps to move beyond.
Manage expectations and avoid drama
We all know that being a Raiders fan often comes with lashings of controversy. While this might be fun for sports fans to read about, it is not really helpful for the team’s overall success. Constant drama can have an impact not only on team morale but also take away the players’ focus off the field of play.
We all saw this in the early parts of last season, when the controversy around Jon Gruden was not helpful for performance. Although the team recovered to make the playoffs in 2021, they must try to avoid any major drama this year if they can. This not only helps the players concentrate on games but also prevents the franchise from turning into some sort of comedic soap opera.
In addition, last season’s playoffs left expectations high for 2022. This was even more apparent when players like Davante Adams arrived, and new coach Josh McDaniels showed up. It is key for the side to manage fans’ expectations, though, as this year could well be more of a transitional period.
Recover from a poor start
This was not a challenge that seemed likely preseason, but a weak 1-3 start overall so far in 2022 has put it on many fans’ radar. While it is true to say that there are lots of games left to turn it around, time can slip away quickly in the NFL.
Trying to fix the issues we have noted above in-season is not ideal. The coaching staff must get a grip on this to turn the team’s fortunes around. Much of this could simply be giving the players confidence to perform better and forgetting about the three defeats already on record. If they can do this and build on the Broncos’ win, then it is still possible for them to enjoy a decent campaign.
Raiders Blog: Deal with O-line issues
While the offense in general still needs work to shine against the better NFL teams, coach McDaniels must also look more specifically at the team’s offensive line. As with the defensive issues that still need work, this is something that pre-dates the current regime.
While left tackle Kolton Miller is a fine player, right tackle seems to be a real concern, and the whole offensive line in general appears to need a real overhaul. While this did not seem much of a problem for Denver, it was never really tested, in truth. This is therefore one of the toughest challenges for the team to overcome in 2022 â€“ but one that must be addressed.
Tough challenges for Raiders in 2022
When you also look at the tough games still to be played in 2022, it is clear that this campaign will be far from plain sailing. If the team can overcome the challenges we have listed above, though, they may well end up having a year to remember.
*Top Photo: Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sports Wire via Getty Images