Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders weak start in 2022 – is it already too late to turn it around?

Following the Las Vegas Raiders is never dull, and the start they have had in the 2022 season epitomizes this. It is fair to say that the side have not been at their best overall and still have a lot of work to do. While the recent 32-23 win against the Broncos was welcome, it must be noted that this win was as much down to Denver’s being terrible as it was the Raiders’ being truly great. In addition, it still sees the Raiders sitting on a 1-3 record overall and experiencing a weak start to the season. But is it already too late to turn this around?

What do the bookmakers say?

If you like to bet on football, then it makes sense to get the latest NFL picks before deciding where to put your money. This is important because it enables you to get a different take on upcoming matches and expert opinion on how things may pan out.

In the same vein, taking a cue from the sports betting world can be the best place to start when working out if the Raiders can turn it around. Professional bookmakers, after all, look at every detail of sports like the NFL to come up with odds.

With this in mind, we can get an idea of how the Raiders might deal with their weak start by looking at odds for their prospects, such as making the Super Bowl this season or winning the AFC West title. Current Super Bowl winning odds of +4000 and +2500 for the AFC West title are not exactly inspiring, though. While this does not rule out the possibility of the team beating the odds, it does indicate that they still have a lot of work to do.

Have the Raiders blown it in 2022 already?

The poor form shown by the Raiders in general so far has seen them lose three of their first four games. An opening day 24-19 defeat against the Chargers was not ideal, while further losses to the Cardinals and Titans caused more dismay. While the aforementioned win against a poor Denver side in Game 4 helps alleviate fans’ worries a little, has three losses from the first three matches already done too much damage?

The most pressing concern is the effect that losing multiple games in a row early on has had on team morale. You also have to wonder how negatively it could impact player confidence and performance levels. Although this did not seem to be an issue against Denver, you have to wonder if it could against better sides, or if Las Vegas faces a tough game on the road.

The current standings in the tough AFC West division could also mean the team’s poor start might scupper their 2022 campaign overall. Although it is early days yet, the Raiders may have left themselves too much work to do if they aspire to catch up to the top sides in the division.

Weak start could spur on other NFL sides

The poor start by the Raiders in 2022 could also be a problem in terms of how other teams view them. While this did not seem to be a factor against the Broncos, you have to think it might be with other NFL sides – especially better teams or those outside of their own division. Other sides will have closely analyzed their opening three defeats and will be keen to exploit weak parts of the Raiders’ game.

In terms of performance, all those involved with sports know it is far harder to start slowly and try to turn it on when required. This means it is not as easy as the Raiders suddenly deciding to play well and suddenly being able to do it. Although the victory against Denver in Game 4 seemed to suggest this could happen, the win was more a case of the Broncos not turning up rather than the Raiders turning it on.

All is not lost for the Raiders in 2022

Although all this might sound a little depressing, there are also reasons to believe they can rebound from a slow start in 2022. The victory over the Broncos is certainly one and gives the team a firm foundation to hopefully spark a late-season revival. You have to remember that the season is in its early stages and there is a long way to go – this gives plenty of time for McDaniels to drill the team in his methods and for the players to start getting it.

You also have to take into account the Raiders’ schedule in 2022. Their first five games leading up to the BYE week were brutal by anyone’s standards. Taking on sides like the Chargers and Chiefs in this run of fixtures was always going to be hard. In light of this, it might be sensible to not panic too much yet about how things have gone overall.

Injuries and Davante Adams

Injury concerns in the Raiders camp have played their part in a weak start in 2022 and this should hopefully improve soon. Examples of this include key offensive man Andre James missing the first batch of games. If injury woes can be kept to a minimum during the rest of the season and key players are back soon, things could get better.

Pretty much everyone could see that the Raiders’ offense and running game were just not there in the first three games of 2022. This was not meant to happen once Davante Adams had arrived! One cause for hope, though, might be that Adams is still settling into the team and will soon gel with Derek Carr. The offense certainly looked improved against the Broncos (although this may have been down to Denver’s defense being so bad!) and that is a good sign moving forward.

Can the Raiders pull it back in 2022?

It is always hard to say anything for certain in football, and that is true for making any calls on how the Raiders might build on the Broncos’ win to turn their season around. If the win against Denver is a one-off and team morale nosedives, it could be a year to forget. If the team can take inspiration from finally bagging a win, they could soon be in a much better place.

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*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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