The Las Vegas Raiders had a forgettable season in 2022, finishing the year with a record of 6-11. Although their season was indeed forgettable, players on the team etched their presence into the minds of players across the National Football League, as proven by the latest NFL Top 100 list.
Each year, current players in the NFL vote which of their peers they believe to be the best of the best. Once the voting is complete, the league takes the results, and poof – the annual NFL Top 100 list is born.
It’s been a few years now since Raider Nation saw one of their own crack the top-20 on these lists. The last player to do it was Khalil Mack, and that was following the 2017 season. Five years and one relocation later, the Silver and Black are once again being represented in the top-20 – and this time, in bunches.
All-Pro running back Josh Jacobs led the trio of Raiders with a 12th-place finish. Jacobs is no stranger to this list, placing 72nd his rookie year, and 68th after his sophomore campaign. In 2021, the two-time Pro Bowler was kept off the list completely. All-Pro wideout Davante Adams is another mainstay on the NFL Top 100, ranking 7th-best with the Green Bay Packers last season, and 6th the year prior. This time, Adams comes in at 13.
Finally, All-Pro edge rusher Maxx Crosby forced his way into the top-20, landing at 17. Crosby catapulted from his 59th spot last season, getting his due from his peers around the league.
You can take the Raiders out of the Bay, but you can’t take the Bay rivalry out of the Raiders and 49ers
Las Vegas had three of their own land in this year’s top-20 players (via NFL Top 100), but they weren’t the only team. Joining them was none other than their Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco 49ers.
With George Kittle at 19, Fred Warner at 15, and Trent Williams at 14, the battle for bragging rights between the 49ers and Raiders is alive and well.. That is, if you ignore San Francisco appearing in their conference’s championship game for the second straight year while Las Vegas finished with a mere six wins in 2022.
For Raider Nation, that’s the part that makes everything so frustrating.
Like the 49ers, the Raiders had three players on their roster be voted as one of the 20-best players in the National Football League. Yet, the Silver and Black finished with less than half of San Francisco’s win total this past season.
Of course, Jimmy Garoppolo crossing state borders to find a home in Nevada makes things between the two clubs quite interesting. Perhaps the classic Bay rivalry has a chance at once again becoming competitive.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri