Las Vegas Raiders 2021 Season Sneak Peek

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The 2021 Las Vegas Raiders enter the season with high expectations and no room for apologies or failure.

General manager Mike Mayock has made it clear that he and coach Jon Gruden are perfectly in tune with fans’ expectations.

“We’re not hiding expectations. I think Jon and I will tell you both that we think we have to be a playoff team this year, and I don’t think there is any doubt about that. topic, ”Mayock said.

Heading into the fourth year of Jon Gruden’s second term as Raiders head coach, there’s no reason they shouldn’t get a minimum of 10 wins and compete for a playoff berth. playoffs.

The Silver and Black, under the leadership of Gruden and Mayock, are completely overhauled, and Gruden and Mayock own that team.

Their fingerprints are everywhere on every player, coach and decision. It’s time for them to end the years of futility and finally get results. There is no room for moral wins, it’s the National Football League, and it’s time to win.

Offense

Derek Carr returns after leading an attack among the Raiders’ Top 10 in 2020. One of the NFL’s most underrated players, Carr was barred by his head coach last season from taking risks due to ‘weak defense. This will not be the case in 2021.

With one of the deepest wide receiver bodies in the NFL, the Raiders’ air attack will be impressive.

Hunter Renfrow is the epitome of consistency, and the Raiders have added Willie Snead and have a young speedster in Zay Jones who has the complete confidence of his coach and quarterback.

Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards are two young men who don’t get enough attention during their sophomore campaigns. Due to last season and COVID-19 protocols, they have had no mini-camps, no OTAs, and no preseason games to learn about Gruden’s complicated offense in 2020.

Skeptics have criticized the Raiders for Ruggs and Edwards’ picks, but with an entire offseason both are starters in 2021 and have taken their late-season 2020 displays of talent and built on it.

The Silver and Black also have one of the best tight ends in the NFL, Darren Waller. Waller’s replacement Foster Moreau catches almost anything thrown, and they are one of the most dangerous tandems in the AFC.

The Raiders have one of the elite young running backs in Josh Jacobs, and they came out and added the Kenyan Drake to back him up. Drake is one of the fastest players in the NFL, and he will be used to support Jacobs and be a weapon in the passing game.

The Raiders’ offensive line has been overhauled, but the organization is thrilled with it. Andre James is a rising star who saw them trade Rodney Hudson to center, and first-round pick tackle Alex Leatherwood was a star as soon as he stepped into the building.

If the Raiders’ offense fails in 2021, it won’t be because of the offensive line.

Defense

Carr and the Raiders’ offense last season gave up three fourth-quarter leads that the defense lost. Had the Raiders’ once-feared defense been arrested for being an NFL-caliber team last season, there wouldn’t have been enough evidence to convict them.

This led to Paul Gunther being sacked before the end of the season and the arrival of Gus Bradley to lead the defense. The addition of Bradley and new staff was the most critical addition of the offseason by Gruden and Mayock.

I asked Gruden about improving the speed of the defensive team, to which he replied: “We are definitely faster in defense this year. We believe that the addition of [Tre’von] Moehrig, obviously the defensive linemen you’re talking about, that’s a lot of speed we’ve added.

The terrible defensive line is gone. The addition of Yannick Ngakoue, Solomon Thomas and Quinton Jefferson, along with other tweaks and acquisitions, has remarkably transformed last year’s Achilles heel into what many believe is this year’s strength.

The linebacker squad was decimated by injuries and entered the camp as the weakest link in the team. The injuries only reinforced that. To the Raiders’ credit, they were aggressive in adding key free agent linebackers Denzel Perryman and KJ Wright. Both should have immediate effects.

The Raiders defensive backfield adds Casey Hayward, a proven Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback who is a leader on and off the field. He was an immediate upgrade, and Trevon Moehrig and Nate Hobbs are two instant impact rookies who have already made a big impression.

Trayvon Mullen is a sharp young cornerback and safety Johnathan Abram is finally showing he is ready to mentally take the leap and become the star, his physical talents foreshadow him.

The Raiders’ defense in 2021 is going to be aggressive.

Can the linebacker squad perform at a level that will allow them to win a few games while waiting for the young players to grow up and the injured players to return?

Look for Bradley to continue his tendency to not be traditional in building a defense that will showcase his strengths.

I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Raiders use six- and seven-man defensive backs to accelerate and make up for the linebackers’ shortcomings.

I’m looking for Bradley to once again demonstrate the talent for which he is respected as one of the game’s elite defensive generals.

Planned record

In addition to two decades of football coverage, I enter each season predicting the record of the team I’m tasked with similarly covering. I’m looking at the floor for wins and the ceiling for regular season wins.

Last year, I predicted the winning floor was eight for the Las Vegas Raiders, and the winning floor was 10. They ended the 2020 campaign with eight wins. This year, I ask that the ceiling be 11 wins and the floor be 10.

Table of expected depths

Strategist: Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Nathan Peterman

To recover: Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Peyton Barber

Back : Alec ingold

Start working on: Kolton Miller, Alex Leatherwood, Brandon Parker

Center: André James, Nick Martin

Guardian: Richie Incognito, Denzelle Good, John Simpson

Tight end: Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Nick Bowers

Wide receivers: Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, Hunter Renfrow, Zay Jones, Willie Snead

Defensive tackle: Quinton Jefferson, Johnathan Hankins, Solomon Thomas, Gerald McCoy, Darius Philon

Defensive end: Yannick Ngakoue, Maxx Crosby, Carl Nassib, Clelin Ferrell, Malcolm Koonce

Linebacker: Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski, KJ Wright, Divine Deablo, Denzel Perryman, Nicholas Morrow, Javin White

Security: Johnathan Abram, Tre’Von Moehrig, Tyree Gillespie, Roderic Teamer

Cornerback: Casey Hayward, Trayvon Mullen, Nate Hobbs (Nickel), Damon Arnette, Keisean Nixon, Amik Robertson (Nickel)

Specialists:

Daniel Carlson K

AJ Cole P

Trent Sieg LS


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