2020 Las Vegas Raiders Review
The 2020 season was the first for the Raiders franchise in Las Vegas, and it was played in front of an empty stadium all season long. There was plenty of hype and fanfare leading up to the year, but the Raiders ultimately finished with an 8-8 record.
Las Vegas got off to a 6-3 start a season ago, and that included a win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders were unable to keep that momentum going, and a 2-5 record down the stretch caused the team to miss out on the playoffs yet again.
The defense was a big problem down the stretch as the Raiders simply gave up way too many points.
2021 Raiders Offseason Additions
The Las Vegas Raiders were extremely aggressive this offseason in free agency, and there will be a number of talented players joining this roster. Las Vegas needed some help on both sides of the ball, and they were able to make some big splashes.
Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue signed a two-year deal with the Raiders, and he should help transform that defense. Running back Kenyan Drake and wide receiver John Brown will provide playmaking at two of the skill positions.
2021 Raiders Offseason Departures
This was a busy offseason for the Las Vegas Raiders, and there will be some key players missing from the 2020 team. Most players have been replaced in free agency, but the roster will still look different.
Wide receiver Nelson Agholor has moved on, and that takes away a serious weapon from the Las Vegas offense. The defense will be without defensive end Takkarist McKinley and free safety LaMarcus Joyner, and those are both big losses.
Three Key Factors to a Winning Season
Getting Defensive Stops
The defense was a major issue for Las Vegas a season ago, especially in the final seven games of the year. There are some terrific offenses in the AFC West, and the Raiders have to find a way to continue getting stops on defense as the season moves along.
Carr Keeps Delivering
Quarterback Derek Carr continues to put up monster numbers for the Raiders, despite nearing the end of his career. The passing attack has not been a problem for Las Vegas in recent years, but the Raiders will need Carr to be great again this season.
Finishing Down the Stretch
Jon Gruden continues to have his team ready to play to begin each season, but the Raiders have not been able to put together a full season. Injuries have affected Las Vegas in recent years, but this team has to find a way to avoid a late-season collapse yet again.
Rating Their Schedule
The Raiders will kick off the 2021 season with a home game against the Baltimore Ravens, and that will be a challenge. This should also be a celebration at Allegiant Stadium, but the Raiders will likely be underdogs.
Las Vegas will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Weeks 10 and 14, and those are always two of the biggest games of the season. The Raiders end the season in Indianapolis against the Colts and hosting the Chargers, and those two games might decide the playoff fate for Las Vegas.
Expectations in 2021
This feels like a make-or-break season for the Raiders, especially for head coach Jon Gruden. Las Vegas has enough talent to make the playoffs in 2021, but it’s time that the team put it all together and did just that.
There are some winnable games on the schedule, but the Raiders have to find a way to go 4-0 against the Broncos and Chargers. Las Vegas should get a big boost from having a home crowd once again, and they need to play great in their new stadium.
Look for the Raiders to make that jump this season as they finish with a record of 10-7. This should get Las Vegas into the postseason as a Wild Card team.