Know Your Enemy continues in Sin City. How bout that ride in? The Las Vegas Raiders enter year 2 under Head Coach Josh McDaniels. Mick Lombardi is the OC and DC is Patrick Graham. 2022 was a poor year for the Silver and Black notching a 6-11 record with former Raider QB (now Saint) Derek Carr at the helm. Vegas was 12th in PPG offense (23.2 PPG) but 26th in PPG defense.
Josh Jacobs is a beast in a franchise tag year. Jacobs tallied 1,653 yards at 4.9 YPC with 12 TDs. He added 400 receiving yards as well. Jacobs might hold out under the tag and the Raiders offense would take a nose dive without him.
Davante Adams is their passing game with 1,516 yards and 4 TDs. Hunter Renfrow is a decent slot option but they traded TE Darren Waller after an injury plagued 2022. Raiders added WR Jakobi Meyers from the Patriots to give a strong second option to Adams. Austin Hooper was added in free agency and Michael Mayer was a strong Round 2 TE added to replace Waller. DeAndre Carter, Phil Dorsett and Keelan Cole is decent veteran depth. The Raiders have good weapons.
Derek Carr is gone but Jimmy Garrapolo gets a change of scenery outside of the 49ers. Jimmy G has a shoulder issue but should be cleared to play this season to lead the Raiders. McDaniels is familiar with him from his time with the Patriots and should get the most out of him with strong weapons. If the Raiders offensive line holds up and Jacobs plays, Jimmy G will produce.
12th PPG offense or better is in the cards for the Raiders.
Maxx Crosby is one of the best most relentless pass rushers in the league. Chandler Jones still has plenty in the tank opposite Crosby and high 1st round pick Tyree Wilson was added in the draft. The Raiders might/may have a pass rush.
The Raiders have a solid option in Devine Deablo coming into year 3. Robert Spillane is a decent veteran added from Pittsburgh. Solid starters but the depth is very poor. The Raiders could have LB problems in 2023.
Raiders made some big changes in the secondary adding Marcus Peters (long-time Raven veteran), Duke Shelley (success with Vikings last year) and Marcus Epps (safety from Philly) to their secondary. Tre’Von Moehrig showed some growth in year 2 as a 2nd round pick from 2021 at safety. Nate Hobbs is the nickel. Secondary is interesting with the changes but likely to be torchable.
Kolton Miller is a solid left tackle. Raiders are hoping for growth from 3rd rounder Dylan Parham in year 2 at LG. Andre James is a solid center. Alex Bars and Jermain Eluemenor are career backups now starting at RG and RT. Raiders have some offensive line issues which is not good for an injury prone Jimmy G. This will be their downfall. Veteran former Patriot Brian Hoyer and rookie 4th rounder Aidan O’Connell aren’t good enough at backups quite yet.
Raiders host Green Bay on Monday Night Football in Week 5 and host Minnesota in Week 10. Vegas travels to Detroit in Week 8 for Monday Night Football and to Chicago in Week 7. This should be a win for all 4 NFC North teams unless they play bad defense against a good Raiders offense and lose a shootout.