There’s a lot to talk about ahead of Week One 2020.
Unfortunately, I haven’t met my duties as a Raiders blogger this offseason. Between COVID and taking in my two brothers and sister, I’ve been busy. I was covering the Lakers, doing a two-times weekly podcast and started my own newsletter.
However, that all came to a stop when my 14-year-old brother couldn’t go anywhere else and when my 16-year-old sister felt so abandoned by her adopted mother that she ran away 2,000 miles across the country without telling a soul. Them two and my twelve-year-old brother are home with me now.
Football takes on a whole knew meaning when you’re in the Dad life. It’s no longer just entertainment. It’s the time of the week to see friends and be left alone. It’s a past time to share with your family.
Anyways, back to the Raiders. The Silver and Black have long been my Sunday escape. I probably need it more this year than ever.
New Defensive Era, Please
I am looking forward to finally having a steady group of linebackers. We know the two big free agents Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski. They should make not covering the tight end a legend left in Oakland. I am also interested to see Raekwon McMillan in the mix as a run stuffer.
The defensive line should also improve with another year experience and some dead weight let go. Maliek Collins has been one of the talks of camp. They gave a lot of money to Carl Nassib who should see a lot of snaps. Arden Key and Mo Hurst got to show some gains to stay in the rotation. Maxx Crosby needs no sophomore slump.
Speaking of which, I still would’ve signed another vet like Jadeveon Clowney. They still need that massive disruptor that makes every one else better. I’m not sure if Clelin Ferrell is that guy but they need to give him opportunities all on the d-line to find out.
The back end should also be interesting. The Raiders didn’t make a move there based on the development of Trayvon McMullen and the potential of Damon Arnette. LaMarcus Joyner also go double-digit million reasons to improve. Jonathan Abram needs to stay healthy and deliver on last year’s Hard Knocks hype too.
Offense Leading The Way
On Offense, there’s no excuses. Jon Gruden and Derek Carr Year Three. Plenty of talent. The Raiders have an elite back in Josh Jacobs and line to support Carr.
His receiver group will miss Tyrell Williams’ size and speed. They will start rookie receivers in Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards for the first time since the DHB and Louis Murphy era.
A Thought On Drafting
Which BTW, Las Vegas needs to stop drafting developmental talent like Lynn Bowden Jr. If they are unwilling to do everything to develop him. They traded him for a future pick the same offseason they drafted him despite knowing he was a gadget guy who would take time go hit the field.
As for the tight ends, the Raiders have a top group. Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Jason Witten and Derek Carrier give them the right blend of size, blocking and pass catching.
This Raiders team is positioned to run the ball and take shots. It will be up to the play caller to make those calls and the QB to execute.
Week One Matchup 2020
Nonetheless, the Raiders face a formidable opponent in Carolina. Teddy Bridgewater is a fellow member of the 2014 Draft class like Carr. Jacobs is not on McCaffrey’s level but both are threats any time they touch the ball.
The Raiders must do whatever it takes to own the line of scrimmage to disrupt Bridgewater and McCaffrey. Ball will be out quick guaranteed in Matt Rhule’s offense. Shout out to former Raiders receiver Seth Roberts who is on this roster.
On defense, the Panthers are also retooling. They will start two highly regarded rookies. Vegas should dominate these guys early and often.
Carolina also replaces one of the best backers in this generation with Tahir Whitehead. Raiders fans know his liabilities in coverage. Again, circle our tight ends all day.
Ultimately, this should setup as a nice test for where the Raiders are versus another young team in the middle of a retool or rebuild. It is still hard to look past them given we haven’t seen their offense in the NFL yet.
Not to mention, we last Bridgewater helping the Saints take command of the NFC. McCaffrey is also the league’s biggest x-factor.
Regardless, there is no reason the Raiders can’t start the Vegas era undefeated. With or without fans, 1-0 in a new stadium is what our fans deserve.
We’ve had this looming over us for years, decades really. We finally have a home that is uniquely ours and we can’t even see a game. Damn. I’m also not sure how COVID will impact our tackling or blocking. Will we see more injuries?
Either way, the Raiders gotta start the 2020s and their tenure in Vegas by Just Winning Baby! This Carolina game sets up exactly like that but it could easily be a trap game if Vegas doesn’t handle business urgently. We are gonna need that confidence from a win versus the Saints and the rest of the AFC West.