The Las Vegas Raiders fell short of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year in 2020 as they finished with an 8-8 record. The Raiders will head into their second season in Las Vegas, and they will need to see some results from this franchise. Jon Gruden was brought in with tons of hype, but the team has yet to finish with a record above .500 in his three seasons, though the win total and division standing has increased each year.
Much more was expected from Las Vegas last season especially after a hot start with a 6-3 record. The Raiders simply could not come up with victories in the second half of the season and had a stretch in which they lost five of six games. Las Vegas was relatively active offseason, and they traded away three offensive linemen, which is the biggest question mark heading into training camp.
Las Vegas Raiders Super Bowl 56 odds: +6600
On offense, there is no question who is the starting quarterback with Derek Carr. He had one of his best seasons as a professional in 2020, completing 67.3% of his passes for 4,103 yards with 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Carr is a quality quarterback in the NFL and is incredibly durable. The lack of postseason appearances with Carr is probably not his fault, but whether he can lead a team to a Super Bowl victory can certainly be questioned. Protecting him will be critical, and the Raiders traded away tackle Trent Brown, guard Gabe Jackson and center Rodney Hudson.
The biggest offseason acquisition was Yannick Ngakoue, who should improve the pass rush. The Raiders ranked 30th in sacks per game in 2020, and that will need to get better for this defense to have much success. Las Vegas also brought in cornerback Casey Hayward on a very friendly $2.5 million deal, and the Raiders were 25th in opponent yards per pass attempt. Hopefully for Las Vegas, they should improve in that area as well.
This is a franchise that has really struggled to remain relevant late in the regular season and into the playoffs. In fact, their 8-8 record from last season was tied for the second best mark since 2003. They have one playoff appearance in the past 18 years. Especially with the expected improvement of the AFC West, a Super Bowl run is going to be tough to accomplish, and that’s reflected by oddsmakers at the DraftKings Sportsbook.
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