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Don’t Quit On The Las Vegas Raiders Just Yet

Monday night’s loss dropped the Raiders to 1-4 on the season, but a forgiving schedule and potent offense should give fans plenty of hope.

From the outside looking in, the Las Vegas Raiders are a mess. But in between the lines, they’re far from done.

Davante Adams slammed his helmet and then pushed a cameraman after Monday night’s loss to the Chiefs. Last year’s WR1 Hunter Renfrow is a shell of his former self. And ultimately, the team is off to an underwhelming 1-4 start with some questionable late-game decisions.

But that’s why they play 17 games, and there are several reasons to believe in the team that spent $566 million (second-most in the league) this past offseason. Furthermore, it feels a little fluky that the Raiders are 1-4 while Josh Jacobs is third in the NFL in rushing, Adams is eighth in receiving, and Maxx Crosby is tied for the league lead in sacks.

Every game from here on is suddenly a must-win — which, for the next 10 games, seems feasible.

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Remaining Schedule

Vegas’s loss to KC was its third against teams above .500. Now, you have to beat the best to be the best, but putting things into context, they’re losing games by an average of just over one point per game for a -5 point differential.

That’s why their late-game execution has been crucial, highlighted by head coach Josh McDaniels’ decision to go for two in the final minutes Monday night.

Back to must-win games — the schedule should open the door for the Raiders to build momentum. They have the fourth-easiest schedule by opponent win percentage (45%) remaining, and over their next 10 games, face only two teams currently .500 or better (Colts, Chargers).

A resurgence toward respectability is expected.

Las Vegas Raiders Offense

For all the flack QB Derek Carr has endured, he’s ninth in passing touchdowns (8) and Adams, the new WR1, leads wide receivers in reception touchdowns (5).

Here’s how the offense is shaping up:

Category/AverageLeague Rank
Points/game: 25.08th
Pass yards/game: 239.215th
Rush yards/game: 121.413th
Total yards/game: 360.610th

Changing the Pace

Jacobs averaged only 14 rush attempts per game during the first three games of the season as Vegas started off 0-3. Since then, he’s averaged 24.5 carries for 150.0 yards and 1.5 touchdowns, setting a career-high with 154 yards on Monday.

Here’s how he ranks among other rushers:

CategoryLeague Rank
Attempts: 915th
Total Yards: 4903rd
Average: 5.412th
Touchdowns: 3T-6th
Yards/game: 98.03rd

Contract: Vegas declined the fifth-year option on Jacobs’ contract, making him an unrestricted free agent in 2023. If he keeps this up, he should be in for a big payday.

Career Earnings: $12.081 million over 4 years.

The Road Ahead

If Jacobs keeps running the ball this way and Carr continues to find Adams, there shouldn’t be any issues on offense. The Raiders should probably get Renfrow involved more, considering he signed a two-year, $32 million extension this past offseason and emerged as a top-10 WR in the NFL.

They still have their work cut out for them on defense where they’re allowing the fifth-most points (26), and McDaniels needs to figure it out before it’s too late. He’s 12-21 in three seasons as a head coach and his clock management, play calling, and unnecessary risk taking is hurting more than it’s helping.

Despite the rocky start, the Raiders should make a run in the coming weeks. Their forgiving schedule also still means they’re in playoff position.

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About The Author
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. Puccio has 10 years of experience in journalism and content creation, previously working for SB Nation, The Associated Press, New York Daily News, SNY, and Front Office Sports. In 2016, he received New York University's CCTOP scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from St. John's University. He can be spotted a mile away thanks to his plaid suits and thick New York accent. Don't believe us? Check his Twitter @APooch.