Las Vegas Raiders: The AFC West bottom-feeder
Best Case: Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, And Maxx Crosby Are Good Enough To Single-Handedly Win Games
On a week-to-week basis, the Raiders will lean on star power to keep them afloat. Davante Adams is the best receiver in the NFL, and Josh Jacobs has a legit case as one of the best running backs. These two will make life easier for Jimmy Garoppolo, giving him a poor man’s version of the weapons he had in San Francisco.
On defense, Maxx Crosby stands above the rest. He is a handful to block and brings an infectious energy to the locker room. If anyone can get the rest of the unit to buy in, it is Crosby. Chandler Jones and Tyree Wilson should see plenty of one-on-ones, with No. 98 taking up attention.
This likely won’t lead the Raiders to the postseason, but it could be enough to keep the fans content every week. If nothing else, the crowd will be packed with Adams, Jacobs, and Crosby jerseys…
Worst Case: Constant Question Marks At QB
Even with all the praise heaped toward the top of the depth chart, the roster is way too flawed at key positions to be a consistent threat to opponents. Cornerback, linebacker, and a few spots on the offensive line stick out like a sore thumb when assessing the talent in Vegas.
The most glaring concern falls behind center. Jimmy Garoppolo, no matter what you think about him as a player, has only survived one NFL season as a full-time starter without missing a game. He already is dealing with recovery from a surgery that was pushed back further than it needed to be.
Without time to gel with his new teammates and re-calibrate with his former coach Josh McDaniels, Garoppolo will suffer from rust. He is capable of winning games on a stacked roster, but he doesn’t possess the talent to overcome his shortcomings as a passer.
Jimmy G will hit the layups in McDaniels’ scheme — and might even look like a competent quarterback by the season’s end — but the Raiders are one quarterback injury away from being in the Caleb Williams Sweepstakes. Which, ironically enough, could turn out to be the best-case scenario. Vegas could easily find itself in the AFC West cellar, either way.