The 2021 Las Vegas Raiders have gotten off to a hot start, begging the question, is this year’s team better than the 2016 version?
In 2016, the then-Oakland Raiders were an offensive juggernaut. The team fielded a top-7 offense, and Derek Carr was in his third season and was peaking. The Raiders had a very balanced attack, as wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree both finished with over 1,000 receiving yards, and running back Latavius Murray ran for nearly 1,000 yards.
The offensive line was also the league’s best and the team had some dominant moments.
However, the Raiders lacked depth. Running backs Deandre Washington and Jalen Richard were similar backs, but also change of pace pass-catching backs. The Raiders’ core backup receivers were fan-favorite Seth Roberts, and special teams demons Andre Holmes and Johnny Holton.
While Roberts, Holmes, and Holton had moments, following leaving the Raiders, they proved to not have much of a career. The tight ends were also underwhelming, with Clive Walford and Mychal Rivera.
So while the Raiders had a high-powered offense, the depth lacked and teams were able to expose that.