Las Vegas Raiders: 4 bold predictions after the 2021 bye week
No. 1: Raiders win their first playoff game since 2002
Raiders’ fans have not had much to cheer about over the last two decades. The team has had just one winning season, as Derek Carr led them to a 12-4 record and wild card berth in 2016. Carr subsequently fractured his ankle, and the Raiders’ first playoff run in twelve years was over before it had begun.
In the last two seasons, the Raiders started the season 6-4 and fell apart in the second half of the year due to flaws too detrimental to overcome. This season, contrarily, feels a bit different. The Raiders finally seem to have a formidable defense and their offense shows no signs of slowing down, the unit getting better by the game.
As things sit to begin Week 8, the Raiders lead the AFC West and are two games ahead of the Chiefs. Las Vegas is also in sole possession of the No. 2 seed in the AFC. The Raiders will likely be in a dog fight with both the Chiefs and Chargers for the AFC West crown, and it would not be surprising if the division comes down to a late-season meeting between two of these teams.
Jon Gruden's departure was just as surprising as it was sudden. Where will the Raiders go now? The real question is this: Is Derek Carr better without him?
Las Vegas, though, will reach the postseason whether they win their division or not. Yes, the Raiders will clinch just their second playoff berth since 2002. Not only will they clinch a berth, however, as the Raiders will win their first playoff game since 2002, to the rejoice of Raider Nation everywhere.