The Las Vegas Raiders made the playoffs last season, and improved the roster this offseason, so why are some publications down on them in 2022?
The 2021 NFL season was a roller coaster ride for the Las Vegas Raiders, who had to endure so much off the field and still be expected to perform on it. In the end, the franchise willed themselves to a playoff berth, winning their final four regular-season games, including an exciting Week 18 victory over rival Los Angeles.
However, despite that, many in the media are down on the Silver and Black this season, especially with how much better some of the teams in their division got. While that is true, it does not change the fact that Las Vegas is going to be one of the better teams in the NFL this season, making some of these preseason rankings laughable.
Recently, Pro Football Focus put out their power rankings for the 2022 season, and Las Vegas was not listed high by them at all. In fact, they were outside of the “True Contenders” section, a section that includes Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, and were not listed in the “Could be their Year” list as well.
That section included the likes of the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, and even the Cleveland Browns.
So, based on these rankings, Sam Monson feels the Raiders will be the worst team in the AFC West this season, even after finishing in second with ten wins in 2021. The team did not take a step back in terms of talent, so one has to wonder why they are not listed higher than No. 16 overall.
Raiders should be a team to beat in 2022
Looking at their roster, and their schedule, the Silver and Black have a legitimate chance to take another step forward in 2022. They have a quarterback going into his ninth season and one who is fresh off arguably his best season as a pro in Derek Carr.
The Raiders have also revamped the defense, including adding an All-Pro talent in Chandler Jones, and their weapons on offense are second-to-none. While the AFC West will be the toughest division in football, Las Vegas has just as good a chance to win it as any of the other three teams.
The Las Vegas Raiders have a strong roster on both sides of the ball, but are they a legitimate sleeper for the 2022 NFL season?
Preseason rankings are all hearsay and someone’s opinion, but I do not believe the Silver and Black are a middle-of-the-road team in 2022. In fact, I agree with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, who recently said Las Vegas the Silver and Black will win the AFC West this season.