Las Vegas Raiders: Closer to the playoffs or another rebuild?
By Brad Weiss
The Las Vegas Raiders won only six games this past season, and looking at the roster, are they closer to the playoffs, or another rebuild?
Coming off an impressive 10-7 season in 2021, and their second playoff appearance since the 2002 campaign, all eyes were on the Las Vegas Raiders. A sleeper Super Bowl team for many media pundits, Las Vegas bolstered a playoff roster by bringing in talents like Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, guys seen as the missing piece to the puzzle.
However, Las Vegas struggled from the outset, and to watch this team every week was to see them find new ways to lose on a consistent basis. The Silver and Black blew five double-digit second half leads, and while most of their losses were close, some of them should have never happened.
Now, we turn the page to the 2023 offseason, a season that could make the Raiders a perennial playoff contender, or set the stage for another rebuild. Looking at the roster, big changes are coming, but can Josh McDaniels and David Ziegler really be trusted to get the job done?
Raiders are closer to a playoff contender than a rebuilding franchise
There is a lot to like about this Raiders roster, especially on offense if they can get Josh Jacobs to come back on a new deal. The offensive line played much better down the stretch, and with a focus on that in the draft and free agency, they should be able to solidify that unit.
However, the big question comes at quarterback, but with big-time pressure this offseason, you have to think McDaniels and Ziegler are going to swing for the fences. That could land Justin Fields, Tom Brady, or even Aaron Rodgers in Las Vegas, three guys that give the team an elite option at quarterback in 2023.
Then there is the defense, where help is going to be needed on all three levels. The secondary is a mess, the linebacker group is thin, and at defensive tackle, we may see the Silver and Black utilize the No. 7 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
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Overall, there is no time for a rebuild for the Raiders, as they have a beautiful stadium and a fan base that is hungry to get to the business of winning. Going into the 2023 season with no expectations would be a death warrant for McDaniels to keep the head coaching job, so I believe the front office goes big over the next few months.