The Las Vegas Raiders have gotten out to a 3-4 start to the 2023 NFL season, as their head coach continues to make puzzling decisions, and the offense has yet to take flight. Offense was supposed to be a strength of the Silver and Black this season, especially with Josh Jacobs returning this summer, but they have started three different quarterbacks, and have yet to get the run game going.
Despite the issues, the Raiders went into last week with a golden opportunity to move to 4-3 on the season, and continue to be a surprising playoff contender. Instead of going into Soldier Field and dominating a down Chicago Bears team starting a rookie DII quarterback, the Raiders laid an egg, losing 30-12 in a game they really had no chance of winning from the outset.
Now, the Raiders will take on their third NFC North team in the last four games, but this one is the best of the bunch in the Detroit Lions. Jared Goff and company are expected to be a real player in the NFC come playoff time, and of all the teams Las Vegas has played this season, this is the most complete unit.
Will the Raiders offense finally wake up? Is this team good enough to hang with the Lions? All of that will be sorted out this Monday night in the Motor City.
Raiders season could go off the rails on Monday night
Detroit was blown out their last time out, losing in a big way to the Baltimore Ravens. The Lions were without David Montgomery in that game, and the run game struggled, leading to one of the more lopsided victories of the Week 7 slate.
While Montgomery may be out in this one as well, with the Lions coming into their bye week in Week 9, the Lions will still be a problem for Las Vegas. Jared Goff is playing at a high level, and on defense, Aidan Hutchinson is regarded as one of the best young edge rushers in the game, so that is a problem against a very mediocre Raiders offensive line.
Sitting at 3-4, and with an NFC power ahead of them, the Raiders season is in serious trouble heading into the trade deadline. A blowout loss in primetime could spell the end for Josh McDaniels as head coach, and it could force team owner Mark Davis to go into sell-mode, stacking draft picks for the upcoming draft in April.
Maybe the Raiders surprise the world and make this a game on Monday night, but based on how they looked against Chicago last Sunday, that seems like a longshot at this point.