Rich Eisen makes bold predictions about 2024 Raiders

NFL Analyst Rich Eisen believes 2024 could be a big year for the Las Vegas Raiders.
Jan 30, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Rich Eisen on radio row at the Super Bowl LIII media center at the Georgia World Congress Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 30, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Rich Eisen on radio row at the Super Bowl LIII media center at the Georgia World Congress Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime NFL Analyst Rich Eisen recently predicted the outcome of the upcoming season on the Rich Eisen Show: Head Coach Antonio Pierce will be a finalist for Coach of the Year, Maxx Crosby will win Defensive Player of the Year and the Las Vegas Raiders are going to win the AFC West. Many consider this a “hot take” or a “bold prediction," however, let me tell you why this may not be as crazy as some think.

Antonio Pierce-Coach of the Year

First, let’s take a look at last season, and the performance of the team from the time Antonio Pierce took over as interim coach. Despite a turbulent season and the addition of starting a rookie quarterback midway through, the Raiders finished the previous season with eight wins and second place in the AFC West. Pierce has shown himself to be a true leader who can motivate a whole team to play at a higher level, and you can hold him largely responsible for the Raiders' success from the previous season.

Since taking over in Week 9, Pierce has led the Raiders to a 3-1 record against AFC West opponents, a 5-4 record overall, a tie for fifth place in turnover margin (+6), 10th place in takeaways (14), and third place in sacks (30). Additionally, the defense gave up a league-low 16.0 points per contest. Should the Raiders maintain this level of play throughout an entire season, there's no reason to believe they can't win the AFC West, and Antonio Pierce will undoubtedly be a strong contender for Coach of the Year.

Maxx Crosby-Defensive Player of the Year

We are all aware of Maxx Crosby's talent, so seeing him win Defensive Player of the Year would be no surprise, especially to fans of the Raiders. After recording 14.5 sacks in the previous season, good for sixth in the NFL, Crosby came in fourth in the DPOY voting in 2023. All of this Crosby accomplished while being the center of attention for offensive lines and gameplans. Now that Christian Wilkins and Malcolm Koonce have emerged, Crosby will have even more opportunities to make plays.

Why the Raiders can win the AFC West

The AFC West has a team in his first year with the franchise (Chargers, Jim Harbaugh), another who was voted the worst roster in the NFL (Broncos), according to Pro Football Focus, and the third team looked completely discombobulated the last time they played the Antonio Pierce-led Raiders (Chiefs).

The Chiefs being the obvious favorite to win, but as just mentioned Kansas City looked completely out of sorts in the Week 16 matchup last season, where the Raiders defense scored as many points as the Chiefs offense (14). The Raiders can absolutely win this division in 2024, which would be the first time since 2002.

Everything ties together

All of Eisen's points are related: if Antonio Pierce takes the Raiders to the top of the AFC West in his first season, he will most likely win Coach of the Year, which also implies that Maxx Crosby had an incredible season. The Raiders are a team that has the potential to have success this season, so I commend Eisen for defying the popular media narrative and supporting them this coming season.