Fresh off his first playoff start in his eight-year career (a 26-19 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals), Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is playing with renewed confidence. If the offensive line can protect Carr, the Raiders should be able to score. With former Green Bay star wideout Davante Adams (who played with Carr at Fresno State) joining wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, tight end Darren Waller and running back Josh Jacobs, along with the guidance of new head coach Josh McDaniels, who piloted the high-powered New England Patriots teams as offensive coordinator during the Tom Brady years, this Raiders offense has potential.
It’s their defense that has let them down in years past. Anchored by stud pass rusher Maxx Crosby (eight sacks), the team signed several players, including edge rusher Chandler Jones and veteran safety Duron Harmon, in hopes of becoming one of the more stinging defenses in the league. No small task in the stacked AFC West. With Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs) and Russell Wilson (Denver Broncos) along with Pro Bowl QB Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers), the Raiders have a tough divisional schedule ahead.