The Raiders are fresh off a wildcard birth in the 2021 season. The 2022 off-season brought changes throughout the entire organization. From a new team President, General Manager and Head Coach to adding the best wide Receiver in the league. The silver and black are aiming to take the next step and win the AFC West for the first time since the 2002 season. With the regular season quickly approaching I will begin my Raiders 2022 season outlook with the offense first.
The new Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders brings quite a resume. With 6 Super Bowl rings McDaniels certainly knows what it takes to achieve the highest standards. Last year Josh helped lead a rookie to the playoffs in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Where McDaniels can really make a difference with the Raiders is a few areas that have been holding the team back for years. Pre-snap penalties, red-zone offense and turnovers have been a consistent problem for the Raiders for years.
If the preseason is any indication of what is to come the team is in good shape. The Raiders were undefeated in the preseason but more importantly had zero turnovers and the fewest penalty yards in over a decade. For the silver and black to take the next step they must stop beating themselves. Coach has laid a solid foundation now it is up to Carr and the offense to keep the momentum going into the regular season.
Entering his 9th season as Raiders QB Carr is in a perfect situation to take the next step . While he deserves some blame for his turnovers, this year is set up to be the best in his career. Limiting turnovers is crucial for Carr to become in the discussion of the top qbs in the game. Another area he can improve on his amount of Touchdown passes. The team has struggled mightily in the red-zone over the past few years and Carr can help that improve with more touchdowns in the red-zone.
While it’s easy to blame the old coaching staff for those struggles, Carr has to do better also. With a better play caller and weapons it is now or never for Carr. If he can eliminate a lot of the turnovers especially the fumbles the Raiders are a dangerous team. I believe Carr has an outstanding season and as I wrote previously he ends up as a MVP candidate Derek Carr MVP Candidate. The team can get out of the contract at the end of the year if they want and how Carr performs in his most important season ever will dictate that decision.
The Raiders have capable running backs to fill a myriad of roles in McDaniels system. With 5 RB and 1 FB on the intial 53 man roster the team can pick the best match up based on the opponent. Throughout the entire preseason the Raiders showed an ability to establish the run no matter who was in. Josh Jacobs had his 5th year option declined and many speculated about his future when he played in the Hall of Fame Game. However, he is healthy and ready to handle a lot of carries in this offense. Rookie Zamir White is going to be a star in the league once he gets his chance. The team is really high on Zeus so his time maybe sooner than later.
Another area where the team looks drastically improved is in the screen game. It has been years since the Raiders had an efficient screen game but that appears to be ending soon. A great way to help an unsettled offensive line is with a strong screen game. McDaniels has shown a willingness to utilize his backs out of the backfield. Every week could be fit for a different back and the Raiders offense will become elite with huge performances from the backs running or receiving.
The addition of Davante Adams should elevate the Raiders passing game towards the top of the NFL. Tight End Darren Waller is back healthy and with a new agent. Hopefully an agreement is reached before the season so the Raiders can have Waller healthy and happy. Setting up a potential huge year for Darren. McDaniels has had a lot of success with tight ends especially in the redzone and Waller is expected to become a bigger part of the plan inside the 10. Hunter Renfow returns with a new contract after a record setting season. With the ability to line up anywhere and get open Hunter is as good as any in the business. After Waller went down last year Renfow took his game to another level. This year with Adams and a healthy Waller, Renfow could be in a lot of favorable match ups.
The team will feature Mack Hollins, who could be a size problem in the redzone especially. Speedsters Tyron Johnson and DJ Turner add big play potential every time they are on the field. It will be interesting to see how Coach Josh McDaniels schemes up opportunities for the two. The Raiders have weapons all over the field and should have a favorable match up on almost every play. Whether it is out of the backfield tight end or wide receiver Carr has talent all around him at the skill position group .
The question since the January defeat in Cincinnati has been about the offensive line. A little under a week until the season starts and unfortunately more questions than answers remain. The one sure thing on the line has been left tackle Kolton Miller. Improving every year in the league has Miller in the top 5 at his position in the entire league. Unfortunately outside of Miller it is mostly questions.
Left guard is slated to be John Simpson but how long is he going to keep the job with rookie Dylan Parham aggressively moving up the depth chart? Parham has also worked at center and with Andre James continuing up and down play is that where Dylan starts first? Right guard is more of the same as Lester Cotton Sr has won the job in camp. Cotton will join Jermaine Eluemunor as starters on the right side of the line. Two guys on the right side starting together for the first time is certainly a major concern. The hope is Thayer Munford Jr returns and picks up where he left off in pursuit of the starting right tackle job.
Too many unknowns and moving parts leave the line especially on the right side a major concern. The Raiders have acquired enough talent to compete for the division and beyond. Leaving the offensive line behind is honestly quite shocking. The need for a RT has been known since January and if it derails the season it will be a bad look for new General Manager Dave Ziegler. Having Davante Adams and company is nice but if the line doesn’t hold up it won’t matter.
This is a huge season for the Raiders and expectations are sky high for the first time in decades. Thank you for your time reading my season outlook for the offense article and for more Raiders talk follow me on Twitter http://@BrianRobert85. You can also check out my previous article here Raiders 53 Man Roster Initial Reaction and check back tomorrow for part 2 where I take a look at the defensive outlook for the season.