This week the Las Vegas Raiders visit the Carolina Panthers in what will surely be the most mysterious game opener in either franchise’s history. Without a preseason, neither team has the foggiest clue on what to expect. Conventional thinking says the Raiders should easily handle the Panthers based on roster and the Panthers all new coaching schemes.
But not so fast.
First, the Raiders will be the first team that sees first hand completely new schemes on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Jon Gruden has no film to review what Matt Rhule wants to do. This is the X-factor that could have a serious outcome on the game. Gruden likely has spent the week reviewing Baylor and even Temple film to get an idea on Rhule’s coaching tendencies.
Secondly, the Carolina Panthers are extremely easy to overlook. Yes, they are lacking in experience on defense. That much is true. But Carolina has the talent on offense to put up 30+ points on any opponent on any given Sunday. Heck, Christian McCaffrey alone is likely to have 200 yards of offense. If the rest of the Carolina Panthers offense has a good showing this Sunday and Raiders QB Derek Carr continues to struggle scoring touchdowns in the red zone the Panthers will have defeated the Raiders.
In 2019 the Oakland Raiders were a mediocre team. An offseason of pandemic uncertainty and a move to Las Vegas doesn’t exactly guarantee they are an improved football team. It would be an upset, but it would be no big surprise to see the Raiders start the season 0-1.
It is for the reasons listed above that the Raiders will lose.
Agree? Disagree? Talk about this right here.