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Post-Draft Early Regular Season Prediction Thread


What is our record this year?  

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  1. 1. What is our record this year?


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I see one of two scenarios playing out and we will learn a lot about Gruden this year. 

1) The team is middle of the pack, maybe a few games break their way as they learn to finish games and the eek out 10 wins in a promising season

2) The Gruden shtick wears thin and the wheels fall off completely. The Oline proves young and mediocre, Carr regresses and players start chirping privately. They win 5 games and things look grim

In Tampa, he wore thin on players. The losses piled up and they were done with him. They need to get wins early and often this year to give this squad something to play for. Gruden the coach will be tested this year. He blew up and Oline, rebuilt a defense. He has a lot to prove year 4.

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18 hours ago, BayRaider said:

Anyone know when we know if we get the extra home game? Brand new stadium I would assume they give it to us this year rather than next year.

I believe I saw that yes its at home vs bears. 

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On 5/5/2021 at 12:12 PM, Totty said:

I thought I remembered him playing well that game?

He had a bad snap, maybe two at the start of the game.  Everyone remembers that, not that he settled in and played perfectly fine the rest of the game.

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2 hours ago, Jerry said:

I don't know man.  We made do after losing T. Brown and Inc, I think we'll find a way to keep moving forward.  I think our offense will be about the same as last year or at least top 15 if we start losing OL.

Last year Good and James were backups and now they are starters.  Leatherwood is a rookie changing positions so expect some struggles.  Incognito has age and injury.  Miller just got paid and we know sometimes that can cause a player to become complacent.  On top of that our depth has been depleted.  Normally the year after a lot of injuries you expect to improve because you get the players back.  We are not and we even got rid of 2 of the healthy guys from last year.  So we got one back and got rid of two.  1 step forward 2 steps back and we might end up spraining our ankle on the 1 step forward.  To top everything off we want to run the ball and control the clock.  We were not good in the run game last year.  Everything points to us being worse or at least the possibility of being worse.  Incognito is the only bright spot but at 38 there is not a lot of hope there.

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1 hour ago, big_palooka said:

I see one of two scenarios playing out and we will learn a lot about Gruden this year. 

1) The team is middle of the pack, maybe a few games break their way as they learn to finish games and the eek out 10 wins in a promising season

2) The Gruden shtick wears thin and the wheels fall off completely. The Oline proves young and mediocre, Carr regresses and players start chirping privately. They win 5 games and things look grim

In Tampa, he wore thin on players. The losses piled up and they were done with him. They need to get wins early and often this year to give this squad something to play for. Gruden the coach will be tested this year. He blew up and Oline, rebuilt a defense. He has a lot to prove year 4.

I don't disagree with those being the two most likely options. I would be lying if I said I don't see either one of those possibilities playing out with similar odds. 

I guess I just have more belief in Gruden the offensive coach/mind/play caller. I am totally fine with questioning his GM abilities, his long term outlook for putting a team together that compete long term, etc. But in terms of putting together an offense that can be productive running the football, passing the football, and scoring points, he's a top 10 guy in the league. And we may be fortunate that in the current NFL that means more in terms of regular season wins than it used to. 

I question Gruden the HC in terms of adjustments, challenges, knowing when to be aggressive and when to lean more conservative. But he's shown me enough to believe that the offense will be on par with last season, and could improve if guys like Ruggs, Edwards, Moreau, take the next step. The OL would concern me way more if last year we had a healthy and motivated Trent Brown all season, Incognito didn't get injured early, Sam Young was our starter at RT essentially, and we seemed to never have consistency on that unit from one week to the next. I am a believer that is most important on the OL. If you can get some luck and put most of the starting lineman out there from week to week that can make up for a talent drop overall if that talent was constantly shuffled. 

I also believe that with what I have seen from Carr, particularly in this system, and the fact that for the first time in his entire career he has been afforded the ability to learn an offensive system, get comfortable with what the system is trying to do, then master the system, make the checks and audibles, and essentially build on what he did the year prior without having to try and do that while learning an entirely new system can easily make having an elite OL not as important as years past. Obviously it still needs to be at least solid, but the Carr that has struggled the most has been coming off injuries, having poor OL play ON TOP of trying to learn a new system. Elite OL play is more important IMO when you don't have a great grip on the play book and what the system requires. I don't believe our OL play was great last year, in fact I would argue Carr elevated how the OL looked overall. 

I believe Carr being in the same system, some development from the young guys (some with huge potential), and hopefully better help on the OL tells me the offense isn't in for huge regression. If the OL can even run block a little better at the expense of pass blocking (when most of our passing is about quick hitters) the offense will be better off for it. I also think with Jacobs and Drake our red zone offense could be significantly better. 

And lastly, the fact that we have had all pro, MVP caliber players like Rodgers and Wilson name us as a preferred destination tells me that throughout the league Gruden is well received by some very talented and very powerful players. Sure there can be a host of reasons as to why we were listed, but with coaches in the past and front offices in the past we never saw guys of that caliber list us as one of their top destinations. That does mean something. Even if not a lot. I think going into the year the players will still be bought in. They played extremely hard for Gruden last year IMO. We without a doubt folded down the stretch, but I wouldn't particularly say the biggest culprit of that was a lack of effort and fight from the team. 

Hopefully the last two years of starting well and finishing poorly can be a tool used to keep guys hungry and motivated from buying into their own hype. I don't so much worry about Gruden and his act growing thin and rubbing players the wrong way to the point they pack it in early. That is more of a fear I have if we start hot and finish poorly the back half of the season. I think Gruden is a good motivator, and I think players like to play for him. But he also has an ego and he probably led the feeding into their own hype last year because of it. If he has awareness to use that to keep it from happening this year it will be huge.

Now if we do start great and finish poorly? I'll be on the side he's lost the locker room. You can't do that 3 years straight. Gruden the front office guy and Gruden the offensive coach are two very different conversations. I have a fair amount of confidence Gruden can put an offense out there that regularly preforms well, perhaps even better than the sum of their parts. Gruden the GM is what makes me question for how long is that sustainable and have we already reached our ceiling. 

The one thing that does make me think we will be at least a little better than last season was the things I mentioned on offense, and having more faith in Bradley and his simplified scheme that lets players play fast. I think the talent level on defense has been raised overall as well. The defense will still be poor, but if we can just be 20th overall bad and force more turnovers/sacks that could be huge for the team overall. 

I think we're a 10-7 type team. But after seeing the schedule I could see myself totally believing in a 7-10 type of season. If we start off slowly I haven't seen enough to believe Gruden could right the ship. The biggest thing for this team will be starting at least decent and then winning those first couple should be wins on the road in the second half of the season. Those types of games will tell us everything we need to know about how good this team can be and how the players view Gruden. 

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2 hours ago, big_palooka said:

I see one of two scenarios playing out and we will learn a lot about Gruden this year. 

1) The team is middle of the pack, maybe a few games break their way as they learn to finish games and the eek out 10 wins in a promising season

2) The Gruden shtick wears thin and the wheels fall off completely. The Oline proves young and mediocre, Carr regresses and players start chirping privately. They win 5 games and things look grim

In Tampa, he wore thin on players. The losses piled up and they were done with him. They need to get wins early and often this year to give this squad something to play for. Gruden the coach will be tested this year. He blew up and Oline, rebuilt a defense. He has a lot to prove year 4.

Option 2, we fire Gruden, Bradley becomes HC, and we still suck but this time with a good defense.

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6 hours ago, big_palooka said:

That isn't that far fetched. The Raiders have the worst roster in the division easily. 

KC is miles better and got better this offseason with Reed addition and a rebuilt Oline. Chargers,  I think the Raiders can split with them. If Herbert builds on last season, it could be tough. Denver they just don't have the QB, but if Lock turns a corner (doubtful) they are going to be a tough team.

No two seasons are the same. Just because they beat KC a year ago doesn't mean they will again. Way to many question marks with the Raiders right now. Oline and WR being unproved. So many young players on defense they will rely on to boost that unit. I don't like this team for 2021. They look more built for 2022

Worse than last year's? I don't buy it at all. This team is better than they look on paper, especially on offense.

WR was unproven last year and we still shredded teams through the air.

The defense is the best it's been on paper in a decade.

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52 minutes ago, MrOaktown_56 said:

Worse than last year's? I don't buy it at all. This team is better than they look on paper, especially on offense.

WR was unproven last year and we still shredded teams through the air.

The defense is the best it's been on paper in a decade.

Which is pretty sad considering it’s still a below-average defensive roster on paper.

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Just now, BayRaider said:

Which is pretty sad considering it’s still a below-average defensive roster on paper.

Below average rn definitely. It really is contingent on the young guys to step up. That could elevate it if they can progress.

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2 hours ago, MrOaktown_56 said:

Worse than last year's? I don't buy it at all. This team is better than they look on paper, especially on offense.

WR was unproven last year and we still shredded teams through the air.

The defense is the best it's been on paper in a decade.

Better than last years sure, but still not up to the same level as the teams in the division. There are 2 A players on this team if you are generous with Yannik.

LA, KC and Denver have A level players and high B level talents all over their rosters by comparisons.

So yes, the Raiders improved their roster in areas. But so did the other teams in the divions. 

And the offense "on paper" looks worst imo. The unproven Oline is going to be a problem. It's beyond obvious to me. You don't loose that amount of veteran leadership on a unit and not regress. They may be fine in a year or two, but there are going to be massive growing pains.

Defense is not the best it's been on paper in a decade because any defense on paper with all-pro Kahlil Mack was better. 

On paper... Mack, Irvin, Edwards Jr., Autry, Riley, Amerson, Sean Smith looked like a great unit in the last decade. And actually did well that season. 

I like the optimism, but a lot will need to go right for this team in the trenches. 

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7 minutes ago, big_palooka said:

Better than last years sure, but still not up to the same level as the teams in the division. There are 2 A players on this team if you are generous with Yannik.

LA, KC and Denver have A level players and high B level talents all over their rosters by comparisons.

So yes, the Raiders improved their roster in areas. But so did the other teams in the divions. 

And the offense "on paper" looks worst imo. The unproven Oline is going to be a problem. It's beyond obvious to me. You don't loose that amount of veteran leadership on a unit and not regress. They may be fine in a year or two, but there are going to be massive growing pains.

Defense is not the best it's been on paper in a decade because any defense on paper with all-pro Kahlil Mack was better. 

On paper... Mack, Irvin, Edwards Jr., Autry, Riley, Amerson, Sean Smith looked like a great unit in the last decade. And actually did well that season. 

I like the optimism, but a lot will need to go right for this team in the trenches. 

Definitely this was the closest one. But the LB were miserable and so was the secondary that year. We'll see. The OL is a gamble. But besides Hudson, who are we really shuffling? Good and Incognito are still vets. Kolton is a mainstay. It's really on the 2 new starters, James and Leatherwood. And more importantly, the staff helping them by playing to their strengths and not putting leatherwood on an island with Von Miller without a tight end/back to chip.

More importantly, as you alluded to, I'm actually feeling better about the long term outlook of this team for the first time in a while.

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I’ll change my prediction from 8-9 to 9-8 since my two requests of an outside corner and the extra home game were met. 
 

Anything short of 10-7 is a complete failure at this point of the Mayock/Gruden regime though, so I hope I’m wrong. 

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37 minutes ago, big_palooka said:

Better than last years sure, but still not up to the same level as the teams in the division. There are 2 A players on this team if you are generous with Yannik.

LA, KC and Denver have A level players and high B level talents all over their rosters by comparisons.

So yes, the Raiders improved their roster in areas. But so did the other teams in the divions. 

And the offense "on paper" looks worst imo. The unproven Oline is going to be a problem. It's beyond obvious to me. You don't loose that amount of veteran leadership on a unit and not regress. They may be fine in a year or two, but there are going to be massive growing pains.

Defense is not the best it's been on paper in a decade because any defense on paper with all-pro Kahlil Mack was better. 

On paper... Mack, Irvin, Edwards Jr., Autry, Riley, Amerson, Sean Smith looked like a great unit in the last decade. And actually did well that season. 

I like the optimism, but a lot will need to go right for this team in the trenches. 

It didn't stop us from beating KC once and losing a close, tightly contested, easily winnable game. We also beat LAC once, and lost the other game against them with our backup QB throwing an INT in chip shot range of the game winning field goal. We beat Denver twice, one game an absolute dominant win by us, and the other game came down to the final play. 

I'm not saying we are the most talented team in the division or I expect us to win the division or anything like that. But divisional games are always tightly contested. Literally every single game inside the division for us last year came down to basically one final play, excluding the one blowout win over the Broncos and the largest loss for the Chiefs in the Mahomes era. 

That to me says that while some may say we are the least talented roster in the division, the results last year say that we were the 2nd best team in the division. And while I liked what the Chargers have done this off season, they will be a good team, Denver has done alright, but I'd be much more worried about them this year and particularly in the future had they drafted Fields. 

The Chiefs did a good job rebuilding their offensive line for sure, but now they are looking at a unit without much cohesion and playing time together and their defense is far from a juggernaut. So while they should be the favorites because of Mahomes and Reid they still have question marks and holes. With how close we played them in the loss and how good we looked in their house I wouldn't write both Chiefs games being losses in marker just yet. 

You can argue the Chargers are more talented sure. But they have consistently been hit as hard as any team in the league with injuries. They have a history of choking and blowing games they should win the past 5 years or so. They have a new HC who I think will be good but a lot of coaches that are highly thought of show that they aren't cut out for the HC role. Their defense has lost some key pieces that have been big players for them for years. And teams will now have a years full of tape on Herbert and he wouldn't be the first QB to come out blazing and take a huge step back in year 2. As good as Herbert was as a rookie, I wouldn't say he played at an elite level if you don't throw in the for a rookie at the end. 

The Broncos have a very talented football team. But they have a HC who at this point hasn't been able to translate that into wins. I'd go as far to say Fiangio is a great DC but a bad HC. And as much talent as they have, they've had comparable talent the past couple years and due to their inability to get good QB play all that talent is wasting away. They don't have the defensive talent they won it all with Peytons last year. And Lock nor Bridgewater is going to be the guy that turns this team into a threat. 

I suppose you could make an argument we are the least talented team in the division (I disagree with that completely), that still resulted in us being 4-2 last year in the division. And honestly it could have been 3-2 or 2-4 if you want to be negative, but it could just as easily been 6-0. The talented hasn't this off season become such a discrepancy that we feel like we're incapable of beating every team in the division. We definitely shouldn't say 1-5 is realistic. That's a worst case scenario type of thing IMO. All the other teams have huge question marks at key positions/coaches. If we want to be all negative about our look we shouldn't look at every other teams questions and give them the benefit of the doubt. 

KC is the big favorite to win the division, obviously. Outside of that, I could argue we are clearly the front runner for #2 in the division. The talent level is pretty close all across the board so I don't get or agree with the idea we are the least talented roster in the AFC West. 

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59 minutes ago, Mr Raider said:

It didn't stop us from beating KC once and losing a close, tightly contested, easily winnable game. We also beat LAC once, and lost the other game against them with our backup QB throwing an INT in chip shot range of the game winning field goal. We beat Denver twice, one game an absolute dominant win by us, and the other game came down to the final play. 

How is any of this relevant to the 2021 season? Every Raider fan hangs onto what happened last year as if that matters. Team change significantly year to year. 

How the Raiders played KC in 2020 is completely irrelevant to me. KC is the better team. They are the team that is winning the division and going to the playoffs. Raider fans cling to this one win and "almost beat them twice" thing to the death. Fact is, they were 3 wins away from being in the playoffs and their roster is currently below average almost the AFC as a whole. 

1 hour ago, Mr Raider said:

The Chiefs did a good job rebuilding their offensive line for sure, but now they are looking at a unit without much cohesion and playing time together and their defense is far from a juggernaut. So while they should be the favorites because of Mahomes and Reid they still have question marks and holes. With how close we played them in the loss and how good we looked in their house I wouldn't write both Chiefs games being losses in marker just yet. 

But they have a bunch of veteran guys. What about the Raider Oline of patchwork players and their cohesion. KC has hardly any holes. Best QB in the game. Top 3 coach in the game. The Raiders have to play their best game, 100% mistake free and still need KC to make mistakes to win. If KC give Vegas their A game, they win by a mile.

1 hour ago, Mr Raider said:

I suppose you could make an argument we are the least talented team in the division (I disagree with that completely), that still resulted in us being 4-2 last year in the division.

Herbert was a rookie and Denver had a rash of injuries, a bad QB and still needed Fangio to screw his team to win a game. It's not being negative, it's facts.

Bottom line, the Raiders are not one of the top 7 teams in the AFC. Not even close. They can compete, but unless some players come out of absolute know where and blow up, this team is on the outside looking in.

KC, Cleveland, Indy, Tennessee, Baltimore, Miami, New England, Buffalo are all superior in every aspect from coaching to talent. 

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7 hours ago, big_palooka said:

I see one of two scenarios playing out and we will learn a lot about Gruden this year. 

1) The team is middle of the pack, maybe a few games break their way as they learn to finish games and the eek out 10 wins in a promising season

2) The Gruden shtick wears thin and the wheels fall off completely. The Oline proves young and mediocre, Carr regresses and players start chirping privately. They win 5 games and things look grim

In Tampa, he wore thin on players. The losses piled up and they were done with him. They need to get wins early and often this year to give this squad something to play for. Gruden the coach will be tested this year. He blew up and Oline, rebuilt a defense. He has a lot to prove year 4.

He can't wear thin on players because he gets rid of all the vets the young guys haven't been around long enough.

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