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2021 Playoff Analysis: Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
Elite Quarterback
7 points
Premiere Offensive Weapons
2 points per player
Hunter Renfrow
Josh Jacobs
Darren Waller
Zay Jones
Elite Pass Rushers
4 points per player
Maxx Crosby
Yannick Ngakoue
Quality Offensive Coaching
6 points
Quality Defensive Coaching
6 points
Number of Successful Comebacks
7 total points if the team successfully staged at least 3 comebacks
Elimination Game Experience
2 points each for offense, defense, and special teams units, provided a majority of key role players on a given unit have experience in elimination game scenarios.
Special Teams
Quarterback Elimination Game Experience
6 points if a quarterback has experience in an elimination game
Score Range
29 - 35

Ah, the Raiders…many kudos to them for reaching the playoffs even after all the drama that beset them since Jon Gruden was forced to abruptly resign. Rich Bisacchia has done a yeoman’s work here, shepherding this organization through numerous scandals and staging multiple comebacks to take his team into the postseason.

Even though Las Vegas is a last-minute entrant, the reality is that this club has some legitimate talent. It may honestly be one of the only postseason entrants to boast two dominant pass rushers. On top of that, the offense holds serious promise, though injuries and a lack of imaginative coaching may keep them from ever realizing much of that potential. Ever since Henry Ruggs decided to take his talents to prison, the Raiders have been missing that deep threat that lent the offense an air of explosiveness. Zay Jones has come the closest to replacing Ruggs in that aspect, but the eye test tells me Derek Carr has yet to really bond with Jones - I’ve seen Carr miss Jones on too many open throws to make me question whether Jones can be counted as a reliable route runner.

Listen, Vegas can surprise quite a few folks in the wild card - some key people on Cincinnati’s roster are missing elimination-game experience, most notably Joe Burrow. If Burrow and company are caught rattled by nerves, the Raiders can seize an early lead here. And Cincinnati’s never really demonstrated a panache for comebacks this season, surrendering as many comebacks as they’ve successfully staged. Actually, the Raiders have proven themselves much better in that regard. So Las Vegas has upset surprise written all over them…

Las Vegas can win their first postseason game in a long while if
Joe Burrow and the Bengals end up playing sloppily in their first serious elimination game in the big leagues. Given enough opportunities, Vegas has shown itself more than capable of punishing opponents for carelessness.