The Raiders are receiving national recognition after their 3-0 start to the season. In ESPN’s Week 4 Power Rankings, the Raiders come in at #5, which is the second-highest ranking among AFC teams and highest among AFC West teams.
The Rams, Buccaneers, Bills, and Packers are ranked #1 through #4 in that order. Notably, the Chiefs fell all the way to #10 after their home loss to the Chargers. The Chargers and Broncos are ranked #9 and #13, respectively.
ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez had this to say about the Raiders’ success:
With little to no running game early in contests to speak of and a makeshift offensive line held together by duct tape, the one-dimensional attack has thrived rather than suffered.– Paul Gutierrez, ESPN
The Las Vegas Raiders’ stock during head coach Jon Gruden’s second stint has never been higher. QB Derek Carr leads the league in passing yards and is among the MVP front-runners across the league. The Raiders are on outlandish offensive pace. TE Darren Waller and WRs Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, and Hunter Renfrow are all on pace for 1,000 yard seasons.
“We have a lot of confidence in our receiving corps,” head coach Jon Gruden said Monday. “They may be young, but they’re talented, they’re reliable, they’re tough, and they’re versatile. And they are explosive.”
While the Raiders’ offensive pace is not likely sustainable, their early season success is undeniable. Carr is delivering elite-level throws each and every week. The Raiders were counting on big second-year leaps in the offseason from Ruggs and Edwards, and both young players are stepping up. Ruggs and Edwards are not only winning against strong secondaries, but they are coming up big in clutch moments.
“I’ve probably got to get them involved more as a playcaller early, they need to get themselves a little more involved early as well,” Gruden said. “…but the bottom line is they are getting better, and everybody sees it, everybody know it, and that’s exciting for us.”
Gus Bradley and the Raiders defense deserves significant credit for the team’s lofty position in the Week 4 power rankings. The defense has jumped to league average ranks in both points and yards allowed, which has put the offense in position to succeed consistently. The Raiders rank 4th in the NFL in pressures with 37. DE Maxx Crosby leads all NFL players in pressures with 15.
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