Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season is officially in the books. Many surprises came out of the first week. Kyler Murray emerged as an MVP candidate, the Steelers shocked the Bills, and many rookies balled out.
Perhaps the talk of the week was the Monday Night Football thriller between the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders. This was the first game for the Raiders in front of a crowd in their new home stadium.
Many people couldn’t tell you what happened in the beginning, but they could tell you about the historic 4th quarter.
The Raiders were able to tie the game three times in the last 9:18 of the game. Tied at 27 going into overtime, Derek Carr with help from his defense was able to come in clutch and win 33-27.
Well, this seems to happen every year. The Raiders hype gets crazy at the beginning of the year. Think of last year, when the Raiders shocked the Saints early on. Everyone, including myself, believed the Raiders were legit. So is the Raiders hype real this year? Let’s dive deep and find out.
Is the Raiders hype for Real?
The Raiders hype was proven to be fraud last year. After victories against the Chiefs and Saints early in the season, people were convinced that Derek Carr would take this team far.
The problem was, they were very inconsistent. They ended up finishing the season 8-8 last year.
For every team like the Chiefs that they beat last year, there was a team like the Falcons that they would lose to. The Raiders couldn’t seem to string together a winning formula.
The Raiders hype got really out of hand when they upset the Chiefs in a thriller, where Derek Carr had a career game.
Derek Carr: The Most Underrated quarterback in the League
— NFL (@NFL) September 14, 2021
There are two sides to this argument. One side will say that Derek Carr is very underrated and isn’t appreciated enough. The other side will say that Carr is very inconsistent and not a good quarterback.
People often forget about his MVP caliber season in 2016, where he went 12-3 as the starter before breaking his leg right before the playoffs. It also doesn’t help that he lost Amari Cooper in a trade.
Against the Ravens, Carr threw for 435 yards and two touchdowns. Carr seemed really comfortable in the pocket and throwing off his back foot. It also helps that Darren Waller is one of the best tight ends in the league, and catches everything thrown his way.
The Carl Nassib forced fumble that set up the Raiders’ game-winner TD 💪
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 14, 2021
The Las Vegas defense seems like it is taking shape. Defensive end Maxx Crosby seems like he could be legit. He was able to record two sacks against the Ravens. Carl Nassib also got himself a sack against Lamar Jackson, a very tough task.
Nassib also had the forced fumble in overtime that set up the game-winning touchdown for the Raiders. Though the secondary seems a little shaky at times, the Raiders should have a top-half defense in the league.
Since the seventh team in the playoffs was introduced last season, it shook things up a lot. It seemed that the Raiders had a good shot last season but ultimately didn’t make it.
The Raiders schedule is no slouch at all. They will play the entire AFC North, the Chiefs twice, as well as the Cowboys and Steelers. All very good teams.
If Derek Carr is legit, they will get to the playoffs. Is the Raiders hype for real? It is way too early to tell. Let’s get to the halfway point of the season and revisit this topic.
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