Raiders vs Panthers
Photo Credit: Sporting News

Game Preview: Raiders vs Panthers – 9/13/2020

www.FranchiseSportsMedia.com

 

The 2020 NFL season is upon us. It’s the inaugural season for your new Las Vegas Raiders as they take on the Carolina Panthers.

 

Raiders vs Panthers
Photo Credit: Matt Aguirre/ Las Vegas Raiders

The wait is finally over, Raider Nation, as the 2020 NFL season kicks off this week with a lot of exciting matchups. A season that seemed impossible just a month or so ago is finally underway. The Las Vegas Raiders start their inaugural season down in Carolina, where they go up against Christian McCaffrey and a star-studded squad.

The 2020 fantasy football favorite finished last season third in total yards rushing, third in rushing touchdowns, and first in receiving yards by a running back with 1,005 yards to go along with four touchdowns.

Carolina also made a permanent quarterback change signing Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year deal worth up to sixty-three million. The Panthers have a lot of faith in Bridgewater to lead the team as Super Bowl contenders as he was able to go a perfect 5-0 last season when he started for the New Orleans Saints. 

These two in the backfield present some issues for defenses, but nothing the new-look Raiders shouldn’t be able to handle.

 

The Raiders defense come into this game fresh with no injuries. Meaning fans can finally witness Las Vegas’ full defensive potential out on the field.

 

Raiders vs Panthers
Photo Credit: AP

Defensive end Maxx Crosby has been activated from the COVID-19 list and is ready for week one’s start. Crosby led the team with ten sacks in his rookie season last year.

The Raiders’ promising safety Johnathan Abram will line up at strong safety for the first time since September of 2019. Abram missed the rest of the 2019 season after suffering a rotator cuff injury in the first game against the Denver Broncos. Now he is prepared to join a gritty, stiff-nosed, young defensive crew.

Damon Arnette will make his NFL debut this Sunday at cornerback. Las Vegas look to improve their defensive back depth and expect an immediate impact from Arnette, who was taken with the 19th pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

With Arnette, Lamarcus Joyner, Trayvon Mullen, Keisean Nixon, Isaiah Johnson, and rookie Amik Robertson, the Raiders have a young, talented, and potentially exciting defensive backfield.

 

Just Win Baby!

 

The Las Vegas Raiders finished out their last season in Oakland with a 7-9 record, unfortunately not in a playoff spot. The Raiders have not had a playoff appearance since 2016, and they look to get back on track this year.

For the 2020 season, the NFL has commissioned a new and reformed playoff format. Instead of 12 teams, there will now be a total of 14; 7 for both the NFC and AFC conferences. The top seed from the four divisions will clinch a spot, in addition to three wild card seeds. Wild card weekend will feature two more games while the squad with the best record in each conference will receive a first-round bye.

This is an excellent opportunity for Las Vegas to get back to the Super Bowl contenders they once were. Overcoming the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West division will be a challenging feat, but allowing three wild card spots gives the Raiders a fighting chance for a playoff birth in their first season in Sin City.

 

Commitment to Excellence

 

wwjd - raiders quarterbacks - thou shall not covet other quarterbacks - Derek Carr
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites Franchise Sports Media

The pressure is on for the Las Vegas Raiders. It’s their first season in the new city and not just any city. The Raiders are coming to what is arguably be the mecca of entertainment in the entire world. All eyes are watching as the Raiders look to make a good first impression and make their mark on the 2020 season.

Who has the most to prove?

That would be the man who leads the offense: Derek Carr. He is entering the third year of his contract as he intends to turn things around for his offense. Since Carr’s 2016 MVP-caliber season, he has gone just 17-30 as a starter. In 2019, the Raiders ranked in the bottom 10 in the NFL in total points scored, as well as points per game.

When asked if he ever thought about opting-out of the season for COVID-19 related reasons, the seventh-year quarterback stated, “I have a lot to prove to myself. I have a lot to prove to my organization. I’m going to be completely honest with you: I’m tired of being disrespected. So there was no question I was going to play this year.”

 

Carr gets a new weapon to deal to as well. With their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Raiders selected Henry Ruggs III. 

 

 

Raiders vs Panthers
Photo Credit: John Loche

Speed is an understatement for Ruggs III. The rookie phenom recorded a 4.27 40-yard dash at the combine. It was just shy of the all-time record 4.22 set by John Ross back in 2017. However, it was the fastest in his class, which caught head coach John Gruden and the Raiders’ attention.

Gruden plans to utilize his speedy receiver as a deep threat for Carr. Ruggs’ presence in the slot will free up pressure for other wideouts like Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and Bryan Edwards. 

Ruggs will also open up the “the box” for Josh Jacobs, the Raiders elite running back. Jacobs won’t face as many eight or nine-man fronts and should be able to run for days.

If teams decide to crowd the box, Carr, Ruggs, and the Raiders, other wide receivers should be able to put up some huge numbers. Jon Gruden’s offense could be entertaining to watch in 2020.

 

For more information and news on the Las Vegas Raiders, go to Raiders.com.

 

 

 

Do not miss history as the Las Vegas Raiders start their inaugural season against the Carolina Panthers at 10:00am PT, on CBS. 

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-Justin Brooks – Franchise Sports Media

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