The Raiders are not the most successful franchise in the NFL but their unabashed embrace of the bad boy reputation forged by the late Al Davis, and perpetuated by his son Mark, is undeniable. As we all know, the team could not successfully negotiate a new stadium deal in Oakland so they took their football, initially to LA where the NFL power brokers nixed the deal in favor of the Chargers move from San Diego and wound up in Vegas – right where they belong.
Sin City Perfect Fit for Raiders
Now the question is, will the new venue improve their chances of winning the Super Bowl? Well, if the palpable electricity that the novelty of an NFL franchise will bring to each and every home game next season is one of those intangibles we often talk about, but can’t quite quantify, then the answer is yes. But winning the Super Bowl is far more complex than a simple change of location because results matter whether you’re in the warm weather climes of Las Vegas or the frozen tundra of Green Bay.
But if there was ever a franchise built for Sin City then you could do no better than the swashbuckling, devil-may-care reputation that has been carefully cultivated over the decades and has become the sine qua non of the Raiders’ franchise. The stands will be full and the atmosphere will resemble Mardi Gras on eight Sundays throughout the season. It will be a boon for the city and the franchise, a marriage made in heaven – if heaven consists of drunken faux pirates mixed with the leather and lace backdrop of scantily clad cheerleaders in a city where scantily clad is the norm and far from the exception.
The only people not benefiting from this move are the rabid Oakland-based Raiders’ fans who supported the team through thick and thin over the years. Fortunately, their team is only a little over an hour away by plane which is a small price to pay to see the Raiders welcomed into the lovin’ arms of a city that embodies the same lusty passions as the franchise itself. Viva Las Vegas – the Raiders have found the perfect home!
What’s Next for the Raiders in 2020?
Nothing would be more compelling for the Raiders than to woo an aw-shucks, dimple chinned schoolboy like Tom Brady from the austere environs of the New England Patriots to a hell-bent-on-destruction team like the Raiders in their inaugural Sin City season. It would be the bright red cherry on a bourbon-infused hot fudge sundae sprinkled with a liberal dose of, how do ya like me now?!
If we click over to Sportsbook Review, the sports betting industry’s watchdog, we can see that many of the best online sportsbooks are dealing odds on where Tom Terrific’s next landing spot will be, including his home of the last 20 years. According to the oddsmakers, the Raiders are the third choice to land the future Hall-of-Famer at +650, trailing only New England (-180), and Tennessee (+550). If John Gruden can work his Chuckie magic and convince TB12 that shedding his letterman sweater for a leather jacket would be a great way to close out his star-studded career then man, oh man, we’re cookin’ with gas! Derek Carr, we hardly knew ye.
But short of that coup, the Raiders will have redemption on their minds after a disappointing 7-9 campaign and will look to address many of their needs through the draft. When April rolls around and the NFL’s annual meat market arrives, the Raiders will have the 12th and 19th overall picks, the latter coming courtesy of their trade with the Bears for Khalil Mack along with Chicago’s third-rounder this year. In short, Las Vegas (feels strange to type that) will have a pair of first-rounders, three third-round picks, a fourth, and a seventh.
The Raiders need to get a speed burner who can stretch the field and put up crooked numbers on the scoreboard. There is certainly no dearth of talented wide receivers in this draft which means the team could address other needs and still get a valuable piece of their offensive puzzle in the third round. And although it would be an exciting prospect to see Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy or Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb in the Silver & Black, there are other pressing concerns.
Of course, if Gruden and the Raiders’ brass decided on plucking an edge rusher at No. 12, they might still be able to land, fingers crossed, whoever is remaining between Jeudy and Lamb at No. 19. Fast forward to the third round and there will undoubtedly be another valuable wideout waiting to complement Jeudy or Lamb if the dominoes fall just right.