On Thursday, October 22nd, the Las Vegas Raiders entered an incredibly tumultuous time in their 2020 season by placing the entire starting offensive line on the COVID-19 reserve list a mere three days before their Sunday night game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As of now, the game has been rescheduled to the four o’clock afternoon slate. However, that could change. That being said, matchups will be broken down with the assumption that the typical starters are playing.
Bucs in Town
The Raiders’ Week 7 matchup features Tom Brady and the 4-2 Buccaneers. Despite a rocky start, the Buccaneers appear to have their game together. Following a 38-10 victory over the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers, Tampa looks ready. The Bucs schemed against Aaron Rodgers perfectly, holding one of the league’s best passers to 160 yards. For the last couple of years, the Bucs’ defensive line has been one of the game’s most underrated and should make things difficult. On the other side of the ball, Tom Brady, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin should give the Raiders’ young defensive backs fits. This would be a colossal win for Las Vegas, as it would move the team to 4-2.
Lake Erie Encounter
Following the Buccaneers, the Raiders will travel to Cleveland to do battle with the Browns. The league’s former laughingstock has been trending upwards recently. Yet, after receiving a thorough shellacking from the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns looked shaky. Three of the Browns’ victories come against the Bengals, Cowboys, and Washington Football Team. Those teams (combined 4-13-1 record) allowed a combined 88 points in these three games. So, the jury may still be out on Cleveland’s true potential. In the Browns’ two losses, the team scored a total of 13 points. Regardless of which Browns the Raiders see, this should result in a Vegas victory.
Las Vegas’ following two matchups will come against AFC West foes, first traveling back to their original state of California to square off with the Chargers. Los Angeles plays better than their 1-4 record, and Justin Herbert deserves the credit. But, Herbert has not yet shown his ability to close games out, meaning the Raiders should at least have a fighting chance until the clock hits zero. Hopefully, it will not come down to that as the Raiders should win handily, even with their offensive attack being hindered by the Chargers’ dangerous defense.
Raiders Layover in Denver
Facing off against the Broncos did not seem all that fear-instilling at the beginning of the season, but after defeating the Patriots in Week 6, the Broncos are rising on the scary scale and have just passed Casper the Friendly Ghost. Against the Patriots, the Broncos defense kept Cam Newton in check while the offense tried to “field goal” the Pats to death. Another low-scoring game could occur, but three Raiders touchdowns should do the trick.
All in all, the Raiders should come out of this stretch with at least a 6-3 (3-1 over this stretch) record. As a result, this should completely solidify themselves as a playoff team