We are just a few days away from the Las Vegas Raiders opening up the 2023 season against the Broncos in Denver. The Raiders are 4.5-point underdogs going into that game despite winning the last six matchups against the Broncos.
The national media just isn’t very high on this version of the Raiders as most believe they will be among the worst teams in the league. That shouldn’t be all that surprising after finishing the 2022 season with a record of 6-11.
In a recent article by Eric Edholm of NFL.com, he ranked all 32 teams heading into the 2023 season. The Raiders actually moved up two spots from his last ranking, coming in at No. 27. Here is why he believes the Raiders will be among the worst teams in the NFL this season:
Very little carries over year to year in the NFL, but the Raiders have been bottom dwellers in two major statistical categories the past several years: turnovers and sacks.
The Raiders forced a paltry 13 turnovers last season and — get this! — haven’t topped 17 in a season since 2016, when Garoppolo and Josh McDaniels were winning a Super Bowl in New England together.
If the Raiders want to be competitive, the defense has to get better. That much we know. They have to find a way to create turnovers and give the offense short fields.
If they are unable to do that in 2023, it could be a long year for the Raiders. But if they can double their turnover production, don’t be surprised if they find a way to get to 8-9 wins this season.