The Las Vegas Raiders did not shy away from the arms race that was going on the AFC West this offseason. While the Broncos made the biggest splash for a quarterback, the Raiders are not far behind now that they have acquired Davante Adams and Chandler Jones.
The Jones addition may be flying under the radar considering how big the Adams bombshell was. Still, you are talking about a player who hit 15 sacks in a season twice, and is second amongst active players in sacks. He also ranks 25th all-time.
This is a rather significant move. What does it mean for the Las Vegas Raiders? What are some off of the wall predictions?
3. Maxx Crosby Will Have More Sacks Than Chandler Jones
This may surprise some because Maxx Crosby has hit 10 sacks once in his first three seasons. Meanwhile, Jones has hit 10 sacks six times in the past seven seasons. Jones had 10.5 sacks last year while Crosby had eight. However, this is the year that the two reverse paths and Crosby becomes the sack master.
The first reason is that Jones is getting older, and Crosby is entering his prime. Jones will be 32, while Crosby will be 25. Typically you see the 25-year-old hit his peak while the 32-year old will start to slow down. Crosby has always been eclectic, but has not had that consistent force across from him to take pressure away. Jones may not eat himself, but taking the added blocks away from Crosby will open him up.
It is going to happen eventually and will start this year with Crosby outpacing Jones.
2. Chargers Duo Will Out-Sack Raiders Duo
The big news in the AFC West is that the LA Chargers added Khalil Mack to pair with Joey Bosa. With Jones and Crosby in the mix, the question becomes, who will get more sacks?
Last season, Mack and Bosa combined for 16.5 sacks while Jones and Crosby hit 18.5. This year, Mack and Bosa will beat the Raiders’ duo. Jones had 10.5 sacks, but had five in the first week of the season. That means just five in the final 16 games. Considering he is coming off a serious injury in 2020 and will be unlikely to get five sacks in a game again, it is hard to see the 32-year-old sticking to his peak and typical 10-sack a season pace.
Mack was injured last season, but now that he has someone like Joey Bosa across from him it is hard to see him struggling to get back. Beyond that, Bosa has never had someone opposite to him, and of Mack, Jones, Crosby, and Bosa, Bosa should be the bet to lead the group in sacks.
1. Raiders Will Finish Ahead Of Chiefs In The Final Standings
When the Broncos and Chargers were loading up, fans were wondering if the Raiders should just pack it in. That is when they added Chandler Jones and Davante Adams and showed the NFL that they are all-in. The reason is that Josh McDaniels thinks he can win with Derek Carr.
When you consider how awful their season was off of the field, and they still made the playoffs, you have to respect their 2021 season. Beyond that, they were in the Bengals’ house and had the ball in the red zone to beat them. Things broke horribly and they were a 10-yard pass away from beating the AFC Champions in the playoffs.
When you add in Adams, Jones, a new coach, and more, you have to like the way this team is trending. On the flip side, it was the Chiefs who decided to get younger after watching so many around them buy. Is this a re-load year in Kansas City?
It could set up for the Raiders winning a few more than last year, and the Chiefs a few less. They were already close in the standings, so we could see a flip.