Raiders vs chiefs
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New FSM Feature: The 2022-23 Las Vegas Raiders – A Retrospective Look Ahead

Franchise Sports Media

 

For the Las Vegas Raiders, 2022 featured the good, the bad, and the ugly. Despite star performances throughout the season from Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, and Maxx Crosby, Raider Nation underachieved at 6-11. By year’s end, franchise leader Derek Carr had to be replaced. So what happens next?

 

Raiders vs Chiefs
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Sure, the title sounds rather oxy-moronic, but as someone wiser than I once said, “It can be useful to look back to better know where you’re headed.” Naturally, this Raiders season left us reflecting on our own sanity week-in and week-out, but somehow, we made it through to the other side. So, as everyone in the NFL would like to know, what exactly happens next for the Las Vegas Raiders?

By now, the fan base and team personnel have received Derek Carr’s official digital farewell, taking to his personal social media channels to thank Raider Nation for the good, the bad, and the ugly. As the team’s most recognizable icon of the past decade, Carr holds most of the franchise’s all-time passing (completions, completion rate, yardage, touchdowns, etc.) marks. Where the Silver & Black go next at signal-caller is ultimately the most urgent question.

Still, the quarterback was not the only troubled spot for the Raiders this season, nor was it their most troubled spot. As we all saw, the pass defense was atrocious for much of the year, allowing a whopping 4,129 yards through the air (only Tennessee, Minnesota, and Detroit allowed more). Additionally, Las Vegas’ play in the clutch on both sides of the ball rarely delivered in 2022. Of course, the nine losses by a single score would indicate as much.

But as aforementioned, it was not all bad over the previous five months. WR Davante Adams came to play for his childhood team and delivered in a major way. After just one season in Vegas, he’ll likely earn his third 1st team NFL All-Pro selection (or the system is broken). Then there was tailback Josh Jacobs: Quietly, the ‘Bama-boy produced the best season by a Raiders running back since Marcus Allen’s MVP year in 1985.

Ultimately, the sharp offensive numbers in 2022 did not translate to many wins. So what exactly went wrong, and how can it get better? Here’s how it seems from my perspective.

 

2022-23 RESULTS

 

AUGUST – PRESEASON
04 HOF game: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 11
14
PRE1: Raiders 26 – Vikings 20 (HOME)
20
PRE2: Raiders 15 – Dolphins 13 (AWAY)
26 PRE3: Raiders 23 – Patriots 6
(HOME)

 

SEPTEMBER
11 WK1: Chargers 24 – Raiders 19 (L) (AWAY)
18 WK2: Cardinals 29 – Raiders 23 (L)/(OT) (HOME)
25 WK3: Titans 24 – Raiders 22 (L) (AWAY)


OCTOBER
02 WK4: Raiders 32 – Broncos 23 (W) (HOME)
10 WK5: Chiefs 30 – Raiders 29 (L) (AWAY)
16 WK6: BYE
23 WK7: Raiders 38 – Texans 20 (W)
(HOME)
30 WK8: Saints 24 – Raiders 0 (L) (AWAY)


NOVEMBER
06 WK9: Jaguars 27 – Raiders 20 (L) (AWAY)
13 WK10: Colts 25 – Raiders 20 (L) (HOME)
20 WK11: Raiders 22 – Broncos 16 (W)/(OT) (AWAY)
27 WK12: Raiders 40 – Seahawks 34 (W)/(OT) (AWAY)


DECEMBER
04 WK13: Raiders 27 – Chargers 20 (W) (HOME)
08 WK14: Rams 17 – Raiders 16 (L) (AWAY)
20 WK15: Raiders 30 – Patriots 24 (W) (HOME)
27 WK16: Steelers 13 – Raiders 10 (L) (AWAY)


JANUARY
01 WK17: 49ers 37 – Raiders 34 (L)/(OT) (HOME)
07 WK18: Chiefs 31 – Raiders 13 (L) (HOME)

 

Home record: 4-4
Away record: 2-7
Within division: 3-3
Within conference: 5-7
vs. NFC: 1-4
On grass: 6-8
On turf: 0-3
Indoors: 4-7
Outdoors: 2-4

 

2022-23 OFFENSIVE production: 6,241 yards (12th overall – 4,182 passing/2,059 rushing)
Scoring: 41 touchdowns (28 passing/12 rushing) – ZERO 2pt conversions.

 

Offensive leaders:


PASSING: QB Derek Carr – 305 completions of 502 pass attempts (60.8%)/3,522 yards/24 touchdowns (14 interceptions)
RUSHING: RB Josh Jacobs – 340 rush attempts/1,653* yards (4.9 YPC)/12 rushing touchdowns
RECEIVING: WR Davante Adams – 100 receptions/1,516 yards (15.2 YPR)/14* receiving touchdowns

 

2022-23 DEFENSIVE production: 6,216 yards allowed (28th overall – 4,129 passing/2,087 rushing)
Scoring: 45 touchdowns allowed (25 passing/20 rushing)

 

Defensive leaders:


TACKLES:
DE Maxx Crosby – 89 tackles/22* tackles for loss, three forced fumbles)
SACKS: DE Max Crosby – 12.5 quarterback sacks
INTERCEPTIONS: S Duron Harmon, LB Denzel Perryman, CB Amik Robertson – 2 INT
PDF: CB Amik Robertson – 9 passes defended

*Denotes NFL league leader

 

PINNACLE MOMENT OF 2022-23

 

Back-to-back walk-off wins on the road via the big play

I genuinely enjoyed having consecutive walk-off wins straddle the Thanksgiving holiday. Not only were the two wins delivered by two of the Raiders’ best players (again, Adams & Jacobs) in thrilling fashion, but the performances came in hostile road environments. As a hated division rival, it is paramount for the Raiders to beat the Broncos at Mile High, while the SeahawksLumen Field is as raucous a venue as there is in the NFL. So, when Adams won the game in Denver with a 35-yard touchdown, then Jacobs did the same on an 86-yard romp the following week over leftover turkey sandwiches, it was pretty special.

 

LOW POINT OF 2022-223

 

Collectively, losing a total of nine games by one-score

Speaking directly, 2022 was one of the most mentally-taxing seasons on record for Raider Nation, and we all know that is a bold statement to make, given how 2021 went. Still, I witnessed in person the collapse at home against Arizona, and it really took me about 24 hours to process what the hell and how the hell that happened. Then a few weeks later, on Monday Night Football, the Raiders had Kansas City on the ropes early only to cough up a three-score lead and lose with their best two receivers colliding.

Several weeks after that, there was the loss to the Colts that was uniquely off-putting since it came at the hands of Jeff Saturday, who had not a game of NFL coaching experience at that point. From there, brutal losses to the Rams (who literally just finished introducing Baker Mayfield prior), the Steelers, and the 49ers followed. Very easily, the Raiders could have found their record reciprocated at 11-6 and contending in the postseason. You really can’t make this stuff up.

 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR RAIDER NATION?

 

If it costs 75 cents and I give you a dollar, I expect a quarterback

Raiders vs 49ers
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That’s the exact line I said to the shotty billiards table at my local dive bar when it short-changed me. In all seriousness, everyone knows what the seminal looming issue is for Vegas. With Carr and the Raiders now searching for a trade suitor, Vegas will almost all but certainly have a new face at quarterback in 2023. I say almost because there is the off-chance that McDaniels elects to retain QB Jarrett Stidham’s services, but likely in a backup role or a bridge for a later ploy.

Raider Nation, I’m sure if someone told you 20 years ago that Tom “Tuck Rule” Brady would one day be the signal caller for the Silver & Black, you likely would have caused an unruly scene. Really, even ten years ago, if someone had uttered that idea, it would have been met with abominable expressions all-around. But as it is now, that is a genuine possibility in 2023. Brady, who obviously knows McDaniels’ systems and nuances, has shown he can still physically get the job done. After this season in Tampa (and depending on how the Bucs’ year ends), Tom will likely be looking for a new place to play football.

After Brady, the next most immediate, cohesive fit would be none other than Jimmy Garoppolo. Either way, Las Vegas will be on the hunt for a QB, and you can bet they’ll include Adams in the recruiting process.

 

A comprehensive plan with DC Patrick Graham

 

Raiders vs 49ers
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The majority of the time, the Raiders‘ defense was rather hard to watch throughout the length of a game. Despite a consistently dominant performance from DE Maxx Crosby (whose 22 tackles-for-loss led all NFL defenders in 2022), there was not another player on that side of the ball for Vegas that shined. LB Denzel Perryman was in the zone for several weeks at a time but also missed multiple games to various injuries.

On the back end, the secondary, ranked near the bottom of the NFL in numerous categories, never could catch a break with the game on the line (sometimes fatigued from their offense’s short fourth-quarter possessions). CB Amik Robertson and S Duron Harmon often jolted life into the D, resulting in multiple takeaways in crucial spots. But at the end of the day, the defense was overmatched in many instances.

For DC Patrick Graham, there was an apparent lack of in-game adjustment throughout the season. His unit gave up the eighth-most points in the league while surrendering more yardage than all but five teams. At this point, I believe the Raiders would have already moved on from Graham at his post if they were going to, so it’s likely he will return alongside McDaniels in 2023. But make no mistake. Progress must be the prerogative.

 

Unify the offensive skill group

 

Raiders vs Steelers
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It’s pretty unfortunate that the Raiders’ main corps of offensive skill players did not become fully healthy until Week 17 (right after Carr’s benching, ironically). As it is now, Vegas will have to take care of some homework this offseason, ensuring their most talented unit returns just as strong. The past two weeks have shown us that WR Davante Adams is very much still aboard the Autumn Wind, despite Carr’s imminent departure. Naturally, Adams will have to play a part in deciding who the next Raiders quarterback will be; The presence of No. 17 is a lucrative incentive for any passer.

We’ve already addressed the QB elephant in the room: Resigning RB Josh Jacobs is next on the to-do list. After Las Vegas failed to exercise his option, Jacobs came out in 2022 as the best back in the league. On the way to his first rushing title, Jacobs added in respectable receiving numbers (53 receptions for 400 yards) to cross the 2,000 all-purpose threshold on the year. Behind Jacobs, the Raiders have young depth in burley backs Zamir White and Brittain Brown. Perhaps sharing the load a little more next season could do well for the team’s overall rushing numbers (which was 17th in the NFL with 2,059 yards, despite Jacobs leading the league in rushing).

With dynamic pass-catchers WR Hunter Renfrow and TE Darren Waller currently tied to deals, Raider Nation can only hope the two stay healthy over the offseason and ensuing camp. Of course, one can only wonder if the season’s ultimate fate would have differed if Renfrow & Waller were available. From there, Vegas has more to address, with WR Mack Hollins and TE Foster Moreau becoming free agents in 2023, the latter they would be wise to reinvest in.

 

In one of the most anticipated Raider seasons on record, Las Vegas managed to finish third in the AFC West at 6-11. With many questions to address over the offseason, Raider Nation will take some time off before returning to work in the Spring.

 

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-Gabe Santiago – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Gabe on Instagram @gps_onthemic

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Photography by TQ for Franchise Sports Media