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The Raiders started their inaugural season in Las Vegas with a 34-30 win over the Carolina Panthers. The Raiders need to keep this momentum going as they start their journey as the Las Vegas Raiders.

Must Gain New Fans in Las Vegas

No one wants to support a losing team. The Las Vegas Golden Knights gained fans in their new city because they were successful right off the bat. The Raiders don’t need to appear in the Super Bowl this year to gain fans  like the Golden Knights did, but they must achieve some level of success.

If the Raiders have anything worse than a winning record this season, it will off-put Vegas residents from becoming Raider fans.  The Raiders are looking for a successful inaugural season as they have been “rebuilding for Vegas” ever since the Khalil Mack trade.

Derek Carr Needs to Prove He’s “The Guy”

Derek Carr played his best football under Jack Del Rio in 2016 and was even considered an MVP candidate. Ever since the Raiders brought in Jon Gruden to become the head coach in 2018, questions have emerged about the relationship between Gruden and Carr.

Under Gruden, Carr has never come close to being the player he used to be, although this might be in part to never having a talented receiving core under Jon Gruden. This season Carr is surrounded by the best supporting cast in his career and has no excuses for bad performance.

Jon Gruden Needs to Prove that He’s a Top Coach

In the first two years of Jon Gruden’s second stint with the Raiders, he is only 11- 21. Gruden is into his third year of his 10-year, $100 million contract and hasn’t done much to show for it. To be fair, he hasn’t had much talent to work with ever since trading Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper.

Bad rosters aren’t the only excuse for poor performance though as Gruden’s conservative play calling is also to blame. In 2019, the Raiders scored a league-low 1.7 3rd quarter points per game. Gruden was way too conservative in his play calling after having a 1st half lead.  To prove that he is a top NFL head coach, Gruden needs to be more aggressive and make second-half adjustments.

Photo credit: John Locher / AP