The last two Raiders’ seasons have concluded in a similar, though not identical, manner.
In 2019, the team started 6-4 before losing five of their last six games to finish 7-9. The Raiders were technically still in the playoff hunt through their Week 17, but they would’ve needed massive help to make it.
And then they lost to the Broncos anyway.
In 2020, the club began its time in Southern Nevada by starting 6-3 before going 2-5 to finish 8-8. Las Vegas was out of the postseason hunt by Week 17, but the Raiders beat Denver to end the season on a high note.
Derek Carr is heading into his eighth season as the franchise’s quarterback. Carr sees an opportunity for success after the team’s offseason centered around making improvements to the club’s poor defense.
“There’s a certain level of championship effort we need to get to,” Carr said, via Vinny Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “There’s a certain level of championship finishing that we have to do. If we can do that, I believe the sky is the limit for us.”
The Raiders play in a tough division in the AFC West, but showed last year that they could go toe-to-toe with the two-time defending conference champion Chiefs. The issue will be if Las Vegas can play at that consistent level for 17 games. That could be the difference in the effort and finishing Carr is looking to see.