Silver and Black are back in the knockout stages for the first time since 2016. But will a new head coach make some big roster changes?
It’s been a different year for the Las Vegas Raiders. For the second time since 2003 and the first time since 16, Silver and Black are in the NFL knockouts. But what the team and franchise endured to get there was difficult in many ways.
Head coach Jon Gruden has resigned after 5 games because of the scandal. There are issues off the field when it comes to a pair of first-round picks of 2020 in wide collector Henry Ruggs III and full-back Damon Arnette. And neither of them are in the league at the moment.
After a 3-0 start, the Raiders dropped to 6-7. But interim head coach Rich Bisaccia and full-back Derek Carr were the driving forces that led to a four-match winning streak at the end of the season. The team finished 10-7 and will come to a tough decision 26-19 for the Super Bowl binding Cincinnati Bengals within the wild card.
So former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the new sideline leader for Silver and black. Got some tough decisions ahead?
3. LB Nick Kwiatkoski
Back in 2020, the former Chicago Bears member signed a three-year, $21 million deal with Silver and Black (via Spotrac). That year, he started the best 12 games of his career and led the team with 81 tackles. But this is the 24th unit defensively in the league compared to running and 25th in total defense.
Twice in ’21, the team modified its signing bonus to help its limited situation. Meanwhile, Kwiatkoski will play in just eight games (0 starts), with a third of his 21 tackles going to special teams. And he will finish the year off injured.
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