Jon Gruden brought sweeping changes to the Raiders roster in 2019. Can he pilot the franchise to a playoff berth in 2020?
The Raiders want nothing more than to celebrate their first season in Las Vegas with a return to the postseason. Making the playoffs in a division dominated by the Kansas City Chiefs is going to be a major challenge for Jon Gruden and his coaching staff in 2020.
Undoubtedly, Raiders fans will point to the team’s 7-9 record in 2019 as evidence for just how close they are to breaking into the upper echelon of the NFL. That record is misleading though. The team’s expected win-loss record last year was just 5.3-10.7. Las Vegas drastically outperformed their metrics.
In other words, the Raiders will need to outperform last year’s results by five games instead of just three. That’s a massive jump for any team to take in a single season. Everything will have to go right for Gruden’s team to make the postseason during their first campaign in Sin City.
That doesn’t mean the franchise is without hope. There are some very interesting pieces on Gruden’s roster. That gives the team a relatively wide amount of variance. It also makes the Raiders fertile ground for the following five bold predictions.
5. Corey Littleton will make the Pro Bowl
The Raiders may have overpaid for Littleton, but he’s an excellent fit for what Gruden’s defense needs. His ability to hold up against the run and excel in pass coverage will give this unit a lot more flexibility in 2020.
That should be enough to earn Littleton a Pro Bowl berth. The demands placed on middle linebackers are changing rapidly in the modern NFL. He is a great example of what every team should be looking for. The Raiders may not win a ton of games, but Littleton will excel in the middle of their defense.