Las Vegas Raiders Week 7 Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I would like to start off by saying good morning to everybody except Trent Brown.

According to a few NFL insiders, Brown was caught not wearing his tracking device, which not only moved the game out of Sunday’s primetime slot, but also put the entire game in jeopardy as well as our offensive line.

After the Titans ordeal, this will not be a great look for the team, especially because it will be our second strike. A couple weeks back, we held a charity event in which many of the players were not following protocol as far as wearing masks.

Both teams are coming off impressive wins in Kansas City and Green Bay, except Las Vegas had a bye this past week. This is a homecoming game for Jon Gruden, and I am sure this game was circled on his calendar.


Photo Credit: Buccaneers.com

Tampa Bay Dream Team?

I would’ve liked to leave out the fact that the Bucs just signed Antonio Brown to a one-year deal but it is somewhat important.

The offense, as a whole, is not where they want to be, and maybe this helps. Obviously, they have had some injuries with Mike Evans and especially Chris Godwin as well as O.J. Howard.

Ronald Jones has had a strong few weeks and probably secured his role as the main back ahead of newly-acquired Leonard Fournette.

The last we heard of a dream team was the laughingstock Eagles, who had a plethora of notable players that didn’t really amount to much. We all know that NFL rosters can be stacked, but going out on the field and performing the way you should is a whole different ball game.

Although the offense is what jumps out to most people with Tampa, the defense right now is ranked third. Todd Bowles has really gotten the most out of this group so far, and they have a great mix of veterans and young playmakers in the secondary. I doubt any team in the league has as strong a linebacker unit as the Buccaneers, and their first-round pick Devin White has solidified an already stout group. Other than the defense, everywhere else seems kind of average.

I don’t know if we can say that it is still early considering it is Week 7, but it has certainly been a strange year and all players and coaches are a little behind. Once again, I would expect Tom Brady and his weapons to attack our young secondary, especially with us being battered back there. The Bucs have lucked out a little bit with the Saints not looking as sharp as we thought, and no real threat from the other two teams.


Photo Credit: Raiders.com

Vegas: Never the Favorite

I have to say, as upset as I am with the lack of awareness or discipline regarding the pandemic, I am still juiced off of last week’s win against the Chiefs and how we have looked overall this year.

The mentality of this football team is encouraging, and as time goes by, you can see the vision of Jon Gruden.

At the time, I wasn’t a fan of trading Khalil Mack or Amari Cooper, but it has made sense, for the most part. Obviously, it comes down to paying them guys or hitting on the picks that you receive for them, and some of those picks are still in the works. The losses for the Raiders this year have been respectable, so in that sense, things are looking up.

The things that have plagued this franchise over the past, seem to have been cleaned up, and all the credit in the world goes to Gruden and Derek Carr.

This week, they have their work cut out for them, but the game plan could be similar to the one they used in Kansas City. As stated above, the defense for the Bucs has outshined the offense.

I doubt Josh Jacobs has a great week running the ball against the versatile, fast backers for Tampa. Henry Ruggs exploded last week and showed his big play potential, which could be on display again if this were 7-on-7. As of now, the Raiders could be playing with an entire offensive line consisting of second- and third-string — or maybe even practice squad — players due to Trent Brown being a child.

The Bucs have Ndamukong Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul on the line, and although they are probably past their prime, they would destroy backup linemen. The Raiders will need Carr to be fantastic yet again, and it seems he has shown the country how precise he can be.


Photo Credit: Raiders.com

Prediction

I think this could be another high-scoring matchup like the Chiefs game, but the offensive line troubles for us right now have me worried.

Every week has been very fluid as far as news goes so. A lot can happen between now and game-time. The game could be cancelled or postponed as we await more testing results, and Vegas could also be playing with practice squad players on the offensive line.

The Raiders just seem like underdogs every week, and that might have to do with our past and where the team has come from. A veteran coach like Gruden might have the plan to get Brady off of his spot, so I will be looking at the pass rush, specifically.

This game should be competitive and feisty, but let’s say Tampa Bay 31, Las Vegas 21.

(Featured Image Credit: Raiders.com)

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