Raiders 2022 NFL preview, schedule: Davante Adams makes Las Vegas Super Bowl contenders
Jon Gruden’s tenure ended abruptly and despite Rich Bisaccia leading the Raiders to the playoffs, Josh McDaniels is at the Raiders’ helm in 2022.
After the departure of Jon Gruden due to off-field scandal last season, the Raiders were expected to drop off resoundingly. By Week 14 those predictions looked like they would become reality but under Rich Bisaccia’s interim tenure, Las Vegas won the final four games on the schedule to reach the playoffs. Going into the 2022 season, owner Mark Davis is eager to the see the franchise in the postseason again and possibly challenge for the Super Bowl.
Davante Adams lends Raiders an edge
As a result of the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field, the Raiders went all out to obtain Davante Adams through a trade. The move was widely anticipated as the star wide receiver shared a dressing room with Derek Carr at Fresno State and had previously expressed his desire to be reunited with the quarterback.
To take advantage of all the offensive potential Adams represents, Bisaccia was not renewed and Davis opted to bring in Josh McDaniels, former offensive coordinator at the Patriots. During McDaniels’ 13 total seasons in New England, Tom Brady added 3,704 completions, 43,003 yards and 315 touchdowns as well as two MVPs and three Super Bowls. On the other hand, McDaniels’ only previous experience as a head coach was not glittering: he directed the Broncos for 28 games with a record of 11-17.
With Adams on board, Carr (4,804 yards, 23 TD, 14 interceptions in 2021) will have a receiving cast led by the former Packer and Darren Waller, with support from Hunter Renfrow, Keelan Cole and Josh Jacobs.
On the defensive front, where the Raiders ranked 14th in 2021 by allowing 5,732 yards, the franchise has strengthened two ways: Through free agency Las Vegas signed 16 players overall with Chandler Jones the most important piece of the puzzle (he will team up with Maxx Crosby in the pass rush); in the draft, the Raiders picked up defensive tackles Neil Farrell and Matthew Butler to shore up a unit that gave up 1,943 rushing yards in 2021 (19th in the league).
Raiders face tough road to Super Bowl
Despite McDaniels’ project appearing well-reinforced and containing the necessary elements to impose themselves in the NFC, there are two factors that will serve to complicate the Raiders’ campaign.
First up is the AFC West. The division has been dominated in recent years by the Chiefs, but the Chargers have begun to apply pressure (the signings of J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack will make their defense tougher); likewise, the Broncos acquired Russell Westbrook and Denver has resumed a prominent role in the AFC. All of this conspired to paint the Raiders as the division’s underdog to win the Super Bowl.
Then there’s the Raiders’ schedule. The opponents McDaniels will face have a combined record of 152-136-1 (.528 winning percentage), which represents the seventh most difficult schedule for an NFL team in 2022.
Las Vegas Raiders
Record in 2021: 10-7
Stadium: Allegiant Stadium
Super Bowl Titles: 3 (1976, 1980, 1983)
Head coach: Josh McDaniels
Offensive Coordinator: Mick Lombardi
Defensive Coordinator: Patrick Graham
Raiders 2022 calendar