LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There is no better place to kick off the first Monday Night Football game of the 2021 NFL season than in Las Vegas.
The Raiders will begin their second season in Las Vegas, and it is sure to be a full house. Fans will be curious to know what kind of team general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden have been piecing together this offseason.
Ahead of Monday night's clash, here are three things you should watch for.
1. What will this Gus Bradley defense look like?
Bradley comes to Las Vegas from the Los Angeles Chargers, so he is someone who knows the division well. Raiders recently signed linebackers K.J Wright and Denzel Perryman, both guys who are familiar with Bradley's schemes as they have worked with him in the past. Las Vegas made some additional moves this offseason, in acquiring Yannick Ngakoue and Casey Hayward. Las Vegas' defense gave up 30 PPG last season, the worst in franchise history. Adding Ngakoue will create some much-needed pass rush help and Hayward will be key when it comes to containing the passing attack.
2. Can the Raiders score in the red zone?
Gruden looks to make this as a point of emphasis heading into Week 1 against Baltimore. Raiders need to be more productive in the red zone, making sure they score points instead of settling for field goals. Derek Carr will have plenty of weapons to choose from in Darren Waller, Henry Ruggs, and newcomer Kenyan Drake.
3. Will this revamped offensive line be better than last year?
The Raiders traded away 3/5 of their offensive linemen this offseason, shipping away Trent Brown, Gabe Jackson, and Rodney Hudson. Heading into Monday night, the Raiders revamped offensive line consisting of Andre James, Alex Leatherwood and Denzelle Good will be put to the test against Baltimore. Las Vegas will especially depend on first-round pick Alex Leatherwood out of Alabama, who looks to be a powerful force in years to come.
Can the Raiders take advantage of that home crowd and secure a Week 1 win? Only five more days till we find out.
Watch the Raiders home opener on Channel 13 at 5:15 p.m. this coming Monday, Sept. 13.