Raiders 2020 Season Predictions: Silver and Black Today Staff Picks

Nicholas Cothrel
raiders 2020 season predictions

The Las Vegas Raiders enter the season with optimism for what’s ahead. But have they done enough to crack a playoff berth? The staff of Silver and Black Today provides their predictions for the Raiders’ 2020 season.

The Las Vegas Raiders’ inaugural season is finally here. After a three-year process of constructing Allegiant Stadium, the $1.9 billion palace is now complete and ready to host the Raiders for the 2020 season and beyond.

Coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock were busy this offseason, as they added several veterans on defense, while drafting two receivers to help amplify the skill positions on offense.

Now entering year three since Gruden’s return, the expectations have steadily increased. Starting off in 2018 with an abysmal four-win season, followed by a 2019 campaign that included a three-game improvement, 2020 comes with greater heights. Gruden has placed his fingerprints all over the Raiders’ current roster — creating a growing belief to the fan base that a winning season is soon to eventually follow.

It’s been a tough stretch in recent years. The Raiders only have one winning season to show for over the last 17 seasons. However, with that now in the rearview mirror, the organization has created a new culture and foundation, starting with the youth movement of players like Josh Jacobs and Maxx Crosby.

With the season approaching, our staff at Silver and Black Today provides their 2020 season predictions:

Scott Gulbransen, Founder/Publisher

Raiders 2020 Record: 9-7

The depth we once thought was a Las Vegas Raiders strength has now vaporized due to the injury of Tyrell Williams, the trade of rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. and a young secondary. The improvements to the overall roster mean this team improves by at least two games. After Jon Gruden went 4-12 and then 7-9 in his second season, it’s time for Gruden and the Raiders to show improvements after an offseason of keen draft picks. While I have the Raiders down at 9-7, I think they barely miss the playoffs as a Wild Card but show promise, making 2021, the introduction of Raider Nation to Las Vegas and Allegiant Stadium — the year this team finally gets back to the playoffs and becomes a real contender.

Moe Moton, Sr. Columnist

Raiders 2020 Record: 8-8

The Las Vegas Raiders’ scoring offense should improve with the addition of Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards and Jason Witten. On the flip side, the Raiders’ depth at running back and offensive tackle cause concerns. If Josh Jacobs or Trent Brown goes down, Devontae Booker and Brandon Parker would likely take on expanded roles. The secondary has two new primary starters in rookie first-rounder Damon Arnette and safety Johnathan Abram. The pass rush has to help out the youth on the back end, which means Clelin Ferrell and Maliek Collins must make a big impact on the front line. With legitimate questions about the pass rush and secondary, the defense could fall to the bottom of the league in scoring and yards allowed again.

Nick Cothrel, Staff Writer

2020 Raiders Record: 8-8

Based on the Raiders’ newly acquired pieces on offense, their red zone scoring efficiency should improve in 2020. Defensively, they made arguably their biggest weakness — linebacker — somewhat of a sturdy position group, with Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski anchoring the middle. While I do think the Raiders will be a much better football team than they were in 2019, the room for growth may only reach so far based on the surplus of first and second-year players being placed in prominent roles after an unprecedented offseason. There will be a lot riding on how fast Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards and Damon Arnette can get into the swing of things early on in the season.

Angria Trask, Staff Writer

Raiders 2020 Record: 9-7

The Raiders have improved at the most notable positions this year but there is a lot of polishing that must be done for the team to work like a well-oiled machine. Unless they catch lightning in a bottle this year from their rookies and second-year players, I expect them to show a two-game improvement compared to where they finished last season.

Chris Engelage, Staff Writer

Raiders 2020 Record: 10-6

For the first time since Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy in 2009, the Raiders will be starting two rookie wide receivers in Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards. While it holds excitement in the long term having youth talent to be excited about, I’m curious to see how long it takes to build a rapport with Derek Carr given the non-traditional offseason that took place. Furthermore, the play from the cornerbacks will be something to focus on week in and week out. With no cornerback currently on the active roster having more than two years of experience, veteran quarterbacks may feast on a young secondary. All that said, there is a vast array of talent on the team, and given they won seven games a season ago, I don’t think a three-win improvement is too far fetched. 

Mathew Fallon, Staff Writer

Raiders 2020 Record: 9-7

As a whole, the Raiders should be heavily improved on both sides of the football. With the additions of Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, Corey Littleton, Damon Arnette and Nick Kwiatoski, Mike Mayock filled the three areas that plagued them the most in 2019. Adding these core guys to an already up-and-coming young roster, the Raiders have a lot to be excited about. On the other hand, the difficult thing for the Raiders in 2020 is the schedule being tough once again and lack of experience throughout the depth chart. If this was an ordinary year without the limitations each team faced this offseason, I would put the Raiders at 11 wins, but with the young guys not getting a full camp, the first half of the season could be riddled with mistakes. Therefore, I believe the Raiders go 9-7 but give the fanbase a lot to look forward to.

Evan Groat, Staff Writer

Raiders 2020 Record: 9-7

I like the upgrades that were made on defense, especially at linebacker with Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski and Raekwon McMillan but I still have my reservations about the inexperience in the secondary. Offensively, Derek Carr has his best group of weapons since the 2016 season. Improvement in the red zone is a must. At the end of the day, I think the schedule looks tricky in weeks 2-7. If Jon Gruden can navigate the ship during that tough stretch of games, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The NFL has expanded its playoff format by adding a third Wild Card team in each conference. At 9-7, I expect the Raiders to be knocking on the door of the playoffs in 2020.