Saturday, September 18, 2021

Las Vegas Raiders Week 2 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Las Vegas Raiders rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 17.0 (17th)
  • Best ranking: 16th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 19th (ESPN)

Below you will find a Week 2 roundup for the Raiders in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 19

Top rookie: OT Alex Leatherwood

Leatherwood, the Raiders' surprise first-round pick at No. 17 overall, was conspicuous by his absence, which is a good thing for an offensive lineman, until he made a glaring mistake in overtime with a false start on second-and-goal from the Ravens' 1-yard line. It did not cost Las Vegas in the end, though, and the right tackle actually acquitted himself well over the course of his NFL debut, especially since the Raiders ended up winning. -- Paul Gutierrez -- Rank: 18

The entire night was so on brand for the Raiders, but those final moments in overtime were especially on point: Jon Gruden's absurd decision to trot out his kicker for a ludicrously premature field-goal attempt, only to be bailed out by a penalty when the field-goal team couldn't get set up in time, which set up the utter humiliation of having to send your offense back on the field, which led to -- naturally -- Derek Carr's 31-yard touchdown pass to an uncovered Zay Jones that sent the Silver and Black faithful into joyful hysterics. I have no idea what to take from that game, or whether this changes my feelings about the Raiders (or the Ravens), but it's nice to know the inherent madness of Jon Gruden football is alive and well.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 16

It wasn't always pretty, but they found a way to win a tough one Monday night against the Ravens. The offense is going to be fun to watch, but it was the defense that made big plays late to really win it.

USA Today -- Rank: 16

They did their best to come up snake eyes in debut in front of Las Vegas fans but ultimately hit blackjack.

The Athletic -- Rank: 16

Overreaction: There is no way to come up with an overreaction bigger than Jon Gruden's from Monday night, when the Raiders coach said Las Vegas tight end Darren Waller is the "best player I've ever coached." Waller is excellent, and deserves to be mentioned alongside or just behind Travis Kelce and George Kittle as the best at his position, but Gruden also coached Hall of Famers like Charles Woodson, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks. Gruden was hyperbolic, but his comment was telling on just how big a part of the Raiders' offense Waller will be this season. -- Jones

Reality check: I had written the Raiders off at 14-0, and went to bed early. Is this a team not to sleep on? Their next three are at the Steelers, vs. Dolphins, at Chargers, so they could easily still be 1-3. -- Auman

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