Saturday, January 1, 2022

Las Vegas Raiders Week 17 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: 16.4 (17th)
  • Best ranking: 15 (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 18 (The Athletic)

Below you will find a Week 17 roundup for the Raiders in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 17

Non-QB MVP: DE Maxx Crosby

The first-time Pro Bowler might not have eye-popping stats -- six sacks in 15 games -- but he is more than affecting games as the spiritual leader of a reimagined and much-improved defense. Plus, Crosby is a Pro Football Focus favorite, ranking in its top two among all edge rushers in pressures and pass rush grade for most of the season. As interim coach Rich Bisaccia said, Crosby, who was in rehab for alcoholism in 2020, is bringing the "power of example" both on and off the field to his teammates. -- Paul Gutierrez -- Rank: 16

The Raiders aren't winning pretty, but who cares? Posting back-to-back victories over AFC playoff contenders has kept Las Vegas in postseason contention and saved the organization from another season being defined by a December collapse. The 17-13 final on Sunday doesn't tell the story of a mostly dominant performance by the Raiders, who had three turnovers but outgained the Broncos 342-158 and allowed just eight first downs all day. The defense has been much-improved down the stretch, holding three of its last four opponents to 17 or fewer points. Building on that streak will be a challenge with Jonathan Taylor and the surging Colts on deck.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 15

Beating the Broncos keeps their playoff hopes alive. The defense came up big in that one, which will be needed this week against the Colts on the road.

USA Today -- Rank: 16

As badly as this locker room has felt at various points of a star-crossed season, the Silver and Black might yet wind up a feel-good playoff story.

The Athletic -- Rank: 18

Is he The Guy? Maybe. See the Baker Mayfield blurb below, with the understanding that Derek Carr is better than Mayfield. The Raiders have made a lot of mistakes in the draft and in free agency in Carr's eight years, and they have only one winning season in that span. For every comeback win Carr has led, there also has been an ugly fumble. It really seems like, in addition to general manager Mike Mayock and interim coach Rich Bisaccia, Carr's future is also riding on whether the Raiders make the playoffs.

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