The Las Vegas Raiders will have a new identity in 2023. Head coach Josh McDaniels led the team to a 6-11 record in his first year with the franchise last season, then spent the offseason replacing team stalwarts like Derek Carr and Darren Waller with ‘his’ guys. The influx of former New England Patriots cannot be overlooked, starting with quarterback Jimmy Garroppolo. It is a bold move, and McDaniels needs to parlay it into more wins in 2023.
That will not be easy. The Raiders will be underdogs in at least two of their three divisional home games, with the Kansas City Chiefs visiting Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, November 26, and the Los Angeles Chargers coming to town on Thursday, December 14. They also have tricky-looking matchups against the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots – the McDaniels Bowl – on Monday, October 9, and Sunday, October 15, respectively.
Check out the Las Vegas Raiders’ full home schedule at the end of this post.
Does Jimmy Garoppolo play more than half the games?
Jimmy G feels like a downgrade from Carr. This isn’t so much in talent – though Carr is a better passer – but in his ability to stay healthy. He was the 49ers’ starter for five seasons, yet he played in most of the games just two of those five years. The Raiders offensive line is a question mark (and that might be being nice to them), so you have to wonder if Garappolo will eventually take a hit he can’t bounce back from in 2023.
In 2019 – the only season where Garappolo played a full schedule – the 49ers were 13-3 and had a 10-point lead in the Super Bowl. The key will be for McDaniels to design plays where Jimmy G can get rid of the ball quickly with his passes, leaning on Josh Jacobs as a runner to do the dirty work while he hits quick slants and curls. It won’t be the second coming of the Greatest Show on Turf, but it might be what the Raiders need to be a factor in the AFC West.