Would anyone blame the Las Vegas Raiders if they just packed it in for the remainder of the season? After all, they’ve lost their head coach along with two first-rounders from the 2020 NFL Draft. One of those players was, of course, the former Alabama wide receiver, Henry Ruggs III. Coincidentally, the last time the Raiders won a game was in Week 7, which was also Ruggs’ final game with the team. Since then, the Raiders have failed to score even 20 points in each of their past three outings.
Moreover, they’ve been unable to score more than 14 points over the past two games.
This offense looks anemic at best, and they know their postseason chances have all but slipped away. Now, Las Vegas has to play on Thanksgiving Day against a Dallas team that still has their sights set on a deep postseason run.
The big surprise for the Cowboys this season is undoubtedly their defense. Dallas is ranked fourth defensively in the Football Outsiders DVOA metric. Note that they held their opponents to 19 points or fewer in three of their past four games. This Cowboys team would also be the best defensive unit the Raiders have played all season per the DVOA rankings. The Raiders’ previous three games came against teams not ranked any higher than 15th in defensive DVOA.
Usually, this would be a flat spot for Dallas, but the fact that it’s coming off a loss should suggest the players will be dialed in on Thursday.
The Cowboys are used to the short week and playing on Thanksgiving. Las Vegas does not have that same luxury. Thus, when you mix in some unfamiliarity with a team that’s struggling at the moment and facing a top defensive unit, that seems like quite a bit to overcome if you’re a Raiders fan.
This could be the final nail in the coffin for LV, and it would be fitting if they bid us adieu on Thanksgiving Day. It’s felt very much like a Shakesperian drama the way this Raiders team came apart at the seams this season, and if you ever wanted to go out in a bang, this would be the way to do it. Their next big national game won’t be until Saturday, Dec. 18, when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns at 4:30 p.m. ET. Unfortunately, by that time, their season will probably already be over.
Hence, it’s unlikely that anyone outside of Las Vegas will pay much attention to them after Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day game.