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Silver Minings: Raiders are not thought as true AFC contenders in league circles

NFC executives think the Raiders are the 12th best team in AFC — let’s prove them wrong

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NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Rams
Jon Gruden
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

This week, Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said he and coach Jon Gruden think the team should make the playoffs in 2021 — and they are not backing down from those expectations.

It seems, however, that the expectations from the Raiders themselves and a segment of the NFL are starkly different. The Athletic talked to five executives to rank the 16 AFC teams heading into the season ... the Raiders finished 12th. Seven teams, of course, advance to the playoffs this season.

What does it mean? Nothing. It just gives the Raiders motivation, knowing not much is expected from them this season. If the Raiders are right, the lest of the league will like stupid. If the Raiders are wrong, Gruden and/or Mayock may have to pay the price.

We can’t wait to see what happens.

In other Raiders’ links:

  • Hobbs shines: According to Pro Football Focus, Raiders’ fifth-round pick cornerback Nate Hobbs ranked third among all rookies in coverage.
  • Mark is making headlines: Since plans of Mark Davis’ crazy big new home in the Las Vegas area were reviewed, everyone is talking about it.
  • Big board: Great draft expert Rob Rang has his early big board for the 2022 draft ready. It is never too early to think draft.
  • Not great: The Raiders have the 10th most dead money in the NFL.