Las Vegas Raiders ranked among most improved teams

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When new coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were hired, it wasn’t immediately clear what direction the Las Vegas Raiders would take to keep up with an ever-improving AFC West division.

To the surprise and excitement of fans, they got going this offseason, trading for All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams and signing prolific passing thrower Chandler Jones.

Those big moves can give the Raiders what they need to keep pace with their division rivals, and members of the NFL media share the same thought.

This is evident with the Raiders being among the six teams on NFL.com writer Marc Sessler’s profiles as having some of the most improved rosters.

The Raiders start the list, Sessler explaining how the trade of Adam puts McDaniels in a win-now situation.

“It cost the Raiders the top of their draft, but acquiring Adams for a first and second rounder will prove to be a bargain if Derek Carr’s best friend is thrown in,” Sessler said.

The history Carr and Adams have between them is well documented, and that chemistry combined with what Carr already has with wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller opens up whole new possibilities on offense.

Sessler was also apt to describe the new duo of Jones and Maxx Crosby at the forefront of the Raiders’ defense as “horror-inducing”.

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He also acknowledged potential pitfalls, with other areas of the Raiders’ defense not yet secure, as well as the offensive line.

Even with those unknowns, Sessler went so far as to call Adams’ trade something the late Al Davis himself would appreciate.

That boldness will certainly be needed, especially when two of the other teams on Sessler’s list are the Raiders’ division rivals, the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers.

It only means that the margin of error for each AFC West team will be minimal if they are to have any chance of making the playoffs.

What the Raiders can take comfort in is that they gave themselves a chance, something fans haven’t felt they’ve had much of in the past two decades.

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