MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: BALTIMORE RAVENS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

BY ADAM GREENE

There was a time in my life when the Las Vegas (or Oakland or Los Angeles) Raiders were synonymous with Monday Night Football. I can’t remember when it flipped, but likely started when the Raiders spent their post Jon Gruden period floundering through maybe the worst string of head coaches in NFL history. You had Lane Kiffen, Tom Cable, Hue Jackson, Dennis Allen and Tony Sparano in there. That’s a veritable who’s who of get that guy out of the building and call security immediately. 

Without looking it up, I think there was a time that the Raiders had won more MNF games than any other team in the league’s history.

They’ve since been overtaken by both the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers, who have 49 wins each. The Raiders, from what I can find, are currently sitting at 41.

The most common match up record still belongs to the Raiders, as they have faced off against the Denver Broncos under the Monday Night Lights 19 times since the program began in 1970.

As such, they have a little extra history on their side as they make the debut in front of their Las Vegas fans for the first time when they host the Baltimore Ravens and, perhaps, try to make a run at the old MNF title they surrendered around a decade ago.

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (+4.5, O/U: 50)

Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.

Broadcast: ESPN & ABC

Kickoff: Sept. 13, 8:15 p.m. EST

BALTIMORE RAVENS (0-0)

Baltimore might own the all time consecutive preseason victories record with 19, but this lead up to the kickoffs that actually count has been a disaster. Lamar Jackson, who is unvaccinated, caught COVID-19 again. Their top two rushers, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, both will miss the season with injuries as will starting cornerback Marcus Peters. In response, the Ravens have signed every running back they can off the street it seems, including Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray. If this was five years ago, that would be quite the threatening backfield.

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (0-0)

Regardless of whatever quarterback trade rumor seems to be out there, for whatever reason the Raiders are mentioned as being in the mix. Which is crazy, since the guy they have, Derek Carr, is not only the best QB they’ve had since Rich Gannon nearly two decades ago, but the best Gruden has fielded as a head coach in his life. Carr and the Raiders were the only team to beat the Kansas City Chiefs last year in the regular season (not counting the finale when Patrick Mahomes didn’t play). Gruden the sequel has spent four years building this team in his image. It’s now or never in Las Vegas,

THE PICK

Baltimore Runs the same five plays the Philadelphia Eagles did on the old Tecmo Super Bowl NES video game. They have running backs with more frequent flyer miles than yards on the field now and the last time Las Vegas DC Gus Bradley called a defense against Lamar Jackson and Greg Roman, he held them to 17 points and Jackson to 194 yards passing and 54 rushing. And that’s not mentioning the fact that Baltimore lost all its best pass rushers to free agency. I smell an upset. Raiders 27, Ravens 17

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