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The Raiders need a few things to fall in place if they want to make the playoffs this season. They need the defense to improve towards the middle of the pack and they need their offense to continue to rank inside the top-10 in points per game.

Luckily, those two things don’t seem all that unrealistic as the Raiders have made the necessary offseason moves (in their eyes) to accomplish those feats. But what if the defense doesn’t improve and the offense takes a step back? Just how bad could this team be in 2021?

In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, they looked at the best and worst-case scenarios for each team heading into the 2021 season. For the Raiders, the worst-case scenario would likely leave them at the bottom of the AFC West, probably due to an inexperienced offensive line.

Here is what the site had to say about what could go wrong for the Raiders this season:

“Andre James, Denzelle Good and Alex Leatherwood underperform for Las Vegas in 2021 in their first season replacing Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson and Trent Brown along the offensive line. The Raiders continue to misuse Henry Ruggs III, who has another disappointing year, leaving Las Vegas with few high-impact receiving threats behind Darren Waller. Derek Carr plays closer to how he did in 2017 and 2018 (23rd in PFF grade) than the version we’ve seen the past two years. And Gus Bradley’s appointment as defensive coordinator isn’t enough to overcome an overall lack of talent defensively.”

The site projected the Raiders to go 5-12 in their worst-case scenario and that feels about right. This is still a talented team that will find ways to win games, but they could struggle in tight contests if the defense doesn’t improve.

As Pro Football Focus mentioned, how the offensive line gels will be the biggest story for the Raiders. If this unit plays well, there is really no reason why this team can’t make the playoffs in 2021. But if they struggle, it could be a really tough season for Las Vegas. Keep an eye on the offensive line during training camp and the preseason as their success will be vital for this team to make the playoffs.