Monday Night Football, Week 1. The first Monday Night game of the 2021 NFL regular season. Tonight the Baltimore Ravens travel to the Nevada desert to take on the Las Vegas Raiders in a game that marks the first time a full crowd has graced Allegiant Stadium for a Raiders game.
The Ravens come into the game in dire straights at running back. Within a two week period three Ravens running backs went down with season ending injuries. That leaves the Ravens with promising second year back Ty’Son Williams and a motley bunch of NFL castoffs at running back. Fortunately for the Ravens the team’s running attack is less dependent on running backs than any NFL team, as star quarterback Lamar Jackson churns out 1000 yard rushing seasons.
The Raiders come into this game a little bit desperate to prove that hiring Jon Gruden to an unprecedented ten year contract was not a mistake. Entering into his fourth year of that contract as Raiders head coach, Gruden 2.0 has yet to lead the Raiders to a winning year. Last year’s 8-8 record was the best Raiders performance under Gruden 2.0. If Gruden cannot make the leap this year into a playoff berth, that contract is going to look like a giant albatross around the collective neck of the Raiders. Starting quarterback Derek Carr, going into his eighth year in the league, has just one winning season under his belt, and Raiders fans must be getting a little impatient with the 30 year old Carr as well. A win over the Ravens tonight would give Gruden and Carr a nice boost to start the 2021 season.
It’s the Ravens and the Raiders in the Monday Night Football season debut.
Enjoy the game everybody.