Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers make their first ever trip to Las Vegas for a Week 7 matchup against the Raiders. The Raiders are fresh off a bye after upsetting the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago. They were in terrific form, as the Raiders went on the road to Arrowhead and beat their rivals by eight points. Arrowhead isn’t the same without a packed crowd, but it’s nevertheless impressive by the Raiders. Derek Carr has been everything that Jon Gruden was hoping for this season.
In the midst of talk that Carr might be on the move soon in the offseason, he’s done his best to quiet the doubters and signal that he’s the quarterback for the future in Las Vegas. The 29-year-old has been playing like an MVP candidate just months after people were calling for the Raiders to possibly look for an upgrade in the draft. This wasn’t all Raiders’ fans by any means, but there were definitely rumors of the Raiders giving up on him and including him in a trade in February and March.
I’ve never really understood the hate regarding the guy personally. It’s not easy to find a good quarterback in the NFL. Carr has been good since entering the league in 2014. Through 99 games, he’s thrown for 154 touchdowns and 63 interceptions on 64.45% completions. Not elite, but there are only a few elite quarterbacks in the NFL, so it’s one of those be careful what you wish for kinds of situations. And Carr has been playing like an elite quarterback, in 2020 anyway. As crazy as it may seem, he’s playing like an MVP candidate.
The Raiders head into Sunday with a record of 3-2 for second in the AFC West. Despite all of the good from Carr this season, there are no guarantees for the Raiders going to the playoffs. The AFC North is highly competitive, while the AFC South has a 5-1 and 4-2 team. With the Raiders likely not winning the AFC West, getting a wildcard is not going to be a sure thing in a competitive AFC.
A win over the Chiefs and then the Buccaneers in back-to-back performances would be really impressive. Brady and the Bucs are coming off an impressive win of their own, as they torched the Green Bay Packers, 38-10. The Packers were playing off a bye as well, but the week off didn’t help. The Bucs are healthy right now, and Brady has a full host of options to work with. It’s going to get even better when Antonio Brown gets on the field for the Bucs. Head below for our free Buccaneers vs. Raiders pick for October 25, 2020.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Las Vegas Raiders NFL Week 7 Betting Odds:
Buccaneers vs. Raiders Prediction:
I don’t care what defense is in front of the Buccaneers, when Tom Brady has a healthy offense to work with, they’re going to have trouble slowing down this attack. Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Rob Gronkowski on the same field at the same time is bad news for opposing defenses. It took Gronkowski a minute to shake off the rust, but he looked like vintage Gronk last week against the Packers.
Gronk caught 5 receptions for 78 yards and his first score as a Buccaneer. He’s looked much more involved in the offense over the last two weeks. Godwin and Evans on the field will give Gronk plenty of chances on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas. Note that Godwin has no injury designation and will be ready to go with Evans in this one.
Brady has passed for 11 touchdowns and 1 interception in the last four weeks. He doesn’t need any more targets, but Brady is going to get one once Antonio Brown is cleared for his return. In one game on the Patriots together, Brady and Brown got into a rhythm quickly against the Dolphins. That said, the Buccaneers don’t need Brown on the field to score points on a leaky Raiders’ defense on Sunday.
The Raiders beat the Chiefs, but were exposed for 32 points two weeks ago. The Chiefs had 24 points up on the board before halftime. This is the third straight week and fourth time in five games this season that the Raiders have conceded at least 30 points. I can’t see the Raiders’ defense holding in their too well against Brady and the Bucs. Not with a healthy offense for Tampa. They should move the ball and score points.
The Buccaneers are boasted by a solid defense, notably up front on the defensive line. Stopping them is the key to success for the Raiders in this game. If Carr gets time, he should be able to get the ball downfield. He has been on fire with 11 touchdowns and 1 interception on 73.13% completion. Carr was sharp against a solid KC pass defense two weeks ago. He passed for 347 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception for his second straight game over 300 yards passing.
Josh Jacobs will probably have trouble finding consistent gains on the ground against the Tampa front. However, Carr has been good enough in the pocket this season that he should have a fairly successful game through the air. Expect Brady and Carr to get their punches in on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium. Originally planned for Sunday Night Football, this should turn into the most entertaining late afternoon window game in Week 7. I’m on the OVER in Las Vegas.