It’s still up in the air when exactly the Las Vegas Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play this week but they will play eventually. Both teams missed the playoffs last season but both are coming off their biggest wins of the season against Super Bowl contenders. If the Raiders aren’t missing their entire starting offensive line for the game, it should be a very good game.
The Buccaneers have a dangerous offense but their defense has been the most impressive. On the other hand, the Raiders’ defense has struggled while their offense has been excellent. Head coach Bruce Arians had some very strong praise for Las Vegas’ offensive weapons.
“I think just the amount of time he’s spent with Jon [Gruden] now, knowing the offense and he’s a gym rat,” Arians said, via Josh Dubow of the Associated Press. “He’s in the office all the time studying. They put some great weapons around him now with [Darren] Waller, [Henry] Ruggs and [Josh] Jacobs. That’s one of the best trios there is in football right now, but they’ve got other guys, too. Derek is protecting the football better.”
Waller, Ruggs and Jacobs are all still very young in their careers but they’ve shown flashes of elite ability. The most exciting part about them is that the Raiders should have them for a long time. For the first time in a while, the team has some very promising weapons on offense. Arians already knows his team is going to have its hands full.
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Gruden Talks Buccaneers’ Big Win Over Packers
The Raiders are coming off a bye week so there’s no doubt Jon Gruden was watching Tampa Bay’s domination over the previously undefeated Green Bay packers. The coach is well aware of how good this defense is and is ready for the challenge.
“We always used the great offenses and great quarterbacks as a thermometer to tell us how good we are,” Gruden said. “The better we play, the hotter we got against great quarterbacks, the better I knew we were. When you can put a game on film like that, against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, you’re one hell of a defense. I think that solidifies them as a great defensive football team. Not many teams have been able to lay down a performance like that. That being said, we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
The Buccaneers probably have the best defense of any team Las Vegas has faced yet. They’ve put up a lot of points against strong New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs defenses but Tampa Bay brings a different set of issues. It’s going to be a stiff test for an offense that’s been rolling.
Gruden Praises Arians
When you’ve been in football as long as Gruden and Arians have been, they were bound to cross paths at several points. Gruden is very familiar with Arians and leveled some high praise in his direction.
“I’ve always liked him, even when he was back at Temple,” Gruden said. “He’s a funny guy to be around, and I think he’d be a really fun guy to play for. He’s obviously a good coach, a really good offensive coach. He’s coached some of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, and he’s a great competitor.”
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