What is the potentially fatal flaw for the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders?

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For the Raiders to make the playoffs in 2021, a lot of things have to go right. First and foremost, Derek Carr needs to stay healthy and the offensive line needs to protect him. The offense needs to continue to be among the best in football and they need to be better in the red zone.

But the truth is, the 2021 season for the Las Vegas Raiders likely will come down to their defense. Can some of the big-name additions the team made this offseason, such as signing Yannick Ngakoue and Casey Hayward Jr., be enough to make this defense passable?

In a recent article by Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus, he wrote about every team’s “fatal flaw” entering the 2021 season. For the Raiders, Renner believes that a lack of defensive playmakers will eventually be their downfall. Here is what he had to say about their defense entering the year:

“Ever since the Khalil Mack trade, the Raiders have decidedly been missing “that guy” on the defensive side of the ball. Since then, they haven’t had a defender — even in a part-time role — earn higher than a 77.9 overall grade. That has to change to compete in the AFC West.”

Going into the season, the Raiders are really hoping players like Maxx Crosby, Clelin Ferrell, Trayvon Mullen and Johnathan Abram can break out as they enter the third year of their careers. Because if not, Renner’s assessment of this team and their fatal flaw is likely correct.

The Raiders are hopeful that their defense will be improved this season, but time will tell just how good Gus Bradley’s unit can be this year. Until then, expect a lack of proven playmakers to ultimately be the biggest weakness of this team.

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