Rams at Raiders has a very different feel heading into Week 1
The Monday Night Week 1 match-up between the Los Angeles Rams and the Oakland Raiders looks to have lost a bit of its luster.
The Los Angeles Rams look to have an easier task when they meet the Oakland Raiders next Monday Night in Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season. Both team in the span of not quite 24 hours, made the kind of move that takes one to absolute and immediate contender, and the other to likely also-ran.
Not hard to guess which is which.
If you’re a fan in Oakland, you probably feel like someone sucker-punched you on the eve of a season where optimism was high. Jon Gruden, who looks to be making a lot of friends in the East Bay, got rid of the kind of headache a lot of coaches wouldn’t mind having.
Hey, at least he’s not running things in Los Angeles.
The Rams, who have been roundly criticized this and last off-season, finally got done what many felt was taking too long when they signed defensive tackle Aaron Donald to a new deal that was a long time in coming. With that issue now resolved, Los Angeles looks to be on the verge of dynasty talk, where Oakland now appears to be building for Las Vegas.
It also means that the second game of the Monday Night ESPN doubleheader is interesting for all the wrong reasons if you’re a Raiders fan, meaning sad times for sure in the “black hole”.
Just think, a month ago Rams-Raiders had all the markings of a big time game.
It may still be, but is it?
More likely it’s a springboard to a 3-1 record to begin the first quarter of the season. Sure, LA will see Khalil Mack in December when the Rams go to Chicago, but they won’t have to deal with him in the season opener, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Fans in Los Angeles got a gift of sorts when the Raiders made the head scratching move. If they take advantage of it, it’s likely to mean a good start to September, and the 2018 regular season.