The first NFL preseason game came and went. But no one really cares about preseason. It’s practice and judgment time for rookies.
But Las Vegas is just a year away from having the Raiders as its home NFL team. How are THEY looking?
“They’re at least a year or two way from contending for a couple of reasons. They just don’t have the overall talent,” said Mitch Moss host of "Follow the Money" on V-SIN, the Vegas Stats and Information Network.
Moss said besides the talent issue the Raiders are in a very tough division and have one of the most difficult schedules. The team will travel more miles then another team in the league.
“The schedule is really difficult. The division is really difficult and they don’t have a lot of talent. So, I don’t think they’re going to be good at all this year,” he said.
As for the top teams, Moss is sticking with the team that has dominated the NFL for several years - the New England Patriots.
“I’m not going to bet against this team. They just won the Super Bowl again last year. Defensively, they’re outstanding. People are going to point to the loss of [Rob Gronkowski]. I don’t care. Brady has won Super Bowls before when you can’t name is running backs or his wide receivers,” he said.
Besides having Brady as the quarterback, Moss notes the Pats have an easy division and an easy schedule.
Other teams he's expecting to do well are the Steelers, the Chargers, and on paper, the Browns look good but Moss said he needs proof before he buys into that team.
Another team he's watching are the Colts, but with a caveat.
“If you told me right now that [Andrew Luck] is going to be completely healthy and he would play 16 games, I would say the Colts would go over their win total. They would win their division and they would be one of the true contenders in the AFC,” he said.
The NFC is a different story, according to Moss.
"It is a total crapshoot," he said, “If you look at the playoff odds, the odds for teams just to make the playoffs, there are nine teams all bunched together and that doesn’t include Carolina or San Francisco.”
And of the top Midwest teams - Packers, Vikings and Bears - Moss said it will be tough to decide who will win the division.
“It is the most difficult division in all of football in my opinion. I think all three teams it is razor-thin,” he said.
And as far as the Big Game is concerned, Moss is in favor of the team a lot of football fans love to loathe.
“I would say – I’m not going to bank on the Rams this year – I’m not going to bank on the Saints – I would lean honestly to the Patriots again. I don’t see where they got that weak,” he said.
“Well, their win total is four so I actually have my fingers crossed that they can go over four and get to five – maybe six. That would put them in line to go to a bowl game,” he said.
Moss would like to see head coach Tony Sanchez have a winning season for all the hard work he's put into coaching and fundraising for the team.
“I think this guy deserves a winning season,” he said.
While he would like to see the Rebels win six, he has got to see it before he believes it.
And the future of Sanchez could depend on a winning season. Many people would like to see him go if he doesn't get six wins this year, Moss said. But Moss explained that finding someone else to fill that position would be tough. UNLV's reputation in college football is not outstanding and breaking the bank to recruit a top coach from someplace else is not likely.
“This guy wants to be here. If it’s an absolute disaster and they win two games, we’ll have that conversation,” Moss said.
Moss thinks that even if UNLV treads water this year and stays at four wins there is no reason to get rid of Sanchez.
As for the team up north, Moss is not expecting much from the Wolf Pack. He said they've got a difficult schedule and lost some talent.
LAS VEGAS ACES
“They could absolutely win it. They are good enough to now that I wouldn't be surprised if they win the entire thing,” he said.
The WNBA team is in first place in the Western Conference and have the third-best record of all 12 teams.
Moss admits he doesn't bet on the WNBA because he doesn't follow the sport much and he doesn't bet on sports he doesn't know.
While the team is doing well in the league, Moss doesn't think it is generating the type of enthusiasm as other sports.
“It’s just not as popular as the other sports,” he said.
The four big sports in the United States remain football, men's basketball, baseball and hockey.
In addition to the lack of attention, Moss observed that locals don't want to drive down to the Strip in the heat of the summer and pay to park to watch the WNBA.
Mitch Moss, host, V-SIN
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