Coming off their big win in their Las Vegas home debut, the Raiders head for New England to face the Patriots. Even with the departure of Tom Brady and a few of their playing opting out for this season, there is still some talent on this Patriots team. They will look to give the Raiders their first loss of the season.
TE Darren Waller vs. CB Stephon Gilmore
Gilmore is a cornerback. But Waller is the Raiders’ best receiver, regardless of being a tight end. He put up 12 catches for 103 yards last week against the Saints. His 18 catches through two games is currently second-most in the league behind DeAndre Hopkins (22).
If the Patriots are smart they will put Gilmore on Waller as often as possible and try to take him out of the game to force the rest of the receivers to beat them.
DE Clelin Ferrell vs. QB Cam Newton
Newton has a rare combination of arm strength and mobility. He can make any throw, and if he doesn’t see what he likes, he will just run for it. Or just call his own number with a designed quarterback run.
Ferrell struggled last week oftentimes not keeping outside containment, while not getting much in the way of pressure. That’s not a good combination. Especially against Newton.
Coming hard after Newton is how you throw him off his game. At the same time, if Ferrell is not careful, he could just flush Newton from the pocket, allowing him to make a play with his legs. Head coach Bill Belichick coaches his quarterback to make you pay for your lack of discipline. It’s a delicate balance that must be struck to play fast and aggressive but remain disciplined.
DE Maxx Crosby vs. RT Marcus Cannon
The Raiders top pass rusher last season has yet to record a sack this season. He had a solid game against the Saints despite getting no sacks, including yielding a holding penalty when he got by Pro Bowl right tackle Ryan Ramczyk.
Cannon isn’t a Pro Bowl tackle, but he has held down the right tackle spot for the Patriots through three Super Bowl seasons.
CB Lamarcus Joyner vs. WR Julian Edelman
Last season was a rough one for Joyner. This season hasn’t started out any better for him. And now he will face one of the best slot receivers in the game in Edelman.
It seemed like with Tom Brady leaving, Edelman’s numbers might go down, but thus far that doesn’t appear to be the case. He’s still the Patriots leading receiver with 236 yards on 13 catches. They don’t have much else at receiver, so Joyner’s work is crucial in this one.
C Rodney Hudson vs. DT Lawrence Guy
Hudson had an extremely rare bad game last week against the Saints. I don’t doubt he will rebound from that and the Raiders will need him to.
On his left side it could once again be rookie John Simpson. That leaves little room for error for Hudson and he must also at times make up for the mistakes Simpson is bound to make.
The Pro Bowl center must do all this while facing the Patriots top run defender. Guy led the team last season with 32 run stops and currently leads the team this season as well. Hudson will try to keep him from filling the gaps to allow for Josh Jacobs to grind out the yards. That will keep the offense on the field and in turn keep the defense off the field.
Like this article?
Sign up for the Raiders Wire email newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox every morning
An error has occured
Please re-enter your email address.
Thanks for signing up!
You'll now receive the top Raiders Wire stories each day directly in your inbox.