Week 4 Must-See Matchup: Raiders DE Yannick Ngakoue vs. Chargers LT Rashawn Slater

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The Raiders made a lot of big moves during the offseason to help improve their defense. But none was bigger than signing former Pro Bowl defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. He currently leads the team in sacks and has been exactly the type of defensive end they have needed opposite of Maxx Crosby.

Ngakoue has faced some good offensive tackles in the first three weeks of the season, but none are as talented as Rashawn Slater. The No. 13 pick from the 2021 NFL draft has been fantastic to start the season and you can make a case that he has been the league’s best rookie.

In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, they named all the individual matchups to pay attention to in Week 4. Of course, the battle between Slater and Ngakoue should be a fantastic one to study on Monday Night Football. Here is what the site had to say about these two players entering that game:

“Ngakoue has been one of the best pass-rushers off the edge over the past five seasons. He ranks in the 82nd percentile of all edge rushers in pass-rushing grade since 2017, and that has carried over in his first season with Las Vegas. Ngakoue boasts an 84.6 pass-rushing grade and 15 pressures through the first three weeks.

Slater, the Chargers’ first-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, has looked comfortable thus far, and he should be Ngakoue’s primary matchup in this game. He has allowed only five pressures across 135 pass-blocking snaps this season. That 3.7% pressure rate allowed ranks ninth among qualifying left tackles.”

Maxx Crosby should have a ton of success on the other side of the field as Storm Norton is filling in for veteran Bryan Bulaga. But if Ngakoue can win his matchup, as well, it could be a really long day for Justin Herbert and the rest of the offense.

Keep an eye on the rookie left tackle in this matchup as he could have his hands full on Sunday against one of the AFC’s best pass rushers.

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