Brandon Staley

Brandon Staley vs. Common Sense Among NFL Week 1 Matchups

After a shocking 10-7 season, the Las Vegas Raiders have had one of the most active offseasons in franchise history. The additions of Davante Adams, Chandler Jones, Josh McDaniels, and many more have the fanbase buzzing. While the hype machine is in full motion, they haven’t played a snap yet. That changes on Sunday, when Brandon Staley and his Los Angeles Chargers host the Silver and Black, looking for revenge after a Week 18 loss last season. This should be a classic AFC West showdown. Here are three key matchups that could decide this game’s outcome, including Staley’s decision-making.

What matchups could decide the fate of Sunday’s game between Josh McDaniels’ squad and Brandon Staley’s Chargers?

No. 1 – Raiders O-Line vs. Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa

It’s no secret that the Raiders’ biggest weakness heading into the season is the offensive line. After the semi-shocking release of the 2021 first-round pick, Alex Leatherwood, they are left with some major question marks in the trenches. Left tackle Kolton Miller and announced right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor will face a pivotal test in Week 1.

Set to face two of the league’s most elite pass rushers, will they be able to withstand the test? This matchup is going to be a huge determining factor in the final result of the Week 1 game. Bosa and Mack have combined for 33 sacks in the past two seasons but didn’t have the talent around them that they do now. Can Miller hold his own? Can the young guards and Eluemunor do enough to protect Derek Carr?

No. 2 – Davante Adams Vs. Not J.C. Jackson

The expectation is that new star cornerback J.C. Jackson will miss the Week 1 game for the Chargers. As a result, Staley and his Chargers defense will be down to Asante Samuel Jr., Michael Davis, and Bryce Callahan. It’s still a talented group, but it should lead to some mismatches for the Raiders’ new star wide receiver, Davante Adams. Adams is a top weapon in the league and figures to be the Raiders’ main focus on Sunday. Anytime they can get him lined up on Davis outside, it will be a winning formula for the Raiders. According to Pro Football Focus, Michael Davis gave up 44 receptions on 80 targets last season, leading to a 54.0 rating on their website. Davis is prone to giving up a few big plays, and the Raiders should strike while they can.

No. 3 – Brandon Staley vs. Common Sense

Last season, Staley was a big reason for the Chargers’ Week 18 loss. Going for it on fourth down in his own territory and failed trickery caused a lot of mistakes the Chargers couldn’t battle back from. Analytics tell you to go for it more and it will lead to victory. That is what Staley follows, but sometimes punting the ball is good and safe. The Raiders can only hope Staley makes more hyper-aggressive decisions that give the offense a short field to work with.

*Top Photo: Mile High Sports

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