Next Monday, the Las Vegas Raiders will face the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. At last, they will play in the first official game at Allegiant Stadium. It’s gonna be a tough test, as the Saints have a lot of key pieces the Raiders need to watch out for. Here are three defenders the Raiders will need to pay attention too:
These 3 Saints defensive players could give the Raiders fits in Week 2
Demario Davis is one of the best players on the Saints’ defense, and he’s one of the most underrated defenders in the NFL. The linebacker received a three-year $27 million contract extension the night before his week one game against Tampa Bay, and judging by his performance on Sunday, he seemed pretty happy about it. Davis finished the game with six tackles, a tackle for a loss, and punished quarterback Tom Brady with a sack and one hit. He’s a well-rounded player with the ability to rush the passer, stop the run, and defend the pass as well.
He finished the 2019 campaign as a first-team All-Pro with 111 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, four sacks, an interception, and 12 passes defensed. The Saints will likely deploy him all over the field come Monday Night. He will rush the passer, he’ll get some tackles on Jacobs, and could spend some time covering tight end Darren Waller down the field. The Raiders need to prepare accordingly.
Jordan is one of the best dual-threat defensive linemen in the game. He has the ability to both stop the run and rush the passer very efficiently, and was one of just three players in the league to be given an 80+ grade in run and pass defense by Pro Football Focus last year:
The only edge defenders with 80+ grades in pass rush and run defense in 2019:
🔸 TJ Watt (91.7 pass rush, 80.1 run defense)
🔸 Cameron Jordan (81.8 pass rush, 83.6 run defense)
🔸 Khalil Mack (81.3 pass rush, 83.3 run defense) pic.twitter.com/8bhPEyCqGl
— PFF (@PFF) September 9, 2020
Jordan had the third most pressures of any edge defender in 2019, and he’s become a force for the Saints’ defensive line. The Raiders’ offensive line did very well on Sunday, and they kept quarterback Derek Carr upright throughout the game. Carr also does a great job of getting rid of the ball quickly, so I would be more worried about Jordan’s presence in the run game than the passing attack this week. With that said, he’s terrific at both so the Raiders need to have him covered Monday night.
Janoris Jenkins played very well against the Buccaneers Sunday, finishing with nine tackles and this pick-six on Tom Brady:
TOM BRADY PICK-SIX'D BY JANORIS JENKINS 🐰
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 13, 2020
That was the eighth (!!!) pick-six of Jenkins career, which puts him at fifth in NFL History. He’s been playing high-quality football at the safety position for a long time now, and he can certainly wreak havoc on the Raiders’ defense. Simply put; He’s good at football. Jenkins tackles well for a safety and led the Saints in tackles on Sunday with nine. He has recorded 24 interceptions in his career and had four in 2019- his second-highest total in one season. He brings a veteran presence to the Saints defense, and Carr is going to need to watch out for him.
It should be very interesting to see how Jon Gruden and Carr attack this Saints defense. The defense has quality players at all three levels, but the unit can certainly be beast as a whole. It’s a good defense, and players like Davis, Jordan, and Jenkins highlight it. However, the Raiders have their stars as well, and Jacobs and Waller should be able to get going Monday night. The Silver and Black’s rookie wide receivers need to get more involved this week as well. Overall, it should be a fun and interesting game next week. We’re excited to see how the Raiders attack this defense.
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Top Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images