Phew, the Las Vegas Raiders are 2-0 and won their first game ever at Allegiant Stadium. Quarterback Derek Carr and co. beat the New Orleans Saints in a way few expected, by controlling the game. They have put the league on notice, but they will be put to the test come Sunday in New England. Here are three Raiders players who will need to step up on offense.
The Raiders showed what they’re capable of doing on offense in Week 2
On Monday night, Raider Nation got a glimpse of the Carr they’ve missed for a long time. After a rough first quarter, the quarterback took over the game and silenced most critics while leading the team to an impressive win. If Carr continues to play like that, this team can go a long way. However, he’s gonna need to keep it up against a stout Patriots defense.
Carr did a great job spreading the ball around against the Saints, completing passes to 11 different players. Nevertheless, he’s going to need to do the same against the Patriots, who will likely have a plan for Darren Waller, one of Carr’s favorite targets. Simply put, if Carr is able to replicate his performance this week, the Raiders will be fine.
Derek Carr started off rough last night. Missed a few, and just didn’t look confident. But he changed that. Second-half, looked completely in control. Finished 28/38 for 282 and 3 scores, including this beauty: pic.twitter.com/YoranGswFc
— r-y-a-n (@StillRyanFive) September 22, 2020
Josh Jacobs could be on this list every week and nobody would bat an eye. That just shows how vital he is to this Raiders’ offense. If the running back is rolling, the team is likely winning. He didn’t put up his best box score against the Saints, with 88 rushing yards for just 3.3 yards per carry, but his 27 rushing attempts show how much the offense relies on him. The Raiders can expect 80+ yards from Jacobs every game, and that is huge for the offense. By utilizing Jacobs, the Raiders are able to control the clock, and the tempo of the game. This helps keep opposing offensse off the field. For instance, the Raiders ran 20 more plays than the Saints, and had about 13 minutes more time of possession.
This absolutely must happen again if the Raiders want to steal a win in Foxborough on Sunday. While the Silver and Black’s defense played well in the second half Monday night, Bill Belichick could feast on them. This defense allowed Teddy Bridgewater to run at ease against them in week one, and Cam Newton is a much better runner. The Raiders are going to need to keep them off the field if they want to win in Week 3, and that can only happen if Jacobs plays well.
Bryan had a quiet debut in Carolina, but he stepped up and made some great plays against the Saints, including this one that kept the Raiders’ drive going, en route to their second touchdown:
Bryan Edwards is making NOISE🔊🔊
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 22, 2020
Edwards only recorded two catches, but he totaled 42 yards, and really showed us a glimpse of his big-play potential. The Saints used their number one corner on Henry Ruggs III, allowing Edwards to make some plays against a weaker matchup. The same will likely happen this week, with Stephon Gilmore matching up against Ruggs. Edwards will face a more favorable matchup in Jason McCourty, who is a talented corner, but not as good as Gilmore. Along with Edwards, the Raiders are going to need their depth of receivers to make plays this week.
Raiders bottom line
Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs and Bryan Edwards all need to have big performances this week if the Raiders want to steal a win from New England. If Carr and Jacobs and replicate their performances again, the Raiders should be able to control the tempo.
If Edwards, along with receivers like Hunter Renfrow and Zay Jones can step up as well, the Raiders should have a high chance of beating the Patriots on their home turf. They already showed what they can do on offense, now they have to do it week in and week out.
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Top Photo: Isaac Brekken/ Associated Press