Coming off their bye week in Week 6, the Las Vegas Raiders enter Week 7 with their eyes set on finishing off the regular season strong. Their first test after the bye comes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady.
What are the Raiders up against?
The Raiders had plenty of time to celebrate their victory against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5. However, the team is now rested and should be focused on their next matchup. Also, this week will mark the first time head coach Jon Gruden will face his former employer, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For those that don’t recall, he coached that team until they relieved him of head-coaching duties back in 2008.
This year’s version of the Bucs has had its fair share of ups and downs. Nevertheless, their Week 6 performance against the Green Bay Packers showed how dominant this team can be when clicking on all cylinders. This week’s matchup will be a tough battle for the Silver and Black, but they should be able to prevail if these three players on offense show up on Sunday Night.
Quarterback Derek Carr has to play the way he did against the Chiefs
The Buccaneers secondary stifled Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers back in Week 6. All game long, he couldn’t seem to get a rhythm going after Green Bay led 10-0. He would throw back-to-back interceptions in the second quarter, his first two of the season. The Raiders need to make sure Derek Carr protects the ball at all costs.
Tampa Bay’s defense has gotten at least one interception in their last five games. Carr will need to pick and choose his spots of being aggressive if the Raiders want a chance to win. What’s plagued the Bucs defense all season long is the long ball. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert erupted against Tampa Bay for three touchdowns, with two of them being over 50-yard passes.
Look for Carr to target rookie Henry Ruggs III early and often in short-yardage situations and in the play-action game. If he can get into his groove like he did against Kansas City, he may very well have a similar performance to the one back in 2016 when he threw for 513 yards against the Buccaneers.