Raiders

Behind Enemy Lines: Raiders defense must keep an eye on these 3 Broncos

This Sunday, the Las Vegas Raiders head back home. They will host the Denver Broncos, who enter Week 10 with a 3-5 record, and one of the worst offenses in the NFL. Although quarterback Drew Lock has displayed flashes in 2020, he has been mediocre more often than not. Then again, the Raiders’ defense isn’t a top-notch unit. Here are three Broncos players who could absolutely break out for a big game on Sunday.

The Raiders could’ve drafted Jerry Jeudy, they’ll now face him twice a year

Some fans wanted the Raiders to draft wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and with good reason. He has been one of the brighter spots on this Denver team. Raider Nation will get to see the Alabama standout this week, except he’ll be wearing Orange instead of Silver and Black.
Jeudy is a terrific route runner and could beat the Raiders’ cornerbacks in a heartbeat. His chemistry with Lock has been improving as the year progresses. Moreover, he had arguably his best game last against the Falcons. He hauled in seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Cornerback Trayvon Mullen sustained an injury last week, and it’s uncertain whether he will play in Week 10.
Cornerback Nevin Lawson has struggled, and despite the fact Isaiah Johnson made some big plays last week, head coach Jon Gruden has labeled him a ‘work in progress’, so it’s fair to say he still has some improvement to make. Jeudy is one of the few real weapons on this Broncos offense. The Raiders’ defense should not take him lightly and account for him.

The other Broncos receiver, KJ Hamler

The Broncos’ running game has been non-existent for a large portion of the 2020 season, so it’s not surprising to see two receivers as possible difference makers in this game. Hamler is an interesting player, one who was expected to see minimal production on some trick plays or jet sweeps but has become much more involved in the passing game over the recent weeks.

Against Atlanta in Week 9, Hamler logged 75 yards on six catches and added a 15-yard rush. He’s made several impressive catches in traffic over the last few weeks and is starting to establish himself as a serious threat in the Broncos’ offense. Hamler and Jeudy have both emerged as key rookie receivers for this team and they must be accounted for on Sunday.

Related: Admit It, Raiders T Kolton Miller Is Good

Drew Lock could turn some heads in Week 10

For the most part, Lock has had an abysmal campaign. His TD-Int ratio is even with six of each, and his passer rating sits at a depressing 73.6. There has not been much improvement from his rookie season, and Broncos’ fans haven’t seen much to be excited about.

With that said, Lock knows how to turn it on in the fourth quarter. The Broncos have scored 21 points in the fourth quarter in each of their last two games, with one of those being an insane comeback win against the Chargers. Something about the fourth quarter flips a switch in the mind of Lock and the rest of his offense.

They simply look like a completely different unit, and it’s one the Silver and Black should be worried about. Calling the Raiders’ defense inept is an understatement, and no lead will be safe against a team that knows how to turn it on in crunch time like these Broncos.

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Top Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

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