The Las Vegas Raiders will be hosting the Denver Broncos in NFL Week 10, a divisional battle that could turn into a trap game. Let’s take a look at three players from the Silver and Black who could be crucial towards a Raiders victory.
Devontae Booker will be worth keeping an eye on with the running game…
Sunday could be a revenge game for the former Broncos running back. Booker was a fourth-round pick back in 2016. That year, he had his best season as a pro and amassed 612 rushing yards and four touchdowns. However, it wasn’t long before he would fall out of favor and down the depth chart in Denver. This was mostly due to the play of undrafted free agent Phillip Lindsay.
Booker signed a one-year deal with the Raiders this offseason and has made the most of the opportunity. Through hard work, he’s earned the primary backup role. Also, he’s taken advantage of limited opportunities to shine in 2020. Booker’s rushing for 233 yards at 6.8 yards per attempt with the Silver and Black. In fact, Booker’s coming off his most productive game of the season after tallying 68 yards and one touchdown. He should be looking forward to facing his former employer.
Can Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III have a breakout game, finally?
It feels like forever since Henry Ruggs broke out against the Chiefs. Regardless of the reason, the Alabama standout has yet to light up the stat sheet. If it accounts for something, he does have two amazing ‘near’ catches, including one that should have gone for a touchdown.
However, do not confuse the lack of statistical production for a lack of impact on the field. Ruggs has shown that his speed has more than translated to the NFL. Even when the ball isn’t traveling his way, he draws the attention of safeties every week. This will be especially important this Sunday versus the Broncos.
Justin Simmons is likely the best defensive back on Denver’s roster, and he’ll more than likely be tasked with covering tight end Darren Waller, which may bring him into the box. This should leave a ton of one-on-one chances for Ruggs with a single safety over the top.
With all due respect to the Bronco cornerbacks, the “Henry Ruggs Breakout Game II: Electric Boogaloo” may have finally arrived.
Sam Young, right tackle
Quarterback Derek Carr can’t deliver deep balls to Ruggs if the pass protection fails. If you don’t believe it, watch the Raiders final offensive possession from the first half of the Chargers game last week. If you look closely, you’ll see a tackle being bull rushed into the lap of Carr by defensive end Jerry Tillery, leading to a strip-sack and loss of possession for Vegas.
Yup. That’s Sam Young.
Young has battled through injuries but has done a commendable job filling in for All-Pro Trent Brown, allowing only three sacks in 103 pass-block snaps per Pro Football Focus.
Von Miller’s injury has greatly affected the Broncos’ pass-rush, but not all is lost. Bradley Chubb is more than capable of wrecking the Raiders gameplan.
Don’t let his current sack total fool you (5.5), Chubb doesn’t need much of an opening to make life difficult for NFL tackles. At this point, left tackle Kolton Miller’s status is still up in the air for Sunday’s game. So what does that mean? If ‘74’ does play, expect Chubb to spend a bulk of time lining up in front of Young looking to feast in passing situations.
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*Top Photo: Las Vegas Raiders official site/Matt Aguirre