In Week 10, the Las Vegas Raiders face yet another divisional opponent. This time, they will be hosting the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium. Let’s take a look at the three things that could set up Denver for a win in the desert.
The Raiders must contain wide receive Jerry Jeudy
Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy received plenty of praise ahead of 2020’s draft. The Denver Broncos ended up choosing the Alabama standout with the 15th overall selection. Looking back, this year’s players’ selection process may be one of the most prolific ones in NFL history when it comes to the wide receiver position. Rookies across the league are stepping up into starting roles and in some cases are taking over games.
Jeudy is no exception, but he didn’t really have the chance to do so until recently. Through the first six games of the season, the former Crimson Tide only saw 37 targets. Nevertheless, these past two weeks have been different and he has commanded 24 – the team’s target leader in that span.
We saw in Week 9 what can happen when Jeudy gets going. He torched the Falcons secondary for an impressive seven receptions for 125 yards and a highlight-reel touchdown. The Raiders passing defense has is allowing 267 yards per game so the Broncos rookie wideout could cross the 100-yard mark in back-to-back games.
Lock needs to feel pressure and make better decisions
Denver’s offensive line is not good and has given up 28 sacks in 2020. Keep in mind that at least nine of them are on quarterback Drew Lock, not all on that line. The sophomore’s pocket presence seems non-existent at times and when the Broncos are lucky, he is simply too late to make an adjustment.
There have been instances where Lock can step up in the pocket but decides to stay deep instead. There have been other times in which Lock would take off and he didn’t have to. Too many times, he has let pass rushers move in too close to where his athleticism couldn’t bail him out any longer. The Broncos will need Lock to not get confused by disguised coverages and make quick, good decisions when pressure approaches or they will be trailing quickly again on Sunday.
Derek Carr needs to have enough time to throw the ball
The Broncos pass rush has been mediocre this year and. They are in dire need of the leadership and production of Von Miller. Defensive end Bradley Chubb is leading the team with 5.5 sacks and 24 pressures, which is nothing to be upset about. Meanwhile, linebacker Malik Reed has five sacks and 26 total tackles.
There is a good chance that quarterback Derek Carr will once again be without both starting tackles and there is a growing belief that he may not have either starting guards this week. If ‘4’ has no time, he will likely be dumping off a lot, which will make this offense predictable and likely. Also, he won’t be encouraged to take some of the shots downfield we’ve seen this season.
Broncos defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is no slouch and going against what is essentially a replacement-level offensive line, he might be dialing up constant heavy pressure in the hopes to get Carr to the ground. If the Raiders can’t get creative, this could be a long Sunday for the offense.
You May Also Like: Raiders Only Nation Podcast: Bolts Lose Their Charge
Top Photo: David Zalubowski/Associated Press