The Week 12 matchup will be crucial for the Las Vegas Raiders as they hope to get back on the winning side of things. Standing in their way will be some talented offensive players from the Atlanta Falcons.
By now, everyone is familiar with the Raider’s defense and their struggles. In fact, we could argue the unit ended up costing them the game in Week 11. They were unable to pressure Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and they’ve failed to sack opposing quarterback almost all year. Their pass coverage is just as bad despite promising talent such as Trayvon Mullen, Damon Arnette, Isaiah Johnson, and Johnathan Abram. However, these players are still young and might still need one more year to fully develop.
Unfortunately for Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, said process will have to kick into overdrive with a trip to the playoffs looming. These Falcons will be another test for this young defense, after all, they’re led by a former NFL MVP, quarterback Matt Ryan. So who will give Paul Guenther’s defense the most trouble in this crucial matchup for the Silver and Black?
Which Offensive Falcons Do The Raiders Need To Keep An Eye On?
The Falcons feature two wide receivers that could potentially light up the Raiders’ pass defense. With Todd Gurley officially ruled out, the run defense will have to worry about his backup.
Brian Hill, RB: 261 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 4.4 yards per rushing attempt
Julio Jones, WR: 45 receptions, 677 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns, 15-yard average per reception
Calvin Ridley, WR: 48 receptions, 747 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, Longest reception (63 yards)
Gurley is starting to show his age with all the wear and tear, but even then, he would’ve been a threat. The Raiders’ interior line will be tested in this one regardless, as Hill has three broken tackles to his name. On a side note, Clelin Ferrell could return and he’s currently grading at 79.4 in run defense by Pro Football Focus.
As for Jones and Ridley, the young cornerbacks will have their hands full and that’s putting it nicely. Both receivers are averaging more than 15 yards a catch in 2020. These two are having great years for Atlanta, Jones has 200 yards after the catch and Ridley has 120 of his own.
Whether it’s Mullen or Arnette, they’ll have to make sure their tackling is on point because Jones has five broken tackles this year. If fans thought the Chiefs’ offense was a test, things won’t get easier with the Falcons in Week 12.
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