With Week 5 here, the Las Vegas Raiders will look to get back in the win column over the Chicago Bears. Winning these three matchups would go a long way in doing just that.
Darren Waller vs Eddie Jackson
As one of the best tight ends in the NFL, Darren Waller often gets covered by different players throughout the game. If he gets matched up with free safety Eddie Jackson, the Raiders should look to explore it. With a reputation as one of the least physical players in the NFL, Jackson is a weak point on the Bears’ defense. Facing off against a player the size of Waller should have Raiders fans salivating. While the two may not be matched up in coverage that often, they will see each other in the open field eventually. Look for some catch and run from Waller tomorrow.
Brandon Parker vs Khalil Mack
Just reading those words is likely to make Raiders fans shudder as the return of Khalil Mack is finally here. Well, sort of. While Mack technically never played for the Las Vegas Raiders, and the two have faced off already in London, this will be the first time he is in front of Raiders fans since 2017. Despite being a little banged up this week, it’s hard to picture Mack missing this one. With 21 sacks since leaving the team, he would like to add to that total.
For Brandon Parker, this is a huge test. Inserted into the lineup as Alex Leatherwood transitions to guard, Parker has had his fair share of struggles. However, the coaching staff has always believed in him, and now is the time to prove them right. If Parker can limit Mack on Sunday, it could be the difference in the game.
Derek Carr vs Bears Pass Rush
The story of the week for the Raiders has centered around Joey Bosa’s postgame comments. After saying things like “he shuts down under pressure,” the spotlight is now on Carr to dispel that notion. It won’t be easy against Chicago. With a defensive line that boasts the likes of Mack, Robert Quinn, and Akiem Hicks, Carr will have to operate quickly. Luckily for Raiders fans, he has experience in doing so. As the remade offensive line has struggled so far, Carr has become much better at creating plays “out of structure.” It will be needed tomorrow. Of course, the Raiders will go as far as Derek Carr takes them, so a good game Sunday should seal the win.
*Top Photo: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports